Hunter Biden Sues IRS, Alleges Breach of Tax Information Privacy

Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the IRS, claiming his privacy was breached in disclosing tax information. He seeks compensation and data security measures.
Hunter Biden Sues IRS, Alleges Breach of Tax Information Privacy
Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Wilmington, Del., on July 26, 2023. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
President Joe Biden’s son has filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the IRS, claiming that 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 on Sept. 18 filed a 27-page lawsuit that focuses on Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, the two IRS agents who claim that they were impeded in their investigation of the president’s son by Justice Department officials.

Mr. Biden’s 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,” Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Mr. Biden, wrote.

“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,” Mr. Lowell wrote.

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.) had made the announcement that an official impeachment inquiry into President Biden would begin and would focus on the president’s connections to the financial activities of his family, namely Hunter Biden.

The three-count indictment filed on Sept. 14 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—the first for checking a box falsely stating that he wasn’t addicted to drugs and the second for giving the form 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 wouldn’t 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. However, the agreement 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,” Mr. Biden’s lawyers said.

The IRS responded to The Epoch Times in an emailed statement, stating that the “IRS does not comment on pending litigation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
Savannah Pointer is a politics reporter for The Epoch Times. She can be reached at [email protected]
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