Hunter Biden attends an official state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 22, 2023 at the White House in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images News | Getty Images
A lawyer for Hunter Biden says alleged screenshots of a text message from Hunter Biden to a potential Chinese business partner referencing Joe Biden — a message that has come under intense scrutiny following statements made by an IRS whistleblower — “is not real. and contain a myriad of problems.”
Abbe Lowell, who is one of Hunter Biden’s lawyers, made the statement in a letter to Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which interviewed the whistleblowers. The letter was obtained by NBC News.
IRS Special Agent in Charge Gary Shapley told the committee under oath that as an IRS investigator, he obtained messages sent by Hunter Biden on WhatsApp, including one in 2017 that he read demanding payment from a Chinese businessman named Henry Zhao.
In the message, Shapley said, Biden appeared to indicate that he was sitting with his father, then the former vice president, and said, “I’m going to make sure that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever maintain a grudge that you will regret not following my instructions.”
Lowell writes that the screenshots of the messages, as tweeted by Smith, “both contain a photo of Mr. Biden, not from 2017, but from the April 2022 White House Easter Egg Roll (long after the alleged message was sent); both images show the message in a blue bubble when WhatsApp messages are green; one image superimposed a Chinese flag for the contact ID, although that was certainly not how the text or contact was stored; and one should be a screenshot with ‘. ..’ of someone texting (as in Apple’s iMessage) when it’s not happening on WhatsApp.”
He writes: “In short, the images circulating online are complete fakes.”
Lowell’s letter takes issue with what he says are “self-proclaimed IRS ‘whistleblowers’ who he says are ‘claiming that title in an attempt to avoid their own misconduct’ and ‘fuel a disinformation campaign to damage our client, Hunter Biden, as a vehicle to attack on his father.”
Lowell added: “These conversations were orchestrated recitations of mischaracterized and incomplete ‘facts’ by disgruntled agents who believed they knew better than federal prosecutors who had all the evidence when they conducted their five-year investigation of Mr. Biden.”
The letter from attorney Hunter Biden follows the release of transcripts last week by the House Ways and Means Committee. As NBC News reported, Shapley told the committee that U.S. Attorney David Weiss had requested the authority to indict Hunter Biden in two federal districts on charges broader than the tax-related offenses to which the president’s son agreed to plead guilty last week, according to 212- page transcript of Shapley’s interview.
Shapley said Attorney General Merrick Garland was not telling Congress the truth when he claimed in earlier testimony that Weiss, who is based in Delaware, had jurisdiction to charge in other jurisdictions, including California and Washington, D.C. Shapley said bringing charges in those districts was nothing , what the U.S. attorneys there, who were appointed by President Joe Biden, would do.
The Justice Department denied Shapley’s claims.
Lowell concludes his letter: “Chairman Smith, it is easy for a committee not to work honestly and thoroughly and follow rules and procedures to push a false political narrative.”
Hunter Biden is expected to plead guilty to two tax crimes in late July as a result of a years-long federal criminal investigation. He denies any wrongdoing associated with any of his foreign business dealings.
The IRS has previously declined to comment on the allegations made by Shapley.