WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden was indicted on nine tax charges in California as a special counsel investigation into the business dealings of President Joe Biden‘s son intensifies against the backdrop of the 2024 election.
The new charges filed Thursday — three felonies and six misdemeanors — are in addition to federal firearms charges in Delaware alleging Hunter Biden broke laws against drug users having guns in 2018. They come after the implosion of a plea deal over the summer that would have spared him jail time, putting the case on track to a possible trial as his father campaigns for reelection.
Hunter Biden “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills,” special counsel David Weiss said in a statement. The charges are centered on at least $1.4 million in taxes Hunter Biden owed during between 2016 and 2019, a period where he has acknowledged struggling with addiction. The back taxes have since been paid.
If convicted, Hunter Biden, 53, could receive a maximum of 17 years in prison. The special counsel probe remains open, Weiss said.
Joe Biden has not been truthful. If the facts in the indictment are proven, and based on Hunter’s previous abortive plea deal I believe they can be and will be, this indictment is further proof (as if we needed more) that Joe Biden lied repeatedly to the American people during the 2020 election. “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.” That was Joe Biden at the presidential debate on October 22, 2020. That was a lie. Biden denied that Hunter had made “a fortune in China, in Moscow and various other places” at the presidential debate on September 29, 2020. That was a lie. I could go on, but the point is made. Joe Biden needs to answer to the American people for his lies. They implicate him in criminal conspiracies abroad involving the shadiest of foreign actors, and cut to the heart of his fitness for office.
More egg on the media’s face. As if mainstream media credibility could fall even lower . . . . The mainstream media was an active participant in Joe Biden’s lies in 2020. The media actively ran cover, burying Hunter Biden stories, showing a startling lack of interest in the Biden family’s web of foreign business interests, and insisting — insisting! — that there was nothing to see here. The blackout on reporting about Hunter’s now-validated laptop was the pinnacle of this all-hands-on-deck effort. I want to hear from the journalists who participated in burying these stories, who wrote fake “explainer” pieces on how the Republicans were conspiracy theorists, who lashed out at Trump for attacking Joe over the Hunter scandals.
The White House declined to comment on Thursday’s indictment, referring questions to the Justice Department or Hunter Biden’s personal representatives.
The charging documents filed in California, where he lives, detail spending on drugs, strippers, luxury hotels and exotic cars, “in short, everything but his taxes,” prosecutor Leo Wise wrote.
The indictment comes as congressional Republicans pursue an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, claiming he was engaged in an influence-peddling scheme with his son. The House is expected to vote next week on formally authorizing the inquiry.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, gave credit for the new charges Thursday to two IRS investigators who testified before Congress that the Justice Department had mishandled and “slow walked” the investigation into the president’s son. Justice officials have denied those allegations.
The two IRS employees, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, said the indictment was “a complete vindication of our thorough investigation.”
The new charges against Hunter Biden include filing a false return and tax evasion felonies, as well as misdemeanor failure to file and failure to pay.
The defense, led by high-powered attorney Abby Lowell signaled that it plans to fight the new charges, likely at least in part relying on immunity provisions from the original plea deal. Defense attorneys have argued those remain in force since that part of the agreement was signed by a prosecutor before the deal was scrapped.
Prosecutors have disagreed, pointing out the documents weren’t signed by a judge and are invalid.
Lowell said he’s also planning to push for dismissal of the gun charges next week, calling them “unprecedented and unconstitutional.”
The three federal gun charges filed in Delaware allege Hunter Biden had lied about his drug use to buy a gun that he kept for 11 days in 2018. Federal law bans gun possession by “habitual drug users,” though the measure is seldom seen as a stand-alone charge and has been called into question by a federal appeals court.
Biden’s gross income totaled some $7 million between 2016 and 2020, prosecutors said, pointing to his roles on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma and a Chinese private equity fund as well as his position at a law firm.
Hunter did eventually file his taxes in 2020, while facing a child support case in Arkansas, and the back taxes were paid by a “third party,” prosecutors have said in court documents.