On Monday, attorneys for Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), declaring that the agency “targeted and sought to embarrass” Hunter during its investigations into his alleged tax crimes.
As reported by Fox News, Hunter’s lawsuit cites the testimonies of two IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, as proof of this alleged effort to target him. The lawsuit demands that the court assert that the agency “willfully, knowingly, and/or by gross negligence, unlawfully disclosed Mr. Biden’s confidential tax information.”
Biden’s lawsuit also demands $1,000 in damages “each and every unauthorized disclosure of his tax returns.”
“Biden is the son of the President of the United States. He has all the same responsibilities as any other American citizen, and the IRS can and should make certain that he abides by those responsibilities,” the lawsuit states. “Similarly, Mr. Biden has no fewer or lesser rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or government agent has free rein to violate his rights simply because of who he is.”
Shapley and Ziegler testified earlier this year before the House Oversight Committee, each declaring that they had witnessed examples of the federal government actively protecting Hunter by softening the attempted investigations into his refusal to pay taxes for a number of years.
Hunter’s lawsuit claims that the protection normally granted to whistleblowers “cannot and does not shield them from their wrongful conduct in making unauthorized public disclosures that are not permitted by the whistleblower process.”
“This suit against the IRS is just another frivolous smear by Biden family attorneys trying to turn people’s attention away from Hunter Biden’s own legal problems and intimidate any current and future whistleblower,” Shapley’s attorneys said in a statement. “Neither IRS SSA Gary Shapley nor his attorneys have ever released any confidential taxpayer information except through whistleblower disclosures authorized by statute. Once Congress released that testimony, like every American citizen, he has a right to discuss that public information.”
The investigation into Hunter’s tax charges, as well as a firearms charge, were initially carried out by U.S. Attorney David Weiss. Hunter initially agreed to a plea deal in which he would plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, but the plea agreement collapsed in court at the last minute due to additional scrutiny and concerns expressed by the judge. Weiss has since been appointed as a Special Counsel to continue overseeing the investigation, and Hunter was indicted last week on three felony charges related to the firearms offense.