Monday, February 26

Hunter Biden Faces New Criminal Charges in Los Angeles

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(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter faces new criminal charges in federal court in Los Angeles, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person, who asked not to be identified discussing a confidential matter, didn’t specify the nature of the charges. 

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The move comes just as House Republicans announced their plan to vote next week to formalize an impeachment inquiry into the president revolving around Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings.

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CNN earlier reported the new charges. NBC reported that the charges are tax-related, without identifying its source. 

The office of Special Counsel David Weiss declined to comment. The White House and a representative for Hunter Biden didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Hunter Biden is already under indictment by Weiss on federal gun charges.

The new criminal case could reveal more evidence that supports GOP corruption allegations. At the very least, it will divert attention from the four criminal cases that former President Donald Trump faces. Biden could go on trial in the heat of next year’s presidential race — conceivably at the same time as Trump.

Just months ago, it appeared that Biden would avoid such a fate. He had an agreement with Weiss’s office under which he would plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes and acknowledge a firearms violation without a conviction, receiving no jail time. But the deal imploded in July when a federal judge questioned its terms and refused to sign off on it.

Under that 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 and a Chinese private equity firm.

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Those entities weren’t named in the plea agreement, but Biden has acknowledged ties to Chinese company CEFC China Energy, Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

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

Under the 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 firearms charge likewise stem from Biden’s purchase of 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.”

Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Biden, 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. 

—With assistance from Josh Wingrove.

(Updates with background.)

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