May 18, 2024

IRS Whistleblowers Seek to Intervene in Hunter Biden Lawsuit

IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have stepped into a legal battle involving Hunter Biden, asserting that their disclosure of personal tax information was lawful.

In a notable turn of events, Shapley and Ziegler have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit launched by Hunter Biden against the IRS in which the first son claims that the pair unlawfully shared his personal tax details, as Just the News reports.

Represented by the watchdog group Empower Oversight, Shapley and Ziegler argue that their actions were in line with whistleblower protection laws. The disclosures they made were aimed at highlighting perceived preferential treatment within the Justice Department regarding a tax violation investigation involving Biden.

Whistleblowers Highlight Alleged Justice Department Bias

The whistleblowers initially voiced their concerns to the House Ways and Means Committee. They alleged that the Justice Department obstructed the use of search warrants and limited investigations related to then-candidate Joe Biden, who is Hunter Biden’s father.

These actions, according to Empower Oversight, were necessary to ensure that justice is administered equally, irrespective of an individual's political ties or family relationships. This stance is reflected in the whistleblowers' legal motion to assert their rights under existing whistleblower laws.

Tristan Leavitt of Empower Oversight emphasized the necessity of their intervention, stating, "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."

Legal Retaliation Against Whistleblowers Alleged

The involvement of Shapley and Ziegler in the Hunter Biden case was abruptly ended by the IRS, which also hinted at an ongoing investigation into the whistleblowers themselves. This move, argued by Empower Oversight, suggests retaliation and was described as both improper and misleading.

"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," stated Empower Oversight.

The assertion of retaliation adds another layer of complexity to the case, potentially affecting the credibility and professional lives of the whistleblowers involved.

IRS Vindicates Whistleblowers After Removal

Adding to the controversy, special counsel David Weiss, who leads the prosecution of Hunter Biden's alleged tax crimes, indicated in a legal filing that the whistleblowers were under investigation. However, the IRS later countered this claim in another legal filing, stating that the whistleblowers were vindicated.

This contradiction between the statements made by different arms of the same agency raises questions about the internal dynamics and the handling of whistleblower claims within federal agencies.

The legal battle and its implications extend beyond the immediate parties, touching on broader themes of accountability, transparency, and the treatment of whistleblowers within the government.

Comprehensive Review of Legal Proceedings Essential

As the case progresses, the legal community and public observers alike await further developments that will clarify the standing of whistleblowers in high-profile cases. The outcome could significantly influence future disclosures by government insiders.

The action taken by Shapley and Ziegler to intervene in the Hunter Biden lawsuit encapsulates the ongoing struggle faced by whistleblowers seeking to expose what they perceive as unequal treatment under the law. Their case serves as a significant example of the challenges and risks associated with blowing the whistle on governmental practices.

As this legal battle unfolds, it will undoubtedly set precedents for how whistleblower protections are interpreted and applied in similarly high-stakes scenarios in the future.

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