President Joe Biden’s son Hunter filed a federal lawsuit Monday in a Washington, D.C., court against the Internal Revenue Service.
Hunter Biden’s legal team claim IRS agents have made attempts to “target and embarrass” him, according to a Fox News report.
The lawsuit names IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler although they are not defendants in the case, according to the report.
Shapley and Ziegler have asserted that the IRS did not handle certain aspects of its investigation into Biden appropriately.
The legal action taken by Biden seeks a court declaration that the IRS “willfully, knowingly, and/or by gross negligence, unlawfully disclosed Mr. Biden’s confidential tax information.”
“Despite clear warnings from Congress that they were prohibited from disclosing the contents of their testimony to the public in another forum, Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler’s testimony only emboldened their media campaign against Mr. Biden,” Biden’s attorneys claim in the lawsuit against the IRS.
“[S]ince their public testimony before the House of Representatives on July 19, 2023, the agents have become regular guests on national media outlets and have made new allegations and public statements regarding Mr. Biden’s confidential tax return information that were not previously included in their transcripts before the Committee on Ways and Means.”
Biden is requesting $1,000 in damages for “each and every unauthorized disclosure of his tax returns,” which includes any disclosures made subsequently.
“Biden is the son of the President of the United States,” his lawyers explain in court documents. “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 has free rein to violate his rights simply because of who he is.”
The document further claims the IRS and its agents have operated under the assumption that the rights granted to every other American citizen do not apply to Biden.
The lawsuit alleges that agents Shapley and Ziegler “targeted and sought to embarrass” Biden by making statements to the media. Biden lawyers claim the agents’ actions are merely the “most recent” instances of such behavior.
Both Shapley and Ziegler provided testimony before the House Oversight Committee earlier in the year. They claimed to have faced various challenges when assigned to investigate the president’s son.
The lawsuit claims their whistleblower status “cannot and does not shield them from their wrongful conduct in making unauthorized public disclosures that are not permitted by the whistleblower process.”