This is on CBS News and it’s being reported by Jim Axelrod, the Chief Investigative Correspondent for CBS News. Back in April, Axelrod and CBS had broadcast an interview with the whistleblower’s lawyer.
It’s not just the lawyer now.
“There were multiple steps that were slow-walked — were just completely not done — at the direction of the Department of Justice,” said Gary Shapley, a 14-year veteran of the agency, who spoke exclusively to CBS News chief investigative correspondent Jim Axelrod on Tuesday. “When I took control of this particular investigation, I immediately saw deviations from the normal process. It was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past.”
Shapley is not just holding down a desk, he’s a high-level figure.
Shapley is a supervisory special agent with the IRS’s criminal investigations department, currently overseeing a team of 12 agents who specialize in international tax and financial crimes. Previously, he was an officer with the National Security Agency’s Office of the Inspector General. He was assigned to a “sensitive” investigation in January 2020, and within months, he said he grew concerned about how the Justice Department was handling the investigation. CBS News has learned that was the Hunter Biden probe. Shapley says he began documenting his concerns around June 2020.
That predates the Biden administration, but that should also surprise no one. If there’s anything that Russiagate should have hammered home to those in denial, it’s that elected officials don’t run the government unless they take serious steps to exercise control. Talking and writing memos doesn’t cut it. So it should surprise no one that under a Republican administration, the DOJ was protecting Hunter Biden.
The letter alleges “irregularities” in the Department of Justice’s handling of the case,and cites a “charged meeting” Shapley’s team had with Justice Department prosecutors last October. According to the letter, following that meeting, Shapley’s team was effectively excluded from the investigation.
Shapley’s revelations are predictable enough, but what interests me more is the willingness of CBS News to broadcast it. And that is less likely to reflect journalistic integrity than lingering nervousness about a Biden candidacy. Once the nomination is locked in, no journalist will touch a story like this with a ten-foot pole, but for now there’s perhaps a lingering hope that Biden can still be pushed aside. And in the process, journalism happens.
That the Hunter Biden investigation is being slow-walked and handled irregularly is no surprise, that CBS News is willing to talk about it is.
Gal Luft, the “missing” witness in the House Oversight Committee’s Biden family corruption investigation, has told The Post he is alive and living as a fugitive in an undisclosed location.
The former Israeli Defense Force colonel vanished from Cyprus last month while on bail awaiting extradition to the US on seven charges.
He denies the allegations, which include five charges relating to the Arms Export Control Act of conspiring to sell Chinese products to the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Libya, as well as a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and of making a false statement.
Luft claims he was forced to skip bail because he is the victim of a political persecution by the US to protect Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and brother Jim.
“The chances of me getting a fair trial in Washington are virtually zero,” he said in a call from an undisclosed foreign country, explaining why he skipped bail. “I had to do what I had to do.”
Gal Luft claims he was forced to skip bail because he is the victim of a political persecution by the US to protect Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and brother Jim. His car was found by police abandoned near the airport.
“I was charged for a thought crime,” he says of the gun-running allegations, which date from email correspondence five years ago. “I was asked by a bona fide arms dealer, an Israeli friend, to inquire with a company I knew if they had an item and what would be the price of an item. This is where the conspiracy ended. No follow-up, no money, no brokering activity.”
He sees sinister intent in the date of the extradition order, Nov. 1, 2022, seven days before the midterm elections when the Republicans were expected to win control of the House and start investigating allegations of Biden family foreign influence peddling.
House Oversight investigators were preparing to interview him before he disappeared.
The Biden family is under the protection of the nation’s top lawmen
“When it was clear the Republicans are going to win the House or the Senate, all of a sudden comes [GOP Rep. James] Comer and [GOP Rep. Jim] Jordan and the game is changing. There will be questions and subpoenas and investigations [so] they [the administration] have to discredit me. I never thought of coming forward. Through 2020 I sat quiet like a fish …
“I didn’t want to get caught up in this game, but when they arrested me, I had no choice but to blow it up.”
Luft attracted the attention of House investigators on Feb. 18 when a tweet appeared on his timeline after he was detained at the Cyprus airport.
“I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the US … claiming I’m an arms dealer … I’ve never been an arms dealer.
“DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim and Hunter Biden.”
Luft claims everything he told US officials was “corroborated” when the FBI subpoenaed Hunter’s laptop.
Info on Hunter payment
In March 2019, Luft met with four FBI officials and two DOJ prosecutors at the US Embassy in Brussels to provide information that Chinese state-controlled energy company CEFC had paid $100,000 a month to Hunter Biden and $65,000 to his uncle Jim, in exchange for their FBI connections and use of the Biden name to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative around the world.
