Hunter Biden hit the IRS with a lawsuit on Monday, alleging that agents have “targeted and sought to embarrass” the president’s son. Filed Monday morning, the suit claims that IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, two whistleblowers who spoke up about the agency’s handling of Biden’s investigation, have unlawfully divulged confidential tax information.
The complaint accuses the IRS of “willfully, knowingly, and/or by gross negligence unlawfully disclosed Mr. Biden’s confidential tax information,” and seeks $1,000 in damages for each and every unauthorized disclosure.
“Biden is the son of the President of the United States,” the lawsuit argues. “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. 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.”
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. In response to Biden’s lawsuit, Shapley’s legal team issued a statement calling the move a “frivolous smear,” arguing that “once Congress released that testimony, like every American citizen, he has a right to discuss that public information.”
Commenting on the lawsuit, Fox News Digital reached out to the IRS, but they did not immediately respond.
Biden’s lawsuit only adds to the mounting pressure under which the president’s son finds himself. Last December, the Department of Justice and Biden entered into an agreement in which they agreed he would pay the government an undisclosed amount of money “ equivalent to the amount of tax benefit he received as a result of the items under audit.” In March, the two parties reportedly walked away from that agreement, with the DOJ citing unspecified concerns.
It’s unclear what Biden’s lawsuit may mean for this ongoing debate, or for the broader implications of the IRS’s possible mishandling of confidential information. For now, much awaits to be seen about how any potential resolution could be reached. Regardless of the outcome, Biden and the IRS do seem set on course for a legal showdown.