In December 2020 the team wanted to search a storage unit in Virginia where Hunter had moved business documents. Ms. Wolf again objected, then tipped off Hunter’s defense counsel, “ruining our chance to get to evidence before being destroyed, manipulated, or concealed,” Mr. Shapley said. Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters also tipped Hunter’s Secret Service team to a proposed “day of action” in which members of U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s team intended to conduct surprise interviews of witnesses—including Hunter. This gave a group “close to Hunter” the opportunity to “obstruct the approach,” and of the “12 interviews we hoped to conduct on our day of action, we only got one substantive interview.” Hunter lawyered up.
Along the way, according to Mr. Shapley’s testimony, Ms. Wolf told investigators not to ask any questions about “dad” or “the big guy.” They were blocked from pursuing leads about the financial transactions of Hunter’s children, since she said they’d get “into hot water if we interview the president’s grandchildren.” They were ordered not to look into evidence of campaign-finance violations. They were told to take Hunter’s name off official document requests, which Mr. Shapley said was “absolutely absurd.” The second whistleblower told the committee that he became “sick of fighting to do what’s right.”
The IRS team nonetheless prepared a document in late 2021 covering tax years 2014-19, in which it recommended charging Hunter with felony tax evasion, felony false tax returns, and failures to pay tax. Mr. Shapley says this was partially based on Hunter’s “textbook” tax evasion of declaring his income from the Ukrainian firm Burisma as a “loan.” Mr. Shapley says the team was also looking into a Foreign Agents Registration Act case.