Hunter Biden is facing nine tax charges in California as part of a special counsel investigation into the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son. The charges, filed on Thursday, consist of three felonies and six misdemeanors, adding to the federal firearms charges in Delaware related to Hunter Biden’s alleged violation of laws against drug users possessing guns in 2018. The indictment follows the collapse of a summer plea deal, setting the stage for a potential trial amid his father’s reelection campaign.
Special counsel David Weiss accused Hunter Biden of prioritizing an extravagant lifestyle over tax obligations, citing at least $1.4 million in taxes owed between 2016 and 2019. The charges focus on a period when Hunter Biden openly struggled with addiction, and the back taxes have since been paid.
If convicted, the 53-year-old Hunter Biden could face a maximum of 17 years in prison. Special counsel David Weiss stated that the investigation remains open. In response, defense attorney Abbe Lowell accused Weiss of succumbing to political pressure, asserting that the charges would not have been brought if Hunter Biden had a different last name.
The White House declined to comment on the indictment, deferring inquiries to the Justice Department or Hunter Biden’s representatives. Charging documents in California detail Hunter Biden’s expenditures on drugs, strippers, luxury hotels, and exotic cars, emphasizing his alleged negligence towards tax responsibilities.
The indictment coincides with congressional Republicans pursuing an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, claiming an influence-peddling scheme with his son. However, no evidence has substantiated allegations of abuse of power or bribery by Joe Biden. The Biden family’s international business dealings have raised ethical questions.
A long-running criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, initially expected to conclude with a plea deal, unraveled over the summer. The agreement, criticized as a “sweetheart deal” by Republicans, would have granted probation and dismissed the gun charge if Hunter Biden remained trouble-free.
The new charges include filing a false return, tax evasion felonies, and misdemeanor charges for failure to file and failure to pay. The defense plans to contest the charges, potentially relying on immunity provisions from the initial plea deal, despite prosecutors arguing their invalidity.
Hunter Biden’s struggles with substance abuse, documented in his memoir “Beautiful Things,” worsened after his brother Beau Biden’s death in 2015. Despite these challenges, he earned approximately $7 million between 2016 and 2020, with roles in companies such as Burisma and a Chinese private equity fund. The defense plans to challenge the federal gun charges in Delaware, alleging that they are unprecedented and unconstitutional.