Biden’s lawsuit calls out IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler
By Anders Hagstrom
Hunter Biden’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against the IRS on Monday, alleging that agents have “targeted and sought to embarrass” the president’s son.
Biden’s Monday morning filing cites two major examples in IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, two whistleblowers who claimed the IRS mishandled aspects of its investigation into Biden.
Biden’s lawsuit seeks for the court to declare that the IRS “willfully, knowingly, and/or by gross negligence, unlawfully disclosed Mr. Biden’s confidential tax information.”
In addition, Biden is demanding $1,000 in damages for “each and every unauthorized disclosure of his tax returns,” including disclosures that happened after the fact. Fox News Digital reached out to the IRS for comment on the lawsuit, but they did not immediately respond.
“Biden is the son of the President of the United States. 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,” the lawsuit said. “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.”
“Yet,” the complaint says, “the IRS and its agents have conducted themselves under a presumption that the rights that apply to every other American citizen do not apply to Mr. Biden.”
The lawsuit goes on to allege that IRS agents Shapley and Ziegler “targeted and sought to embarrass” Biden through statements to the media. The suit clarifies that the pair of agents are only the “most recent” example of the alleged activity.
Shapley and Zielger testified before the House Oversight Committee earlier this year, saying they faced various limitations when tasked with investigating the president’s son.
Biden’s lawsuit argues the pair’s status as whistleblowers “cannot and does not shield them from their wrongful conduct in making unauthorized public disclosures that are not permitted by the whistleblower process.”
Shapley’s legal team responded to Biden’s lawsuit in a statement Monday morning, dismissing the move as a stalling tactic.
“This suit against the IRS is just another frivolous smear by Biden family attorneys trying to turn people’s attention away from Hunter Biden’s own legal problems and intimidate any current and future whistleblower,” Shapley’s attorneys wrote. “The federal judge in Delaware who oversaw the aborted plea deal shot down similar claims against the whistleblowers after they exposed the secret backroom deal between Hunter Biden and the Department of Justice. Neither IRS SSA Gary Shapley nor his attorneys have ever released any confidential taxpayer information except through whistleblower disclosures authorized by statute. Once Congress released that testimony, like every American citizen, he has a right to discuss that public information.”