Hunter Biden could reportedly soon face charges concerning alleged illegal tax deductions as Republicans continue to investigate President Joe Biden’s son and whether the president himself engaged in illegal efforts to profit from his position and protect his son.
The New York Times reports David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware and a 2017 nomination by then-President Donald Trump, is closing in on deciding whether to prosecute Hunter on charges relating to his late filing of tax returns in 2016 and 2017 and possible false claiming of at least $30,000 in deductions for business expenses.
The report delves deep into the improper activity and allegations of illegality surrounding the president’s son and how leading conservatives are trying to tie the president to his son’s alleged illicit activity. However, while investigations have uncovered contact between Joe Biden and his son over the latter’s business activities, including when the president found out about his son’s board seat at Burisma and called to say, “I hope you know what you are doing,” the report says the full scope of investigations have yet to offer Republicans the smoking gun they are looking for.
Take, for example, how Weiss is reportedly also considering charging Hunter with lying on a U.S. government form that he filled out to purchase a handgun in 2018. His answer that he was not using drugs could be challenged based on possible witnesses, but such a charge is rarely prosecuted unless added as part of a larger investigation. According to the New York Times, Hunter’s lawyers have given the Justice Department evidence of how the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware has never brought a stand-alone gun charge for lying about drug use.
Drug addiction also plays a role in the other possible charges against the president’s controversial son. On Oct. 12, 2018, Hunter was reportedly reminded by his accountant, Bill Morgan, that he needed to file his 2017 personal and business tax returns, of which he owed more than $800,000. It was this same day that Hunter bought the gun.
The next month, having been ignored, Morgan tried to get Hunter’s attention again, pointing out that he also needed to file his 2016 tax returns. Morgan told Hunter that the IRS had instructed the State Department not to renew his passport because of his outstanding tax liens. Yet, the newspaper says that Weiss’s ability to charge Hunter for not paying his taxes was made difficult when Hunter borrowed the necessary $2 million and paid the IRS the full amount he owed.
While certain charges may be hard to prosecute, it does not mean that the new reporting doesn’t offer Republicans additional firepower in their pursuit to incriminate and impeach the president. Details of Hunter’s relations with Ukraine and China are abundant, with his role on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma and previous stake in a Chinese government-linked company serving as two examples. But such encounters with the president himself had been harder to prove.
Hunter’s point of contact at Burisma, Vadym Pozharskyi, reportedly wrote a letter in 2015 to the younger Biden, thanking him, in broken English, for “giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together.” Republicans have also tried to draw a line between the president and a Chinese energy tycoon (whom Hunter was involved in a failed business venture with). In the negotiations of the business venture, a participant reportedly suggested that a 10% stake in their prospective company be set aside for the “big guy.”
The new details into Weiss’s investigation of Hunter came just hours after the Republican chairman of the newly named House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Rep. James Comer (R-KY), demanded that the Treasury Department hand over all suspicious activity reports linked to the president’s son.
Whether or not the newly uncovered circumstances surrounding Hunter’s story of abuse, loss, and failure lead to prosecution is, right now, only for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to know. What is apparent, though, is that the ever-stronger magnifying glass on top of Hunter’s head is inauspicious for the president as he mulls a reelection bid and faces severe scrutiny for his handling of classified documents.