Hunter Biden: reports say FBI has enough evidence for prosecution

<span>Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Federal agents believe there is enough evidence to criminally charge Hunter Biden with tax crimes and with lying about his drug use when he bought a handgun in 2018, the Washington Post and CBS News have reported.

But the US attorney in Delaware, who is overseeing the investigation of the president’s son, has not yet decided whether to file criminal charges in the case, the Post reported.

That federal prosecutor, David C Weiss, was originally nominated and served in Donald Trump’s administration, and has continued serving in Biden’s administration in part because of the political backlash his removal would likely have caused, given his oversight of the Biden investigation, the Post reported.

A spokesperson for Weiss’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In September, more than 30 Senate Republicans asked Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, to give Weiss “special counsel protections and authorities” to safeguard the independence of his investigation.

CBS News reported that Biden’s team believes the sources who spoke to the Washington Post were motivated by “frustration inside the FBI over the time it is taking prosecutors to deliberate over this case” and that the FBI “is trying to pressure prosecutors to act”.

Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Chris Clark, accused federal agents of illegally leaking information, and asked the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute the leak.

“It is a federal felony for a federal agent to leak information about a grand jury investigation such as this one,” Clark wrote to the Washington Post. “Any agent you cite as a source in your article apparently has committed such a felony.”

Hunter Biden confirmed he was under investigation for tax-related issues in 2020 shortly after his father won the presidency. Hunter Biden’s business dealings and consultancies in Ukraine and China, including being paid $50,000 a month by Ukrainian firm Burisma, have long attracted political scrutiny and questions about the ethics of his connections to foreign businesses given his father’s political influence.

Donald Trump’s attempt to uncover malfeasance by Hunter Biden and his father in Ukraine – which including pressuring Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival – led to the Republican president’s first impeachment by Congress.

The current investigation of Hunter Biden’s tax dealings has scrutinized whether he failed to declare income related to different business dealings, including overseas, the Washington Post reported.

Another alleged crime federal agents identified was Biden’s claim, on a federal form he filled out in 2018 to buy a handgun, that he was not addicted to or unlawfully using drugs, though he wrote in a memoir that he was using drugs often that year, the Post reported.

“We believe the prosecutors in this case are diligently and thoroughly weighing not just evidence provided by agents, but also all the other witnesses in this case, including witnesses for the defense,” Clark, Biden’s lawyer, told the Post. “They should not be pressured, rushed, or criticized for doing their job.”

Clark did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Guardian. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment. The FBI also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.