Sometimes the medium is as important as the message.
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.