A lawyer for Hunter Biden says alleged screenshots of a text message from Hunter Biden to a potential Chinese business partner where he refers to Joe Biden — a message that has come under scrutiny at following statements by an IRS whistleblower – are “not real”. and contain a myriad of problems.
Abbot 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, who interviewed the whistleblowers . The letter was obtained by NBC News.
IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley told the committee under oath that as an IRS investigator, he obtained messages that Hunter Biden had sent on the WhatsApp platform, including one in 2017 he had read demanding payment from a Chinese businessman named Henry Zhao.
In the post, Shapley said, Biden seemed to suggest he was sitting with his father, then the former vice president, saying, “I’m going to make sure that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to always hold a grudge that you will regret not following my instructions.
Shapley’s attorneys said in a statement, “Lawyers for the Biden family have used intimidation before — they allegedly threatened federal prosecutors with ‘professional suicide’ if they charged Hunter Biden — so this attempt to intimidate our client and supervisory authorities reviewing the politicization of this case comes as no surprise.
Lowell writes that the screenshots of the message as tweeted by Smith, “both include a photo of Mr. Biden not from 2017 but from the White House Easter egg roll in April 2022 (long after the sending the purported message); both images depict the message in a blue bubble, where WhatsApp messages are green; one image superimposed the Chinese flag for the contact ID, which was surely not so as a text or a contact was saved; and the other pretends to be a screenshot with the ‘. . .’ of someone composing a text (like in Apple’s iMessage) when it doesn’t happen on WhatsApp.
He writes: “In short, the images you posted online are complete fakes.”
Lowell’s letter takes issue with what he says are self-proclaimed ‘IRS whistleblowers’ who he says are ‘claiming this title in an effort to escape their own misconduct’ and to ‘fuel the misinformation campaign aimed at to harm our client, Hunter Biden, as a vehicle to attack his father.”
Lowell added, “These interviews were orchestrated accounts of misinterpreted and incomplete ‘facts’ by disgruntled officers who thought they knew better than the federal prosecutors who had all the evidence as they conducted their five-year investigation. on Mr. Biden.”
The letter from Hunter Biden’s attorney comes after the House Ways and Means Committee released transcripts last week. As NBC News reported, Shapley told the committee that U.S. Attorney David Weiss had sought permission to charge Hunter Biden in two federal districts with charges broader than the tax crimes the president’s son had agreed to. to plead guilty last week, according to a 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 the power to indict in other jurisdictions, including the California and Washington, D.C. Shapley said bringing charges in those districts isn’t something 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 with, “Chairman Smith, it is easy when a committee does not operate with fairness and thoroughness and in accordance with rules and procedures to convey a false political narrative.”
Hunter Biden is expected to plead guilty in late July to two tax offenses following a year-long federal criminal investigation. He denies any wrongdoing associated with any of his overseas business dealings.
The IRS has previously denied commenting on the allegations raised by Shapley.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com