Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the IRS, saying they violated his privacy while investigating his tax affairs. Here’s the whole story.
Illegally Reveal Information
According to Hunter Biden, two longtime IRS criminal investigative agents, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, illegally revealed his personal tax information through multiple media statements and interviews.
While the lawsuit didn’t specifically name Shapley and Ziegler, it referred to statements they made publicly, including details Shapley shared in an interview with CBS News.
The lawsuit states that Shapley and Ziegler made “more than 20 nationally televised and non-congressionally sanctioned interviews and numerous public statements” regarding Hunter Biden’s personal tax information.
Claims Hunter’s Rights Were “Assaulted”
During the interview with CBS, Shapley said that Hunter Biden had claimed personal expenses as business expenses, including “prostitutes, sex club memberships, and hotel rooms for purported drug dealers.” Shapley also said Biden owed “$2.2 million in unpaid taxes.”
The lawsuit claimed the IRS had “assaulted” Hunter Biden’s rights, and he is seeking $1000 in damages for “every unauthorized disclosure” of his tax return information.
Hunter Biden said the agents “targeted and sought to embarrass” him. His lawyers argue that “whistleblower protections” don’t apply, but Shapley’s lawyer called the lawsuit a “frivolous smear” and said any confidential information released came under whistleblower authorization.
One person on the social media platform X said, “No one has the power to embarrass you unless you feel guilty…do you feel guilty, Hunter?”
“No Fewer or Lesser Rights”
As the son of the President of the United States, Hunter Biden agrees he has the same responsibilities as any other American citizen, and the IRS “can and should make certain that he abides by those responsibilities.”
However, Hunter Biden also said he 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 lawsuit stated that the two agents’ 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.”
In a post on the social media platform X, the House Oversight Committee called Shapley and Ziegler “good people who did everything right to obtain whistleblower protection with the best interest of our country in mind.”
Shapley’s lawyer said that neither Shapley nor his attorneys had “released any confidential taxpayer information except through whistleblower disclosures authorized by statute.”
One person on the social media platform X wanted to know, “Who’s paying the legal fees for Hunter’s lawsuit against the IRS?” Another person also wondered, “Where is Hunter getting all this money to file lawsuits?”
“We Won’t Be Muzzled”
Joseph Ziegler, the second IRS agent, said, “We won’t be muzzled, and we’re not going to distract from the mounds of evidence that are coming forward.”
Critics say the IRS lawsuit distracts from the other legal trouble Hunter Biden is in. Shortly before suing the IRS, Hunter Biden was indicted on three charges related to his illegal firearm possession.
People on social media brought up the release of former President Donald Trump’s taxes, saying, “There is no place that says you have to show your taxes when running for president,” but Democrats “got ahold of” Trump’s taxes and released them.
Another commenter on X called Hunter Biden a “perpetual victim” and said, “If there’s a way to make a buck without working, [Hunter] is all over it.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Domenico Fornas