IRS whistleblowers ask judge to dismiss Hunter Biden's lawsuit against the tax authorities

Two IRS employees who were granted whistleblower protection to raise concerns about the government's alleged mishandling of the Hunter Biden investigation are asking a federal judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought by the president's son against the federal tax agency filed, to be rejected.

Those whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, have also asked to intervene in the case, arguing that the IRS has a conflict of interest in trying to defend their decision to speak out publicly and to Congress about their experiences with investigating the president's son.

“The Whistleblower Protection Act gave them the right to discuss with the media information that they believed amounted to gross mismanagement and abuse of authority, such as the mishandling of the Hunter Biden case,” the attorneys for the two officers allege in arguments filed with a federal judge. Friday.

The civil case in question was filed by Hunter Biden against the IRS in September, alleging that Shapley and Ziegler were part of a “campaign to publicly smear the president's son” by disclosing confidential taxpayer information about him . The lawsuit does not name Shapley and Ziegler as defendants.

“IRS agents embarrassed Mr. Biden through public statements to the media in which they and their representatives disclosed confidential information about a private citizen's tax affairs,” the lawsuit alleges.

The case, still in its early stages, does not give Shapley and Ziegler an explicit role in defending their decision to speak publicly, including on CBS News, about their observations during a long-running criminal tax investigation into Hunter Biden. That criminal case is expected to go to trial in June. Instead, it is up to the IRS to defend the two whistleblowers' decision to speak out publicly.

In two separate motions filed Friday, the veteran IRS agents argue that they should be allowed to join the case to defend their actions and that the case should be dismissed.

“Shapley and Ziegler have a significant concrete interest in the outcome of this action: their careers, their reputations and the prevention of negative collateral consequences,” a motion said.

The two are calling for dismissal because they say they ensured no confidential taxpayer information was identified, and that when they did disclose information about Hunter Biden, it did so in a manner protected by Congress and whistleblower statutes .

The Justice Department declined to comment Friday when asked about the charges. Neither the IRS nor Hunter Biden's lawyers have yet filed a formal response to the two agents' requests. It will be up to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras to determine whether they can intervene after Biden and the IRS respond to the requests.

A year ago, Shapley came forward in an interview with CBS News to raise questions about what he said was special treatment in the investigation into the president's son. He told CBS News that since the Trump administration, he has been repeatedly blocked from taking steps in the IRS investigation that he would have considered routine in other cases.

“We have to make sure that as special agents for IRS Criminal Investigation, we treat everyone exactly the same,” Shapley, a 14-year veteran of the agency, told CBS News at the time. “And that just didn't happen here.”

The Justice Department has denied that Hunter Biden received favorable treatment.

Hunter Biden's legal team did not respond to a request for comment.

There are strict laws governing the need for confidentiality in how IRS employees handle taxpayer information. At the time of his first CBS News interview in May, both Shapley and his lawyers told CBS News that they took great care in how they handled the decision to speak publicly.

The Biden lawsuit against the IRS cites specific statements Shapley and an attorney made at the time. It alleges that Shapley and attorney Mark Lytle — who is not named in the lawsuit — publicly disclosed the existence of the investigation without Hunter Biden's consent during interviews on April 19 and May 24. And the lawsuit alleges that during a CBS News interview on June 28, Shapley made comments that revealed confidential information about Hunter Biden's taxes and finances. The whistleblowers dispute both claims.

IRS attorneys argued in their filings last week that part of the case should be dismissed because private citizens working on behalf of IRS agents are not covered by tax privacy provisions. The government also argued that disclosures are permitted if an IRS agent believes that “such return or return information may relate to possible misconduct, mismanagement, or abuse by the taxpayer.”

In the motions filed Friday, the two agents take issue with the IRS's failure to fully dismiss the lawsuit. Instead, they choose to dismiss the claims based on alleged disclosures made by non-IRS employees, such as Shapley's attorney. They argue that the IRS – as the target of the whistleblower complaints – is in no position to defend the agents' actions.

“The conflicts of interest could not be clearer,” they write.

Hunter Biden's lawsuit seeks $1,000 for “each act of unauthorized disclosure,” as well as an unspecified amount of damages.

Related Posts

  • Politics
  • June 15, 2024
  • 4 views
  • 4 minutes Read
DOJ Destroys GOP Conspiracy That Controlled New York Trial

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice building on March 21, 2024 in Washington, DC. Anna Geldmaker | Getty Images The Justice…

  • Politics
  • June 15, 2024
  • 4 views
  • 4 minutes Read
Trump celebrates his 78th birthday in West Palm Beach as Rubio makes a surprise appearance

West Palm Beach, Florida — Former President Donald Trump celebrated his 78th birthday Friday evening at a packed Palm Beach Convention Center packed with supporters — including Republican Sen. Marco…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

Salesforce (CRM) Q1 2025 Earnings Report

  • June 15, 2024
Salesforce (CRM) Q1 2025 Earnings Report

Quantum entanglement measures the rotation of the Earth

  • June 15, 2024
Quantum entanglement measures the rotation of the Earth

DOJ Destroys GOP Conspiracy That Controlled New York Trial

  • June 15, 2024
DOJ Destroys GOP Conspiracy That Controlled New York Trial

Nvidia's 'Nemotron-4 340B' model redefines synthetic data generation and competes with GPT-4

  • June 15, 2024
Nvidia's 'Nemotron-4 340B' model redefines synthetic data generation and competes with GPT-4

China needs bond market reforms to rein in rising debt, S&P Global says

  • June 15, 2024
China needs bond market reforms to rein in rising debt, S&P Global says

The tasty flavors of chocolate can pose a risk in other desserts

  • June 15, 2024
The tasty flavors of chocolate can pose a risk in other desserts

Where to watch Italy vs. Watch Albania: Euro 2024 live stream online, prediction, odds, how to watch, TV channel

  • June 15, 2024
Where to watch Italy vs.  Watch Albania: Euro 2024 live stream online, prediction, odds, how to watch, TV channel

You may owe the IRS money on Monday; skipping payment could cost you hundreds of dollars

  • June 15, 2024
You may owe the IRS money on Monday;  skipping payment could cost you hundreds of dollars

Trump celebrates his 78th birthday in West Palm Beach as Rubio makes a surprise appearance

  • June 15, 2024
Trump celebrates his 78th birthday in West Palm Beach as Rubio makes a surprise appearance

The 2024 election cycle offers hope for a 134-year global gender gap

  • June 15, 2024
The 2024 election cycle offers hope for a 134-year global gender gap

Rapid urbanization in Africa is transforming local food systems and threatening biodiversity

  • June 15, 2024
Rapid urbanization in Africa is transforming local food systems and threatening biodiversity