“My life’s on the line here:” Gary Shapley’s Direct Supervisor Believed His Claims Were Unsubstantiated

Ever since I read the email Gary Shapley sent to his IRS supervisors, Darrell Waldon and Mike Batdorf, on October 7, 2022 purportedly documenting David Weiss saying he was not the deciding authority on charing Hunter Biden, I have wondered whether Waldon was largely brushing off Shapley’s claims about the meeting when he said, “you have covered it all.”

In any case, unlike Shapley, Waldon’s focus was on the leak, not what Weiss said. As I’ve noted, Waldon’s primary response was to tell Shapley that he would take care of the leak referral, but in congressional testimony Shapley claimed to have been the one who did.

And testimony Waldon gave to House Ways and Means Committee might be consistent with such a brush-off: Waldon described that around this time, he recommended Shapley be removed from the case, apparently because Waldon believed the claims of bias Shapley was making — in things like this email — were unsubstantiated.

Waldon told the panel that he recommended to Batdorf that Shapley be removed from the case. Waldon said that Weiss told him after the October 2022 meeting that he would “not be talking with Mr. Shapley henceforth, as they were going through their deliberative process.”

“Before I left the special agent in charge position, in February, I recommended to Mr. Batdorf that Gary Shapley be removed as the [supervisory special agent] from the Hunter Biden investigation, primarily due to what I perceived to be unsubstantiated allegations about motive, intent, bias” Waldon said.

Waldon is also the person who, in December 2022, reviewed the emails that Shapley had turned over after eight months of stalling. Indeed, on December 13, 2022, as Waldon was reviewing the emails, Shapley emailed Waldon plaintitively asking for something he adamantly refused to give Hunter Biden: Advance notice of investigative concerns.

If you have questions about any emails I would ask you share it in advance so I can look at them and be prepared to put them into context. The USAO was so eager to got my emails (which they already had 95% of) … then surprise … they “might” have a problem with a few of them that memorialized their conduct. If the content of what I documented, in report or email is the cause of their consternation I would direct them to consider their actions instead of who documented them.

I have done nothing wrong. Instead of constant battles with the USAO/DOJ Tax, I chose to be politically savvy. I documented issues, that I would have normally addressed as they occurred, because of the USAO and DOJ Tax’s continued visceral reactions to any dissenting opinions or ideas. Every single day was a battle to do our job. I continually reported these issues up to IRS-CI leadership beginning in the summer of 2020. Now, because they realized I documented their conduct they separate me out, cease all communication and are not attempting to salvage their own conduct by attacking mind. This is an attempt by the USAO to tarnish my good standing and position within IRS-CI … and I expect IRS-CI leadership to understand that. As recent as the October 7 meeting, the Delaware USAO had nothing but good things to say about me/us. Then they finally read “discovery” items (provided 6 months previous — that are not discoverable) and they are beginning to defend their own unethical actions.

Consider the below:

  1. I am not a witness — therefor Jencks/impeachment is not an issue.
  2. I am not the receiver of original evidence nor engaged i any negative exculpatory language against the subject … My documentation only shows the USAO/DOJ Tax’s preferential treatment of this subject. [bold underline original, italics mine]

Waldon’s impression that Shapley was making unsubstantiated claims of bias, which Shapley presumably knew, makes these two documents even sketchier, because they were written at a time when his claims of bias were already suspect.

For example, in May, Shapley turned over his email making claims of bias, but not the presumably more accurate handwritten notes he wrote in the October 7 meeting itself. Those notes show that Shapley misrepresented what Weiss said about charging in CA; those notes that show Shapley recorded a detail — what outlet published the October 7 leak — about which he claimed to be ignorant in his Ways and Means deposition.

In other words, those notes show Shapely making unsupported claims of bias. And they show that when his own emails were reviewed, he panicked.

Thus far, the evidence support Waldon’s conclusion, not Shapley. Shapley was literally inventing conspiracy theories about the process required before David Weiss could seek Special Attorney status to charge in CA.

Which may explain why, in his original testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, he dramatically claimed, “My life’s on the line here.”

