NYT Omitted Details About Hunter Biden Attorney Allegedly Pressuring DOJ To Investigate IRS Whistleblower, Lawyers Say

IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley’s attorneys are accusing The New York Times (NYT) of omitting details about Hunter Biden’s attorney allegedly pressuring the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Shapley as part of a June 2023 story.

Shapley’s attorneys at Empower Oversight, a nonpartisan whistleblower protection organization, wrote a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the DOJ on Thursday, seeking to obtain the letter Hunter Biden’s attorneys allegedly wrote to the DOJ asking for Shapley to be investigated.

🚨NEW: @EMPOWR_us learned Hunter Biden’s attorneys sent a letter to DOJ asking that our client, IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, be prosecuted for releasing grand jury information. Yesterday I sent a FOIA request to DOJ asking that this letter be released. https://t.co/TdnqWKwFCx

— Tristan Leavitt (@tristanleavitt) September 8, 2023

“Michael Schmidt, a reporter for The New York Times, contacted our legal team on June 27, 2023 to seek comment on a story he was writing. Mr. Schmidt said that Hunter Biden’s defense counsel had sent the Department a letter asking in writing that it investigate our client, SSA Shapley, for allegedly breaking laws protecting the privacy of grand jury deliberations,” the FOIA request reads. (RELATED: IRS Whistleblower Gary Shapley’s Attorneys Debunk False Claims From Hunter Biden’s Lawyer)

“When asked for a copy of the letter, Mr. Schmidt claimed neither he nor his colleagues at the paper had a copy, and when pressed for details of the allegations on which he was seeking comment, his replies were vague and inconsistent,” the FOIA request adds. “The story published by The New York Times failed to include our comment in full and failed to share with readers the detail that the Biden attorneys had made their allegations in writing.”


The NYT’s June 27 story describing the whistleblower’s congressional testimony states “Hunter Biden’s lawyers have told the Justice Department that Mr. Shapley has broken federal laws that keep grand jury material secret,” without specifically describing the alleged letter.

The NYT story then included part of a statement from another one of Shapley’s attorneys, Nixon Peabody LLP Partner Mark Lytle. The New York Times did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment by the time of publication.

Empower Oversight contacted the DOJ Inspector General (IG) on June 28, 2023, to report the alleged effort to intimidate Shapley, according to an email included in the FOIA request. Shapley is a cooperating witness in the IG’s ongoing investigation into Shapley’s whistleblower disclosures.

“Here, from last night’s NYT story, is evidence of lawyers for the President’s son lobbying the Justice Department to retaliate against our client with a baseless criminal probe,” Shapley’s attorney Jason Foster wrote in an email to the IG. “If lawyers for the president’s son are trying to gin up such an investigation against our client, and put it in writing, then that letter should be subject to extreme scrutiny.”

Shapley testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in May, saying DOJ investigators gave the president’s son special treatment by slow-walking and obstructing the years-long probe into his taxes. (RELATED: House Investigators Demand Hunter Biden’s Legal Team Turn Over Communications With DOJ About Failed Plea Deal)

The transcript of Shapley’s testimony was released in late June, and Shapley subsequently testified publicly before the House Ways and Means, Oversight and Judiciary Committees alongside IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler.

In his July testimony, Shapley accused Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell of spreading false statements about him in a letter Lowell wrote to the House Ways and Means Committee in late June.

“Even last fall, Biden family attorneys attacked investigators in the pages of The Washington Post and threatened the prosecutors with career suicide if they brought charges against the president’s son,” Shapley testified.

“Then one of the Biden family attorneys sends to the press a 10-page, error-filled letter that attacked me with innuendo, false statements, and baseless speculation that I had leaked information to The Washington Post. These statements by Biden family attorneys are false.”

Lowell’s letter appeared to make false statements about Shapley’s congressional testimony and accused him of leaking information to The Washington Post, without evidence to back it up. Shapley’s attorneys previously asked The Washington Post to publicly disclose that Shapley was not their source for an October 2022 story with details surrounding the Hunter Biden case.

The House Ways and Means, Oversight and Judiciary Committees continue to investigate the allegations made by Shapley and Ziegler alongside House Oversight’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.

BREAKING: DOJ expects Hunter Biden to be indicted for his felony gun charge by the end of the month @DailyCaller https://t.co/nhVxaqJn3v pic.twitter.com/wyfXn9SWjt

— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 6, 2023

The younger Biden pleaded not guilty to two tax misdemeanors in July after Delaware U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika scrutinized an immunity provision in the pretrial diversion agreement Biden was expected to sign for his felony gun charge, resulting in a dispute between Biden’s defense counsel and DOJ special attorney Leo Wise.

Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is now special counsel on the Biden case, withdrew the Delaware tax charges to potentially charge Biden in Washington, D.C., or the Central District of California. The DOJ is also expecting a grand jury to indict Biden for his felony gun charge by the end of September.