Federal prosecutors filed nine new tax-related criminal charges, including three felony counts, against Hunter Biden on Thursday night, as part of the Department of Justice’s yearslong probe into President Joe Biden’s 53-year-old son.
The latest indictment, which was filed in California, accuses Biden of failure to file and pay taxes, tax evasion, and filing a false return. The 56-page court document alleges that Biden “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019” and that he “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills.”
David Weiss, who was nominated U.S. Attorney by President Donald Trump in 2017 and designated Special Counsel by President Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland in August to oversee the investigations into Hunter Biden, brought the charges. Trump-appointed district judge Mark C. Scarsi has been assigned to the case.
A press release by Weiss and the Justice Department indicated that Biden could face a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison if convicted. The White House has not commented on the indictment, but Hunter Biden’s defense attorney Abbe Lowell claimed in a statement Thursday that the charges are politically motivated. “Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now in California, would have not been brought,” Lowell said, adding that Weiss “bowed to Republican pressure” and that “no new evidence” has been found.
Biden was previously federally charged in a Delaware court in September with three criminal counts related to allegedly lying about his drug use when purchasing a firearm in 2018, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Those charges, which were the first to be leveled against a sitting President’s child, in addition to the latest tax-related charges, come just a few months after the collapse of a misdemeanor plea deal Biden was set to agree with prosecutors so that he could avoid jail time and further lengthy legal proceedings.
The charges against Hunter Biden are set to cast even more of a legal shadow over the 2024 U.S. presidential election, which is expected to once again pit President Biden against former President Trump, who himself faces multiple criminal indictments and whose children have also been entangled in conflict-of-interest questions. House Republicans are also pursuing an impeachment inquiry against President Biden, alleging a “culture of corruption” involving the President and his son, though no evidence has been revealed to implicate the elder Biden in the younger’s alleged wrongdoing.
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