Meanwhile, the documents and testimony elicited as a result of Shapley’s effort to ruin Hunter Biden’s life to save his own (job or reputation, I guess), only give Abbe Lowell more ammunition to show that his charges are selective prosecution pushed by someone identified as a problem a year ago.

Update: This post has been edited for clarity.

56 replies
  1. BRUCE F COLE says:

    Shapley and Zeigler were like a couple guys trying to pump up a blown tire on a stolen vehicle without even a shrader port.

    Stolen gov’t vehicle.

    • Knowatall says:

      I am expecting punaise to jump in here with something like “presta change-a!”. A valve joke for the uninitiated.

  2. TooLoose LeTruck says:


    I got to the part where Shapley says ‘I have done nothing wrong’… and a bell started ringing in my head…

    Anyone who I ever dealt with, who felt compelled to make a statement like that, almost always had done something wrong… just saying…

    In poker, I believe saying something like that would be considered a tell…

        • Dave_MB says:

          Exactly. And what he calls ‘politically savvy’ would be more clearly addressed as ‘During the investigation, I documented the file in as great detail as I could, knowing that the target was prominent and the investigation could be subject to heavy scrutiny.’

          That’s not politically savvy. That’s called doing your job.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, yeah, and he refused to turn over his email for eight months, which suggest they might show evidence of wrong-doing.

      • trnc2023 says:

        And then essentially says, “Look only at the claims I made and pay no attention to whether I appeared to be compromised when I made them.”

  3. ducktree says:

    “Shapley was literally inventing conspiracy theories about the process required before David Weiss could seek Special Attorney status to chage in CA.” To “charge in CA”?

    • bmaz says:

      If my recollection is correct, it would be in CDCA. But gonna have to hustle before the statute runs! I still think his original plea should be enforced, as to both gun and taxes.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        CDCA is correct. The original plea (with the loophole wording removed) is reasonable. The Feds going for jail time on the gun charge sounds like unusual (and in some sense cruel) punishment.

      • emptywheel says:

        I believe tax case SOL is 6 years from date of filing. So they need to hustle on 2017 charges — about which even Ziegler testified he only supported misdemeanor charges. But may not for the 2018 charges (he overpaid in 2018, which will make any charges hard to sustain).

  4. Upisdown says:

    So much new info is coming out to debunk Shapley and others.

    Has anyone been looking at the recent reporting in Just The News and Breitbart that retired FBI agent, Tim Thibault, suggested in testimony that Peter Schweizer is possibly connected to the 2020 FD-1023 and may have had a copy of the laptop hard drive months before the NY Post release? I guess the NY Times did some reporting on this back in May, but I only allow myself one paywalled MSM source (WaPo) so I missed it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Breitbart stories tend not to be regarded credibly here, nor those covered by JTN, a creature of the much lampooned John Solomon.

      • zscoreUSA says:

        They may not be credible as news pieces and should not be taken at face value. But there is insight into the information warfare aspect, for those who are interested in that sort of thing.

        Which narrative is being pushed, timing, which names are included, which names are excluded, etc.

          • zscoreUSA says:

            Lol, a good pair of waders, and plenty of rubber gloves is recommended. It’s disturbing reading through a lot of this stuff, a lot of disregard for other people, treating them as objects to be used.

            As an example that I find interesting, the Laptop From Hell doesn’t mention Bernie Kerik once. But that video EW linked to recently of Burra speaking, he said once Costello received the hard drive, he worked closely with Bannon, Rudy, and Kerik. Or that the Laptop From Hell author described being in communication with Costello and Rudy, was influential in getting the NY Post editor to approve the story, but, inexplicably, did join the byline on such a groundbreaking news piece.

    • emptywheel says:

      So last year, Grassley — whose former aides are orchestrating this whole thing — tried to get Thibault fired because he excluded this source reporting. Thibault apparently testified he shut the source (Peter Schweitzer) down because the lead FBI agent asked to.

      The FBI likely shut him down because he is the counterpart of Christopher Steele, and was implicating in SEVERAL predications, most notably Clinton Foundation, based off oppo research.

