Headline RoundupSeptember 18th, 2023

Hunter Biden Sues IRS Over Tax Return Disclosures

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the IRS on Monday, alleging two IRS agents “repeatedly and intentionally” disclosed his “protected tax return information.”

Details: The IRS has been investigating the president’s son for alleged tax crimes that Biden briefly planned to plead guilty to before a plea deal with the Department of Justice fell apart in July. Earlier this year, two agents involved in the case, later identified as Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, alleged Biden was receiving “preferential treatment” by the DOJ. These agents provided documents to House committees investigating the Bidens and spoke with media outlets. This new lawsuit is seeking $1,000 for “each and every unauthorized disclosure.”

Key Quotes: The lawsuit states, “This lawsuit is not about the legitimacy of the IRS investigation of Mr. Biden… Rather, the lawsuit is about the decision by IRS employees, their representatives, and others to disregard their obligations and repeatedly and intentionally publicly disclose and disseminate Mr. Biden’s protected tax return information outside the exceptions for making disclosures in the law.” A statement from Shapley’s lawyer called the lawsuit “another frivolous smear by Biden family attorneys trying to turn people’s attention away from Hunter Biden’s own legal problems and intimidate any current and future whistle-blowers.”

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum covered the lawsuit. The Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) labeled the agents “whistleblowers,” while The Hill (Center bias) and the New York Times (Lean Left bias) highlighted Biden’s attorney’s objections to the whistleblower status protections.

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