Attorneys representing Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service Monday alleging that the agency, ostensibly overseen by his father, has paradoxically “targeted and sought to embarrass” him.
With the majority of the Biden government’s efforts seemingly laser-focused on the aggressive investigation and prosecution of former President Donald Trump and his supporters, the claim was recognized by many for its novelty, if not its absurdity.
According to Fox News, the filing Monday cites the examples of IRS Agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler testifying as whistleblowers before Congressional committees that the IRS mishandled its investigation of Biden.
In the lawsuit, Biden’s legal team claims that the IRS, “willfully, knowingly, and/or by gross negligence, unlawfully disclosed Mr. Biden’s confidential tax information.”
As conservative podcaster Benny Johnson assessed, “Hunter Biden is now trying to sue the IRS because Whistleblowers exposed the mishandling and cover up of the investigation into him..”
Hunter Biden is now trying to sue the IRS because Whistleblowers exposed the mishandling and cover up of the investigation into him..
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 18, 2023
Hunter’s lawsuit demands $1,000 in damages for “each and every unauthorized disclosure of his tax returns,” which, in his view, includes disclosures that occurred after the initial release.
“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 said. “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.”
“Yet,” the complaint claims, “the IRS and its agents have conducted themselves under a presumption that the rights that apply to every other American citizen do not apply to Mr. Biden.”
The suit goes on to directly characterize the whistleblower testimony of Shapley and Ziegler with allegations they “targeted and sought to embarrass” Biden in statements to the press regarding their testimony, adding that the two are only the “most recent” example. The lawsuit then nonsensically argues that the agents’ status as whistleblowers “cannot and does not shield them from their wrongful conduct in making unauthorized public disclosures that are not permitted by the whistleblower process.”
The legal team representing Agent Shapley responded in a statement to Fox Monday morning, describing the lawsuit as a legal stalling move.
“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 responded.
“The federal judge in Delaware who oversaw the aborted plea deal shot down similar claims against the whistleblowers after they exposed the secret backroom deal between Hunter Biden and the Department of Justice. 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.”
Statement on Hunter Biden lawsuit from Gary Shapley legal team: “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 whistleblowers.… pic.twitter.com/PUif2Dw1uR
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) September 18, 2023
According to CBS News’ Catherine Herridge the Shapely legal team shared via X, formerly Twitter, “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 whistleblowers. “