Luft, who had a business relationship with a nonprofit think tank associated with CEFC, also told the FBI that Hunter had an FBI mole named “One Eye” who had tipped off his CEFC business partners Patrick Ho and Ye Jianming that they were under investigation; he said CEFC officials and one other person had been named in a sealed indictment.
Ye believed “the FBI were following him when he took walks in Central Park,” says Luft.
Luft was worried he was on the indictment because Ho told him it named a “Jew.”
Soon after the tip-off from One Eye, Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother and nanny in his $50 million Central Park West penthouse.
He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.
Ho told Luft that Hunter and Jim Biden flew to Hong Kong in the fall of 2017 to meet him.
“They were behaving very suspiciously and changing phones,” says Luft. “Ye said send a million dollars and those guys will take care of you.”
The only evidence on Hunter’s laptop that he flew to Hong Kong in that period is an email receipt for a one-way first-class flight from Dulles Airport to Hong Kong on Aug. 25, 2017, with IFlyFirstClass.com.
In emails with the travel company a few days later, Hunter requested a return flight Sept. 8, 2017, from Koh Samui in Thailand to Baltimore-Washington Airport.
In Luft’s view, Ho was a “naïve … patsy” who believed Ye’s assurances that he would not be arrested if he returned to the US.
Luft attracted the attention of House investigators on Feb. 18 when a tweet appeared on his timeline after he was detained at the Cyprus airport. supplied
On Nov. 18, 2017, Ho flew back to the US and was arrested by the FBI on bribery and money-laundering charges.
Ho was convicted and sentenced March 25, 2019, to three years in prison, after which he was deported.
During Ho’s trial, claims Luft, prosecutors removed all reference to the Bidens from emails between Ho and Hunter associate Vuk Jeremic, who was a CEFC advisory board member, a former Serbian foreign minister and ex-president of the United Nations General Assembly.
A court transcript shows a dispute between Ho defense lawyer Edward Kim and prosecutor Dan Richenthal over whether to redact from an email the name of one of the “prominent and powerful friends” whom Ho asked Jeremic to invite to a dinner or lunch in Washington, DC, on Dec. 6, 2015.
Geoffrey Berman’s letter to Luft’s attorney about the Brussels “proffer” meeting.
“The name of that individual is not relevant and could introduce a political dimension to this case that we don’t think is worth dealing with,” Richenthal told the judge, who agreed to the redaction.
There is no evidence the lunch or dinner came about, but a calendar entry on Hunter’s laptop shows that he had a meeting on Dec. 7, 2015, with “CEFC Chairman Ye Jienmaing [sic] and [CEFC consultant] Scott OH” scheduled.
Congress MUST keep up pressure on FBI’s Christopher Wray until he stops hiding the truth
After Ho was convicted, Luft contacted the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from Israel to offer a voluntary interview or “proffer” meeting.
He says DOJ officials settled on Brussels as neutral territory.
Luft has shown The Post a letter arranging the Brussels “proffer” meeting, signed March 25, 2019, by Geoffrey Berman, then the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose agents had arrested Ho the previous year.
“We are writing to advise you that the US Attorney’s Office for the SDNY will not arrest or cause to be arrested your client, Gal Luft, during the time that he is in Belgium between approximately Tuesday, March 26, 2019 and Monday, April 1, 2019, in connection with his attendance at meetings with this office on March 28 and 29, 2019,” writes Berman to Luft lawyer Robert Henoch.
Less than four weeks after the Brussels meeting, Joe Biden announced he was running for president.
Luft says the two assistant US attorneys who interviewed him over 18 hours in Brussels were part of the team that had prosecuted Ho: Richenthal and Catherine Ghosh, whose names also appeared on his Cypress extradition order.
Also present in Brussels, he says, were four FBI agents, at least two from the National Security Branch at FBI headquarters and one from the Baltimore field office, which has been involved in the Hunter Biden investigation run by Delaware US Attorney David Weiss since 2018.
Luft told them about CEFC payments to Hunter and Jim Biden, and that Biden family associate Rob Walker was involved in distributing payments, a fact later corroborated by subpoenaed bank records released by the House Oversight Committee showing Walker funneling more than $1 million from China to at least three of President Biden’s relatives.
Luft claims everything he told US officials was “corroborated” nine months later, when the FBI subpoenaed Hunter’s laptop from a Delaware computer repair shop where he had abandoned it.
“They were sitting on all the information. No new information as needed after they had the laptop plus my proffer yet they wasted another year and did nothing so … now there is a guy who can shed light on the cover-up and they arrest him.”