      We will likely one day learn that Schweitzer had tried to provide information via other channels in this investigation previously.

    • Zinsky123 says:

      I had not read that Peter Schweizer was involved in the rebirth of the infamous FD-1023. I will have to look into this for my own research, as Peter Schweizer and his long list of fabulist tales of Clinton/Obama/Biden supposed “corruption” are the source of so many lies now floating around the right-wing ecosphere. Along with Jerome Corsi and John Solomon, they are the architects of many of the confabulated stories about Biden taking a bribe from Mykola Zlochevsky, head of Burisma, for firing Victor Shokin. This fairy tale was debunked in 2019 and it pains me to see the mainstream media giving it any more credibility than sightings of Sasquatch.

      • emptywheel says:

        It’s not clear to me it’s the same FD-1023. Rather, this seems to be an informant report based on SCHWEITZER, not the actual real informant.

        Again, Schweitzer has been compared to Steele for years, bc he had a key role in the Clinton Foundation investigation, and in August 2016, Bannon and Stone were trying to get material for Schweitzer from Guccifer 2.0.

        • Upisdown says:

          Peter Schweizer got two Clinton investigations opened. One opened by Sessions who appointed Huber to look into the bogus Uranium One claims, and the other investigation order by Barr for Durham to dig into the bogus Clinton Foundation claims made by Schweizer. (Talk about DOJ weaponization!) Not to mention the Burisma, Baturina, and CEFC garbage he stirred up against the Bidens.

          The man should be investigated by Horowitz to uncover his FBI contacts and his funding from Bannon and the Mercers.

          Turnabout is fair play.

  5. morganism says:

    (OT) AZ heating up again, the guy who filed the challenge in Vermont, has a court appearence set in AZ.

    Donald Trump’s Lawyers Get Stretched Even Thinner
    A federal court in Arizona scheduled the first preliminary injunction hearing in a case challenging Trump’s 2024 candidacy on Monday, setting up October 23 to be the first date that a court will hear 14th Amendment arguments regarding the former president’s eligibility to appear on the presidential ballot. Trump has been ordered to respond by October 6.

    There have been various cases arguing the Constitution’s disqualification clause against Trump, although this one, brought by long-shot Republican presidential candidate John Castro, specifically raises concerns about how Trump’s candidacy creates a personal disadvantage to GOP candidates running against him. Castro has filed these cases in at least 14 states.

    It’s not only cases that directly threaten Trump’s ability to run for the White House again that his attorneys have had to fend off, but also the criminal and civil cases that have arisen in New York, Georgia and the federal circuits. They may also have to turn their efforts towards the Supreme Court should the justices hear the petition that Castro filed with the high court, which would put all of Castro’s filings on the table.

    “Everybody was wondering, ‘What are you doing? Why are you filing suit in so many different states? How are you going to manage all of that?'” Castro told Newsweek. “When you file a federal court case, it’s a lottery. You don’t know what judge is going to be assigned. Even if it’s a liberal district, you can still end up getting a very conservative judge. And likewise, even if it’s a very conservative district, you can end up getting a liberal judge.”

    “I’m basically sidelining and neutralizing the influence of conservative judges,” Castro said. “Now I get to nonsuit those cases and only proceed with the ones where I got Obama-appointed judges or Clinton-appointed judges like Judge Douglas Rayes in Arizona, who has now just scheduled the nation’s first hearing on whether to kick Trump off the ballot.”


    Bmaz, do you think he can claim standing and injury?

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, NO. I’ve known the judge, Doug Rayes, for a long time, though not been in front of him since he was at Superior Court. He is extremely bright, level headed, and there is little chance, if any, he will do anything with this nonsense. Not to mention, in Arizona, the issue has already been decided with finality in the Arizona Supreme Court. Doug will not go behind that decision. Castro is a gadabout quack, that rarely flies here.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Salmon P. Chase who was Chief Justice when the 14th was drafted and ratified apparently held the opinion that Section 3 wasn’t really enforceable in some of his post-war opinions while on circuit (so there is no SCOTUS precedent). We’ve haggled over this point before, and like bmaz I would expect that an objective event (i.e. conviction) would be required to invoke Section 3 if for no other reason (IMHO, though IANAL) there is no due process otherwise.

