President Joe Biden’s son has filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming the agency breached his right to privacy by airing concerns to Congress and the public about the agency’s inquiry into his taxes and business transactions.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys filed a 27-page lawsuit on Sept. 18, focusing on Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, the two IRS agents who claim they were impeded in their investigation of the president’s son by Justice Department officials.
The Biden legal team said the two agents broke federal law in discussing confidential matters by articulating their concerns about the investigation’s management.
“This lawsuit is not about the proper workings of the whistleblower statute and process, nor an official using those procedures properly to make disclosures to authorized government officials,” wrote Mr. Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.
“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.”
The lawsuit was submitted just days after Mr. Biden, 53, was indicted on gun charges connected to his purchase of a pistol in 2018 and brought before a federal court in Delaware.
A few days before that indictment, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made the announcement that an official impeachment inquiry into President Biden would begin, and it would focus on the president’s connections to the financial activities of his family, namely Hunter Biden.
The three-count indictment filed on Thursday alleges that Mr. Biden lied on a form required for all gun purchases when he procured a .38-caliber Colt Cobra Special from a gun shop in Wilmington, Delaware.
He’s charged with two counts of making false statements—first for checking a box falsely saying he was not addicted to drugs, and second for giving it to the business for their federally required records. A third count alleges that he possessed the firearm for approximately 11 days while being aware that he was a narcotic user.
The charges are punishable by up to 25 years in prison, although sentences for federal crimes are historically less than the maximum sentence.
Previously, a felony gun charge against Mr. Biden was part of a plea agreement that also included guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges of neglecting to pay taxes on approximately $4 million in income in 2017 and 2018.
Under the terms of that now-deteriorated deal, he would not have pleaded guilty to the gun charge, and prosecutors would have consented to dismiss it if he kept out of legal trouble for two years. The agreement, however, collapsed in July during a court hearing when a judge raised concerns about the deal.
Despite concerns about the first son’s business, Mr. Lowell asserted in the Sept. 18 suit that his client “has no fewer or lesser rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or government agent has free reign to violate his rights simply because of who he is.”
Mr. Biden’s suit asks a federal judge to rule that the data disclosed was confidential tax information and award the plaintiff $1,000 for “each and every unauthorized disclosure of his tax return information,” in addition to other monetary relief and an order requiring the IRS “to formulate, adopt, and implement a data security plan that satisfies the requirements of the Privacy Act.”
“This assault on Mr. Biden’s rights involved the public disclosure of his confidential tax information during more than 20 nationally televised and non-congressionally sanctioned interviews and numerous public statements by Mr. Shapley, Mr. Ziegler, and their counsel in these public appearances,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers added.
The IRS did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’s request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times