The president’s son said in his lawsuit that the whistleblower protections requested by the agents did not apply to the information about him they shared.
WASHINGTON — Hunter Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, claiming that two agents publicly accused of interfering in a tax investigation wrongly shared his personal information, an incident that comes amid struggles Political and legal politics are escalating as the 2024 election looms.
The lawsuit said the agents “targeted and sought to humiliate Mr. Biden” by sharing confidential tax information in press interviews and testimony before Congress. The confidential information disclosed was authorized by the whistleblower.
The lawsuit marks the latest legal objection from Biden a lengthy federal investigation into him took place in a fierce political context. That includes impeachment inquiry aimed at his father, the President Joe Bidensought to tie him into his son’s business dealings.
“Mr. 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 ensure that he complies with those responsibilities,” the petition said. “Similarly, Mr. Biden has no more or fewer rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or agency has the discretion to violate his rights simply because who he is.”
The lawsuit says the IRS hasn’t done enough to prevent the release of his personal information. It seeks to “enforce compliance with federal tax and privacy laws” and pay $1,000 in damages for “each and every unauthorized disclosure of his tax return information.”
IRS supervisory special agent Greg Shapley and a second special agent, Joe Ziegler, have stated that there is a pattern “Investigation steps are moving slowly” about Hunter Biden in testimony before Congress. They allege that the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, does not have discretion to bring charges in other jurisdictions. Weiss and the Justice Department have denied that.
Shapley’s attorney called the lawsuit a “frivolous libel” that sought to “intimidate any current and future accusers.” His attorney said he does not disclose confidential tax information except through legal whistleblower disclosures. “Once Congress releases that testimony, like every American citizen, he has the right to discuss that public information.”
The IRS declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Meanwhile, the White House says that Joe Biden has no involvement in his son’s business affairs and that months-long investigations have so far failed to find significant evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden , who spoke to his son regularly and as vice president stopped. with a business dinner with his son’s associates.
The investigation into Hunter Biden has been going on for years, and he was expected to reach a plea deal with prosecutors over the summer, including guilty pleas to the misdemeanor charge of failing to pay taxes on time. But that explosive deal during his trial in July, and he was was indicted a few days ago on federal firearms charges. He was accused of lying about his drug use to buy and briefly keep a gun in October 2018.
Republicans investigating nearly every aspect of his business dealings have criticized the plea deal that kept him out of prison as a “sweetheart deal.”
Biden’s defense attorneys have said they plan to fight the charges and that the case could be headed for a high-stakes trial.
The new civil lawsuit filed in Washington alleges improper disclosures including the specific tax years under investigation, deductions and allegations of liability.
Weiss finally sought and was granted special counsel status last month, giving him broad authority to investigate and report his findings. His prosecutors said they may file new tax charges in Washington or California.