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September 19, 2023

Hunter Biden sues IRS over alleged unlawful disclosures by whistleblowers

Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, said on Monday he is suing the Internal Revenue Service, accusing alleged whistleblowers with the IRS of illegally releasing his confidential records.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is focused around disclosures made by IRS agents Gary Sharpley and Joseph Ziegler, who it alleges shared his private tax information with the media and failed to implement roadblocks to ensure his confidentiality, but does not list the two whistleblowers as defendants.

"Despite clear warnings from Congress that they were prohibited from disclosing the contents of their testimony to the public in another forum, Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler's testimony only emboldened their media campaign against Mr. Biden," the lawsuit said.

"And finally, since their public testimony before the House of Representatives on July 19, 2023, the agents have become regular guests on national media outlets and have made new allegations and public statements regarding Mr. Biden's confidential tax return information that was not previously included in their transcripts before the Committee on Ways and Means."

The suit states the two agents provided specific details to media including amounts of deductions Bien took and liabilities he owed for tax years, rather than simply confirming the investigation.

These disclosures amounted to a "campaign to publicly smear" Biden during which the agents "targeted and sought to embarrass him," the suit states.

The lawsuit requests that the court declare the IRS disclosures unlawful and seeks $1,000 in damages for each disclosure.

"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," it states.

The Justice Department had announced a deal with Hunter Biden where he would plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors for failing to pay his taxes on time in 2017 and 2018, however, the deal fell apart in July and Biden ultimately pleaded not guilty to the tax charges.

Last week, a special counsel indicted Biden on the federal gun charges.

Republicans have used the testimony to attack both the president and his son in an ongoing investigation into the Biden family. Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced that the House opened an impeachment inquiry against the president.

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