Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the IRS on Monday in Washington, D.C., alleging that the agency illegally released his tax information and failed to protect his privacy.
He is seeking through the suit $1,000 per unauthorized disclosure plus attorneys' fees and copies of the documents that were illegally released.
The suit did not name the two IRS whistleblowers responsible for the alleged disclosures, Gary Shapely and Joseph Ziegler, as defendants in the suit even though it was public statements, congressional testimony and interviews by them and their lawyers that caused the disclosures.
Donald Trump appointed Judge Timothy Kelly has been assigned to the case.
Biden has more than enough legal trouble to keep him busy after David Weiss indicted him last week on three gun felonies. Tax charges could also be pending in D.C. or California after a plea deal fell apart in July that would have shielded him from the gun charges, from all jail time, and possibly from any other criminal charges going forward due to an unusual immunity clause that the judge in the case discovered.
“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,” the lawsuit states. “And finally, since 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.”
The case specifically points to a CBS interview in which Shapley allegedly shared that Biden claimed “prostitutes, sex club memberships, hotel rooms for purported drug dealers” as business expenses and that he owed $2.2 million in unpaid taxes.
Shapley's attorneys insisted that he only shared details allowed by law, called the lawsuit a "frivolous smear," and said that the suit was an attempt to “distract from the ever-growing evidence that supports the testimony of the two IRS whistleblowers.”
“These agents’ putative ‘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," the suit read. "In fact, a ‘whistleblower’ is supposed to uncover government misconduct, not the details of that employee’s opinion about the alleged wrongdoing of a private person.”
On Friday before the suit was filed, Shapley's lawyers claimed that Hunter Biden tried to get the DOJ to retaliate against him and Ziegler for making protected disclosures under whistleblower rules.
“Taxpayer privacy laws are written by Congress, and it gave itself authority in those laws to hear disclosures about taxpayer information,” Shapley’s attorney said in a statement.
Weiss was named special counsel in the case after the plea deal fell apart and Weiss suggested that more charges could be brought against Biden.
The immunity clause that was contained within the plea deal could have prevented Weiss and the DOJ from looking into Biden's foreign business dealings and whether President Joe Biden was involved in any of them, and immunized Hunter Biden from any charges resulting from them.
An impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden that was launched by the House this week seeks those answers and more. FOX News contributor Jonathan Turley said Monday that the lawsuit by Biden would not get in the way of the impeachment inquiry.
Hunter Biden is screaming at an approaching storm. It's not going to change its course. The fact is that the House has an obligation to see where this evidence goes.