Whistleblowers file a motion to intervene in Hunter Biden's suit against the IRS

The IRS Whistleblowers intervene in the first son's lawsuit to ensure their interests are represented, according to Empower Oversight.

Published: May 17, 2024 5:42pm

IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have filed a motion to intervene in Hunter Biden's lawsuit against their agency in which he alleged the whistleblowers unlawfully disclosed his personal tax information. 

"They filed [the motion] so they can do what the IRS has failed to: make clear that their protected disclosures were legal, pursuant to whistleblower protection laws, and critical to safeguarding the principle of equal treatment under the law regardless of party or familial relationship," Tristan Leavitt of Empower Oversight, who represents Shapley, posted to X

According to Empower Oversight, Hunter Biden's suit wrongfully alleges that the whistleblowers "violated tax secrecy and federal privacy statutes."

Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler originally brought concerns to the House Ways and Means Committee that the Justice Department had provided preferential treatment to Biden during the probe into his alleged tax violations, including by blocking search warrants and limiting the investigators’ pursuit of information related to then-candidate Joe Biden, Hunter Biden's father. 

Because the whistleblowers' disclosures to the House committee are protected by law, specifically under section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, Shapley and Ziegler's legal teams believe the IRS failure to call for the dismissal of the lawsuit could indicate the agency is participating in an effort to retaliate against them.

"The IRS has already retaliated by improperly removing Shapley and Ziegler from the Hunter Biden investigation and has improperly—and inaccurately—implied to the public that they are subjects of 'potential ongoing investigation(s)' that “may involve allegations of wrongdoing” in the case," Empower Oversight said in a statement posted to its website. 

Previously, Special Counsel David Weiss–who has led the prosecution of Hunter Biden for the alleged tax crimes uncovered by Shapley and Ziegler–had implied in a court filing the whistleblowers were under investigation for their disclosures. This implication has since been clarified by the IRS, which vindicated the whistleblowers in a separate legal filing. 

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