An attorney for one of the Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers who cried foul on the Justice Department’s handling of Hunter Biden’s influence peddling and tax investigation called the first son’s new lawsuit against the agency a “frivolous smear.”
Hunter Biden’s attorneys alleged Monday that IRS agents have targeted their client and “sought to embarrass” him. They demand $1,000 in damages for each “unauthorized disclosure” of the first son’s tax returns.
Mark Lytle, an attorney for whistleblower Gary Shapley – the investigator who testified to Congress that the Wilmington U.S. Attorney’s office was “different from any other case in” his 14 years of public service – told FOX News the suit is an attempt to frighten others from providing information to the legislature.
“This lawsuit is just a frivolous smear to try to block the whistleblowers or any potential whistleblowers from coming forward. There were no violations. The whistleblowers followed the [whistleblower] statute,” he said Monday on “The Story.”
Lytle cited how Shapley’s testimony and that of fellow agent Joseph Ziegler essentially led to Hunter Biden’s “sweetheart” plea deal being exposed.
In the end, Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected the plea deal, and Attorney General Merrick Garland ultimately appointed the lead Delaware federal prosecutor, David Weiss, the special counsel in the case.
Weiss’ special counsel status allowed all but Hunter’s federal firearms charges to be litigated beyond Delaware.
In response to these developments, Lytle claimed, Hunter Biden and his team are deciding to “com[e] after the whistleblowers.”
Anchor Martha MacCallum noted, however, that the suit is not against Shapley and Ziegler, but the agency itself.
Lytle argued the tax disclosures were each “legitimate and protected” by law, adding that Shapley and Ziegler encountered numerous steps wherein the investigation was “slow-walked” or blocked at junctures that could potentially lead to President Biden himself.
Former Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi – whose dissemination of information pertaining to the Hunter Biden laptop saga and alleged federal interference therein created shockwave last year – called the lawsuit itself ironic in a separate interview on “The Story.”
“It’s certainly ironic, isn’t it? It seems like the government bent over backwards to keep a lot of information that was clearly newsworthy out of the public domain as a result of a variety of things, including the censorship of this story,” he said.
“We didn’t learn for a very long time through these whistleblowers that there was this whole galaxy of shell companies that Hunter Biden was tied to.”
Taibbi said it is difficult to understand how Hunter Biden could claim the tax information revealed by the investigators is a violation of personal privacy when the data is relevant to a major legal probe.
“As soon as [federal agencies] start behaving like independent entities, of course they become enemies of. Hunter Biden,” he added. “That’s certainly ironic. I mean, again, the evidence shows that they bent over backwards to try to accommodate him, even when he said ridiculous things like trying to claim that income was a loan when clearly it’s a taxable event as soon as he gets it.”
“They hid the stuff and now it’s coming out and he’s upset about it. And that’s what this lawsuit is,” he added.