IRS whistleblowers ask judge to dismiss Hunter Biden’s lawsuit against tax agency:

The IRS whistleblowers who alleged a Justice Department cover-up in the Hunter Biden investigation asked a judge Friday to dismiss a lawsuit against the tax agency filed by the first son or allow them to intervene in the case. 

Biden, 54, sued the IRS last September over the alleged improper leaks of his tax information. He charged that the whistleblowers — IRS supervisory special agent Gary Shapley and special agent Joseph Ziegler — violated his right to privacy and tried to “embarrass” him when they publicized his tax information.

However, Shapley and Ziegler are not named as defendants in the lawsuit, only the IRS, and they fear conflicts of interests between the parties involved may result in the IRS failing to defend their “protected disclosures as legally authorized.” 

IRS supervisory special agent Gary Shapley and special agent Joseph Ziegler argue that the DOJ Tax lawyers assigned to defend the IRS have a conflict of interests since they blew the whistle on the agency. AP

“Normally a lawsuit like this would be defended by DOJ’s Federal Programs Branch,” Empower Oversight president Tristan Leavitt, who represents Shapley, wrote on X

“But instead, DOJ assigned two attorneys from the Tax Division – one of the very offices Shapley and Ziegler blew the whistle on,” Leavitt explained. 

“DOJ’s client here is the IRS – the same agency that took the whistleblowers off the Hunter Biden case, imposed illegal gag orders on them, and tried to make it look in Hunter’s criminal prosecution like the whistleblowers are under investigation,” he added. 

The motion to intervene argued that the DOJ Tax Division’s failure to move to dismiss the lawsuit and defend the whistleblowers’ disclosures in previous filings  “exposes the clear conflict between the interests of the Plaintiff Hunter Biden, the whistleblowers, and the governmental entities on which they blew the whistle.” 

“The bottom line remains that Shapley and Ziegler did not violate the law in their disclosures and need the opportunity to intervene to defend their interests,” the filing states. 

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland sent last month, Leavitt expressed concern that the DOJ was “bizarrely ignoring the key statutory provision” that authorized Shapley’s and Ziegler’s disclosures. 

“Only then did DOJ finally drop a footnote in a filing last Friday that they don’t believe the IRS whistleblowers broke the law,” Leavitt said Friday night. “Yet DOJ is still not moving to dismiss Hunter Biden’s case in its entirety, despite several good-faith bases for doing so.”

Biden’s lawsuit claims that his tax information was improperly leaked. AP

Shapley and Ziegler made the protected disclosures to the House Ways and Means Committee last year before the implosion of Biden’s probation-only plea deal on tax and gun charges in Delaware.

The committee voted to release those interviews and the two later publicly testified that the DOJ blocked them from taking certain investigative steps, including interviewing witnesses and accessing evidence from the first son’s abandoned laptop, during their five-year tax probe of the president’s son.

Biden’s lawsuit against the IRS seeks a $1,000 award for each “unauthorized” tax disclosure and attorney fees, as well as an unspecified amount of punitive damages.

The first son is slated to stand trial next month in California, for alleged tax crimes, and in Delaware, over his purchase of a firearm while addicted to crack cocaine.

He has pleaded not guilty on all charges in both cases.

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