Hunter Biden sued the IRS on Monday over alleged violations of his privacy when agents went to Congress with details of the agency’s investigation into Biden’s taxes.
Biden is under pressure from federal investigators and prosecutors and has adopted an adversarial stance since a plea deal fell apart in July.
The first son’s approach to federal officials mirrors his stance toward Republicans accusing him of engaging in corrupt overseas business dealings.
Biden’s lawsuit targets the IRS, alleging that two whistleblowers who made claims of misconduct leaked sensitive information about his taxes to Congress. The lawsuit claims the leaks violated federal tax laws and Biden’s right to privacy, according to The Washington Post.
Biden “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,” the lawsuit says.
IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler went to Congress to expose what they said was a double standard in the way the IRS and Department of Justice had handled the investigation into Biden’s tax affairs and purchase of a firearm.
The whistleblowers said they were blocked from pursuing lines of questioning that had the potential of implicating Biden’s father, President Joe Biden. They also said Hunter was given favorable treatment, such as unnecessary warnings ahead of certain investigative actions.
The lawsuit claims that the whistleblowers revealed certain information to Congress that could only be gained from viewing Hunter’s personal tax information.
“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,” the lawsuit says, according to the Post.
The whistleblower made “detailed allegations regarding the specific tax years under investigation, the amounts of deductions, the nature of those deductions, and allegations of liability regarding specific tax years and the amount thereof, that could only be known to them based on a review of the physical tax returns themselves,” the lawsuit says.
A plea agreement Hunter’s legal team negotiated with Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, before Weiss was named special counsel, fell apart after the judge in the case began asking about the limits on immunity granted by a diversion agreement on a gun charge. The failed deal would have included Hunter pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges.