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Hunter Biden Sues I.R.S., Saying Disclosures by Agents Violated His Privacy

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The suit from the president's son says investigators for the tax agency had no right to make public details of his finances. It was filed days after he was indicted on separate gun charges.

Hunter Biden's lawsuit asserts that I.R.S. investigators violated the agency's rules on taxpayer privacy and sought to embarrass him via public statements to the news media.Credit...Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Hunter Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, saying that investigators for the agency violated his privacy rights by disclosing details to Congress and the public about his taxes and the investigation into his conduct.

Mr. Biden, the president's son, filed the suit days after the Justice Department indicted him on separate charges relating to his purchase of a handgun in 2018. The decision to go ahead with the suit shows that he and his legal team are continuing to take an aggressive stance in fending off inquiries from congressional Republicans even as he faces the possibility of further prosecution on tax charges by the Justice Department amid his father's re-election campaign.

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Washington, asserts that I.R.S. investigators violated the agency's rules on taxpayer privacy and "targeted and sought to embarrass Mr. Biden via public statements to the media in which they and their representatives disclosed confidential information about a private citizen's tax matters."

It points to the public testimony and statements by two I.R.S. investigators, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who have been providing information to House committees seeking evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden and his family. Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler have told House Republicans that they believe the Justice Department inquiry into Hunter Biden's taxes was influenced by politics.

That claim has been disputed by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and David C. Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware who has overseen the case and was recently given special counsel status by Mr. Garland.

Hunter Biden "has all the same responsibilities as any other American citizen, and the I.R.S. can and should make certain that he abides by those responsibilities," the suit says.

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