In an ironic twist, Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Internal Revenue Service – the federal agency that is investigating him for tax fraud and has already levied criminal charges against him.
His suit claims that two IRS agents who have alleged that there was political interference into the investigation revolving around the president’s son illegally shared his personal sensitive information.
According to the suit, the two agents in question “targeted and sought to embarrass Mr. Biden” by sharing his tax information, which should have been confidential, in both testimony given to Congress and in subsequent interviews with the media.
Hunter Biden’s legal team has said that federal protections for whistleblowers don’t apply in this case.
In response to that claim, an attorney representing one of the agents said Biden’s suit was just a “frivolous smear,” and that confidential information that was released by his client falls under authorizations that whistleblowers have.
Still, the suit pushes ahead, stating:
“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 make certain that he abides by those responsibilities.
“Similarly, Mr. Biden has no fewer or lesser rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or government agent” can violate the rights that he has just because of who he is.
Hunter Biden’s lawsuit further claims that the tax agency itself hasn’t gone far enough to prevent his information from being shared. In addition to “force compliance with federal tax and privacy laws,” he’s also seeking to be awarded damages totaling $1,000 for each disclosure that was unauthorized.
The IRS agents in question are Joe Ziegler and Greg Shapley, the latter of which served as a supervisory special agent for the IRS. Both gave testimony before congressional committees claiming that the IRS employed a pattern of “slow-walking investigative steps” during the investigation into the president’s son.
The agents also have alleged that David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney from Delaware who oversaw the investigation, didn’t have the proper authority that he needed to charge Hunter Biden in jurisdictions outside of his own.
The Department of Justice and Weiss have both denied those claims.
In early August, after a “sweetheart” plea agreement between the DOJ and Hunter Biden’s legal team fell apart in court, Attorney General Merrick Garland actually appointed Weiss to serve as a special counsel to oversee the case.
The attorney representing Shapley said the lawsuit was “frivolous” and was seeking to “intimidate any current and future whistleblowers.” He added that his client didn’t release any tax information that was confidential, except through official whistleblower disclosures.
The lawyer added:
“Once Congress released that testimony, like every American citizen, he has a right to discuss that public information.”
The lawyer representing Ziegler said that his client plans to “continue to speak out” about the “special treatment” that Hunter Biden is getting in his case.