Hunter Biden Indicted In Tax Case As White House Woes Mount

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President Joe Biden’s son Hunter was indicted on nine federal tax charges in a development that will become a political headache for the White House and Democrats as the 2024 campaign ramps up.

The indictment, released Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, came after House Republicans’ announcement of their plan to vote next week to formalize an impeachment inquiry into the president revolving around Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.

Prosecutors working for Special Counsel David Weiss accused Hunter Biden of tax crimes from 2016 through 2019, including spending millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying taxes. The indictment didn’t offer any evidence that the president benefited from or had any involvement in his son’s activities.

“Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes,” according to the 56-page indictment.

Hunter Biden faces as many as 17 years in prison if convicted of all the charges, which include three felonies and six misdemeanor counts of failure to pay taxes. He will appear in federal court in Los Angeles for an arraignment, where he’s expected to plead not guilty. His appearance hasn’t been scheduled yet.

The president’s son is already under indictment on federal gun charges in Delaware federal court. In July, he had agreed to plead guilty there to two misdemeanor tax counts and acknowledge a firearms violation without a conviction, receiving no jail time. But the deal imploded when a federal judge questioned its terms and refused to sign off on it.

Hunter Biden attorney Abbe Lowell assailed Weiss in a statement.

“If Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,” Lowell said. “Now, after five years of investigating with no new evidence — and two years after Hunter paid his taxes in full — the U.S. Attorney has piled on nine new charges when he had agreed just months ago to resolve this matter with a pair of misdemeanors.”

Joe Biden is traveling to Los Angeles Friday for a star-studded fundraiser including director Steven Spielberg, producer Shonda Rhimes, and comedian Rob Reiner.

Hunter Biden’s prosecution will likely divert attention from the four criminal cases that former President Donald Trump faces. Hunter Biden could go on trial in the heat of next year’s presidential race — conceivably at the same time as Trump.

Under the July plea deal, Biden would have admitted to failing to pay taxes on $2.3 million in income in 2017 and $2.1 million in 2018. In an exhibit attached to the plea agreement, Biden said he made more than $4 million in those two years from sources including a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, and a Chinese private equity firm, CEFC China Energy. The new tax indictment said he made more than $7 million in gross income from 2016 to 2020, including from CEFC and Burisma.

Republicans have long contended that the president’s son could only command that kind of pay by selling access to his father.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer criticized the indictment for falling short in looking at alleged involvement by President Biden in the business dealings.

“Hunter Biden’s corporate entities implicated by today’s indictments funneled foreign cash that landed in Joe Biden’s bank account,” Comer said in a statement. Unless Weiss “investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden’s DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy.”

The indictment lists 19 categories of expenses made from Hunter Biden’s bank accounts rather than paying taxes. They include $1.6 million for cash withdrawals; $683,212 in payments for various women; $188,960 for adult entertainment; and $71,869 for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Under the collapsed plea deal, Hunter Biden said he simply forgot to pay his taxes during a period when he was in the grip of drug addiction.

The indictment paints a detailed picture of Hunter Biden’s lifestyle as he cheated on his taxes in various ways, including falsely identifying personal expenses as business deductions.

Hunter Biden claimed business expenses on his 2018 tax returns despite having done little or no business that year, the indictment alleges. He never told his accountants of his extensive drug and alcohol abuse that year, which “might have prompted greater scrutiny” of business expense claims, it said.

It quotes his memoir and its description of his stays at luxury hotels and private rentals in California, where he was visited by drug dealers and their sidekicks.

“Their stripper girlfriends invited their girlfriends, who invited their boyfriends,” he wrote. “They’d drink up the entire minibar, call room service for filet mignon and a bottle of Dom Pérignon. One of the women even ordered an additional filet for her purse-sized dog.”

The firearms charges stem from Biden’s purchase of a Colt revolver in 2018 while falsely stating on a form that he was “not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance.”

Lowell has said he believes the earlier deal on the gun offense still stands, and that the relevant statute is also unconstitutional under recent Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment.

The case is US v. Biden, 23-cr-00599, US District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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