  6. Attygmgm says:

    Also striking was this note by Shapley:

    “I chose to be politically savvy. I documented issues, that I would have normally addressed as they occurred, because of the USAO and DOJ Tax’s continued visceral reactions to any dissenting opinions or ideas.”

    Which seems like someone happy to find — and compile — “issues” if the “normal” interaction, the road not taken, was to address perceived issues “as they occurred.”

        • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

          I read (I can’t remember where) that Sharpley had only been in the CI division something like 1.5-2 years. Before that, he was part of the IRS public information division.

          Combine the lack of experience; smug Dunning-Kruger superiority; ignoring supervisors; and listing “issues” to cover his ass.

          Can Hunter sue him personally? It seems he had a vendetta and ignored his bosses repeatedly.

  7. P’villain says:

    Claiming whistleblower status (and resulting retaliation) is a go-to strategy for a certain type of toxic government employee who finds themself on thin ice with their bosses. This case has all the earmarks of that strategy. The worst part about it for management is how difficult, expensive, and time-consuming it is to resolve the claims. Narcissists will drag everything and everyone down with them in their struggle to evade responsibility for their bad behavior.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      You get exactly the same thing with private employers, except that the pretext is discrimination, rather than whistleblowing. Bogus retaliation claims are damned hard to dismiss on summary judgment, especially because retaliation is quite common behavior.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A Trump-protection racket. Every Republican has their prepared gotcha question, which they relentlessly pound. Good coordination and discipline, which puts Democrats to shame, but this is pure theater. Governance and legitimate investigation are not their purpose – or even within their capacity.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Mr. Garland has legitimate reasons not to answer questions about the propriety of giving lavish gifts to federal judges, but when framed as questions about Garland’s own conduct, they are not hypothetical questions. One reason is that Mr. Johnson, along with Sen. Whitehouse, have already explicitly asked Garland to investigate the legality of gifts to Justice Thomas.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Congresscritter Van Drew is a standout asshole, even among the Republican Party. Like his peers, though, he’s not asking questions and has no interest in any answers. He’s there to shill propaganda.

      • Knowatall says:

        He stands out as a moral paragon in his new party, though. At least he had the hanging bits to leave the Democratic Party to join the fascists.

  8. Savage Librarian says:


    Pension, pension that was mine,
    Now my life is on the line,
    Just because I caused a wreck,
    With my ploy to screw opsec.

  9. Fancy Chicken says:

    So this just came out today. Rather buried halfway down Politico’s main page-


    “Hunter Biden’s prosecutor worried about lack of help from other federal prosecutors, IRS official says”

    About 2/3 of the way in the piece this rather pertinent bit came up-

    “ Batdorf also described acute tension between Weiss and Gary Shapley, one of the two IRS agents who became congressional whistleblowers after working on the case. The tension precipitated the removal of Shapley and his team of IRS investigators from the Hunter Biden probe, Batdorf said.”
    “ By that time it was November, and it was David Weiss’ moment of: ‘I’m not talking to him anymore. He’s harassing me,’” Batdorf testified. “He didn’t say it, but in his email he basically says: ‘Tell him to leave me alone.’”

    Apparently Weiss felt quite harassed by Shapely. Rather interesting read all around.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I don’t imagine John Durham would have received much support from other USAs either. He was an accident waiting to happen. Weiss is looking the same. He’s going to have a hard time prosecuting either the gun or tax cases, assuming he files before the SOL runs on the latter.

  10. Harry Eagar says:

    I was hoping that somebody on the committee would attack Shapley’s veracity — or at least call Jordan on repeatedly labeling him a whistleblower. Perhaps they did, I had to leave off to ferry grandchildren.

    I understand why the Democrats didn’t want to try to explain it in that forum, but they need to explain it in some forum.

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