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Hunter Biden hit with new criminal charges by Department of Justice, reports say

The president’s son Hunter Biden has been hit with a set of nine new tax-related federal charges on Thursday.

According to court documents, the new charges were filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California by Special Counsel David Weiss.

Mr Weiss and his team are alleging violations of three separate portions of the US tax code, including failure to pay taxes, failure to file, evading assessment, and filing a fraudulent form, according to the outlet.

According to the indictment, Mr Biden allegedly “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 “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills”

In a statement, Mr Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell slammed the Trump-appointed prosecutor, who he accused of carrying out a political errand at the best of the Republican Party.

“Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,” he said.

“First, U.S. Attorney Weiss bowed to Republican pressure to file unprecedented and unconstitutional gun charges to renege on a non-prosecution resolution.  Now, after five years of investigating with no new evidence -- and two years after Hunter paid his taxes in full — the U.S. Attorney has piled on nine new charges when he had agreed just months ago to resolve this matter with a pair of misdemeanors”.

Hunter Biden is facing multiple legal fights (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Hunter Biden is facing multiple legal fights (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The case is the second brought against Mr Biden by special counsel David Weiss.

Mr Biden was expected to plead guilty to misdemeanour tax charges under a plea deal with federal authorities, but the agreement collapsed in July.

The charges add to the multiple legal fights facing the president’s son.

In September, he pleaded not guilty to a three-count federal indictment in Delaware alleging he purchased and possessed a firearm while using narcotics.

Prosecutors say he lied while buying a Colt Cobra handgun in October 2018.

The case, which could result in up to 25 years in prison, was the first-ever indictment of a sitting US president’s child.

House Republicans are also pushing for Mr Biden to testify as part of their investigation into his lucrative overseas business dealings.

However, teams for the GOP and Mr Biden have engaged in a heated back and forth this week over whether the testimony should be in public or in private.

Mr Biden wants to testify in public, with his attorney arguing the GOP offered to hear his statements in public and that a closed hearing could allow Republicans to “manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public—a hearing would ensure transparency and truth in these proceedings.”

The House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, has threatened to bring contempt charges against Mr Biden unless he testifies in private.

“There is no ‘choice’ for Mr. Biden to make; the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13,” they wrote.