President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, alleging unlawful disclosure of his taxes by whistleblowers working for the Internal Revenue Service.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, focused on statements made by IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler in media interviews amid a long-running investigation by House Republicans into tax and business transactions of the younger Biden.
Hunter Biden, 53, finds himself at the center of a political maelstrom as Republicans in the House of Representatives launch an impeachment inquiry against his father, focusing on alleged ties between his business practices and his father’s policies during his father’s tenure as vice president. president from 2009 to 2017.
They have so far provided no evidence showing that the elder Biden profited from his son’s businesses. The White House has denied all allegations.
Hunter Biden is the first child of a sitting US president to be criminally charged. Prosecutors last week charged him with three charges related to his lying about using illegal drugs when he bought a firearm. Hunter Biden and prosecutors had previously reached a plea deal on tax and gun charges, but it fell through.
Monday’s lawsuit cites “more than two dozen nationally televised and non-Congressionally authorized interviews and numerous public statements” by Shapley, Ziegler and their attorneys about Hunter Biden. Shapley and Ziegler have testified as whistleblowers in Congress about alleged political interference in an IRS investigation into Biden’s taxes. The Justice Department has denied such interference.
“The lawsuit alleges the decision by IRS employees, their representatives and others to ignore their obligations and repeatedly and intentionally disclose and disseminate Mr. Biden’s protected tax return information, beyond the exceptions to making disclosures in the law,” the lawsuit states.
Hunter Biden is seeking $1,000 for each unauthorized disclosure of his tax return information, a declaration from the IRS, an agency data security plan, production of documents related to Biden’s taxes and other relief.
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee called the lawsuit “harassment” in a social media post. The tax authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hunter Biden also filed a lawsuit last week against a former White House aide during Donald Trump’s presidency over the aide’s alleged role in the publication of embarrassing images and emails.
Trump, who has welcomed the impeachment inquiry, was the first US president to be impeached twice. The Senate acquitted him both times. Donald Trump has also been charged in four criminal cases this year.
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