In an amusing twist of Hunter Biden’s legal woes, the embattled first son is suing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Biden scion is alleging that whistleblower testimony from IRS agents, which exposed how he was protected by the government, violated his right to privacy.
“President Biden’s son Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit Monday against the Internal Revenue Service, charging that when agents who were investigating him told Congress and news reporters about their concerns that the case was not being managed properly, they violated his privacy rights as a taxpayer,” the Washington Post reports. “Biden charges in the lawsuit that when two IRS agents went to Congress and news organizations complaining of alleged mishandling of the investigation by Justice Department officials, they disclosed information about the investigation, and about Biden’s taxes, that the law aims to keep secret.”
Oh, that’s cute. Because, frankly, the expectation that anyone’s taxes are private went out the window after congressional Democrats fought to obtain President Trump’s tax returns and then publicly released them. Trump had long battled to keep his tax returns private and was never under any obligation to release them publicly. Democrats wanted to obtain his tax returns, convinced they’d prove some criminal activity.
During the 2020 election, Joe Biden even made a big show of releasing years’ worth of his tax returns. “I released all my tax returns. Twenty-two years — go look at them,” Biden told Trump during their second and final presidential debate in 2020. “You have not released a single solitary year of your tax return. What are you hiding? Why are you unwilling?”
Well, by that standard, why is Hunter Biden so concerned about his taxes being discussed if he has nothing to hide? See how it works? But, here’s the thing: Donald Trump’s private tax records were released against his will in the Democrats’ never-ending quest to dig up dirt on him. The release of the tax returns wound up being a huge nothingburger, but it did establish the dangerous precedent that Congress doesn’t have to follow federal law protecting the confidentiality of citizens’ tax information at the IRS.
While Trump was still president, Democrats invoked a provision of the Internal Revenue Code to empower the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — Rep. Richard Neal (D‒Mass.) at the time — to obtain “any return or return information” in hopes of getting their hands on Trump’s tax returns. It was rejected by the Trump administration, but the Biden administration reversed that decision. While Hunter Biden’s tax returns haven’t been publicly released the way Donald Trump’s were, Democrats and the Biden administration empowered Rep. Jason Smith (R-Tex.), the current chairman of the committee, to publicly release Hunter Biden’s tax returns as part of Congress’s oversight of the executive branch.
So Hunter can thank his daddy if Republicans ever release his tax returns as part of its investigation into his influence-peddling — and perhaps they should. As much as think Democrats were being slimy doing what they did to Trump, Republicans need to show they are perfectly willing and able to play by the same rules as Democrats.