Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, is suing the Internal Revenue Service after he says they unlawfully disclosed his confidential tax return information.
“This lawsuit is not about the legitimacy of the IRS investigation of Mr. Biden over the past five years or any decision to penalize Mr. Biden for any failure to comply with his obligations under the tax laws,” the suit, filed by Abbe Lowell, Biden’s attorney, stated.
“Rather, the lawsuit is about the decision by IRS employees, their representatives, and others to disregard their obligations and repeatedly and intentionally publicly disclose and disseminate Mr. Biden’s protected tax return information outside the exceptions for making disclosures in the law.”
This comes after Biden was indicted on three felony gun charges last week, while GOP House lawmakers pursue an impeachment inquiry against his father.
Did IRS whistleblowers reveal confidential details?
The lawsuit, uploaded by The Wall Street Journal, said IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who gave closed-door testimonies in front of House committees over the summer, cannot be protected by their “whistleblower” status when making public, unauthorized disclosures.
“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,” it added.
Hunter Biden’s attorney alleged that the IRS agents not only confirmed details about an ongoing IRS investigation into Biden, but also “provided detailed allegations regarding the specific tax years under investigation, the amounts of deductions, the nature of those deductions, and allegations of liability regarding specific tax years and the amount,” which they could have only known by reviewing the physical tax returns.
They also made public appearances and issued statements. All this, the suit argued, is a violation of the IRS code, which the federal agency is responsible for enforcing.
In the latest suit, Biden is seeking $1,000 for each unauthorized disclosure, as well as punitive damages.
Shapley, in his July testimony, alleged that “the Justice Department provided preferential treatment, slow-walked the investigation, (and) did nothing to avoid obvious conflicts” when investigating Biden.
Ziegler, who said he worked alongside Shapley, alleged that the IRS retaliated against him, threatening him with criminal conduct in response to an internal email regarding the investigation.
Special counsel David Weiss to indict Hunter Biden over tax charges
Hunter Biden had previously agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to allegedly fraudulent tax filings — he allegedly underpaid his federal taxes by over $100,000 in both 2017 and 2018 — and was set to receive a deferment on a felony firearms charge, as the Deseret News previously reported.
But the plea deal collapsed in August, around the same time when the Justice Department appointed attorney David Weiss as special counsel over the investigation.
Last week, Weiss brought forward an indictment against Biden over three firearm-related felony charges that together carry a maximum prison time of 25 years.
Weiss is expected to file another indictment, possibly in California, related to the tax charges
Lowell wrote a letter, uploaded by Insider, to Rep. Jason T. Smith, R-Mo., the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, on Monday, arguing the whistleblower testimonies, as well as Smith’s statements, created a narrative that Biden intentionally and willfully evaded paying taxes.
The attorney singled out the tax return from the year 2018, which does not include the $900,000 that Biden paid the IRS later on.
Lowell said that since then Biden had “overstated certain items” of his taxable income.
“Mr. Biden will take all necessary steps to secure the refund of any and all overpayments of tax,” the attorney added.
https://www.deseret.com/2023/9/18/23879285/hunter-biden-sues-irs-whistleblowers Hunter Biden sues IRS, says he is due a refund for tax paid for 2018