Last week, attorneys for Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the IRS alleging that the IRS whistleblowers violated his privacy rights as a taxpayer when they told Congress and news outlets of their concerns with the investigation into Hunter’s taxes, the Washington Post reported.
The lawsuit argues that when IRS criminal investigators Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler spoke to Congress and reporters about the Justice Department’s mishandling of the yearslong investigation into Hunter’s taxes, they disclosed tax information that is protected by law.
Calling it an “assault” on Hunter’s rights, the lawsuit notes that the First Son’s tax information was publicly disclosed in over 20 televised interviews and “numerous public statements.”
The disclosures included details on the deduction amounts, the nature of the deductions, and liability. The lawsuit argues that the whistleblowers could only know this information by reviewing Hunter’s tax returns.
Attorneys for Gary Shapley called the lawsuit a “frivolous smear” and said their client followed the rules on making protected disclosures.
In a statement, Shapley’s lawyers assert that neither Shapley nor his legal team released Hunter’s confidential tax information except through disclosures authorized by the whistleblower statute. After Congress publicly released Shapley’s testimony, he had “a right to discuss that public information,” the statement said.
According to the Washington Post, special counsel David Weiss, who two weeks ago indicted Hunter on federal gun charges, could be filing additional federal charges, this time in California, related to the tax crimes the whistleblowers said they found while investigating Hunter’s 2014 to 2019 finances.
In a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) last week, Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell argued that one of the improper disclosures made by the whistleblowers about Hunter’s 2018 taxes did not account for the $900,000 he paid to the IRS to resolve the investigation.
Hunter and his attorneys believe that he overstated his taxable income for 2018 and should receive a refund.