Federal Authorities Probe Hunter Biden’s Business Dealings
Prosecutors from the Justice Department are investigating Hunter Biden’s tax fillings, the son of the president-elect revealed on December 9. This marks another chapter for the embroiled attorney as his father prepares to enter office in slightly over a month.
In a statement released by President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, Hunter Biden shared that agents from the U.S Attorney’s Office have contacted his legal team regarding an investigation into his tax affairs. He maintains that he has conducted his business “legally and appropriately.”
President-elect Joe Biden has expressed support for his son, stating that he is “deeply proud” of him in the face of “personal attacks.”
The inquiry opened in 2018, one year before Joe Biden announced his candidacy for president. It was also well underway before William Barr was appointed attorney general.
Authorities have issued subpoenas seeking documents relating to Hunter Biden’s time as a board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, as well as other business entities. A 2017 email obtained by NBC News recently uncovered that Hunter Biden allegedly failed to disclose $400,000 in earnings from the company on his 2014 tax returns. The email continues by stating that he made over $1.2 million for the entire year.
Another bombshell article from the New York Post reported that Hunter Biden introduced a top executive from Burisma to his father, then Vice President Joe Biden, less than a year before allegedly pressuring Ukrainian officials to drop investigations into the company. While most mainstream media outlets were quick to downplay the authenticity of this story, including Twitter and Facebook, speculations and questions have continued to swirl.
Scrutiny is also being leveled against Hunter Biden regarding his dealings in China. In 2013, he joined BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Co., a Chinese investment company. Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, maintains that he served as an unpaid board member, but he has since stepped down from this position.
Other recently uncovered emails from 2017 allegedly show Hunter Biden requesting keys to be made for his new “office mates”, including President-elect Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and his uncle Jim Biden, in a space that was to be shared with Ye Jianming, chairman and “emissary” for now defunct CEFC Chinese Energy company. Hunter Biden’s association with Ye Jianming and other Chinese nationals has been the subject of controversy and “millions of dollars in questionable transactions” according to the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees.
In the past, President-elect Joe Biden has maintained that he has had no involvement in his son’s business dealings.
President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders have been quick to seize upon these developments as they ramp up their attacks on President-elect Joe Biden.
On December 11, President Trump tweeted that the “Biden Administration will be a scandal plagued mess for years to come”, arguing that the Supreme Court should take up his case questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) called for the appointment of a special counsel to further investigate Hunter Biden.
President Trump has also come out strongly against his own Attorney General. It has been revealed that Barr knew about the Hunter Biden inquiry since at least the spring. Reports indicate that he went to great lengths to keep this information from the public in the lead up to the November election. In response, President Trump has publicly raised the possibility of dismissing Barr before the end of his term.
This investigation also complicates an already contentious situation for President-elect Joe Biden as he continues to mull over his choice for Attorney General. His pick to lead the DOJ will face a range of politically charged investigations and possible conflicts of interests. Beyond this, the president-elect will also have to face the scrutiny of congressional Republicans as they prepare to mount a formidable resistance to his agenda and possible appointees.