Source: Federal prosecutors are investigating Hunter Biden over his tax affairs, the president-elect’s son said in a statement on Wednesday, marking another troubled chapter for the lawyer and investment adviser a little more than a month before his father is to take office.
In the statement, Hunter Biden said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised his legal counsel about the matter on Tuesday and that he is confident he handled his tax affairs “legally and appropriately.”
“I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,” Hunter Biden said.
The statement was sent out via President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.
Hunter Biden did not divulge further information about the probe, including its scope. Kim Reeves, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined to comment.
The younger Biden has been the subject of intense scrutiny related to his business dealings overseas, particularly for a Ukrainian energy company. The president-elect’s son was a target of Republicans, and attempts made by allies of President Donald Trump to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden ultimately resulted in Trump’s impeachment.
One of Trump’s closest allies in Congress has been pressing Attorney General William Barr to appoint a special counsel to oversee the investigation of Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
“We request that the Department of Justice immediately appoint an independent, unbiased special counsel to investigate the issues that we have raised,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, in a letter signed by 10 Republican colleagues on Oct. 19.
On the same day the House Republicans sent the letter, Barr quietly appointed a special counsel to oversee the origins of the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, a move that ensured it would likely carry over into the Biden administration. Barr only revealed the existence of the probe earlier this month.
The saga has also entangled other members of the president-elect’s inner circle. Biden’s nominee for secretary of State, Tony Blinken, was interviewed by congressional Republicans as part of a probe into Hunter’s business activities. That investigation failed to establish that Hunter Biden’s work influenced his father’s actions as vice president or U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
The Biden transition team included a statement of support on Wednesday for the president-elect’s son: “President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger.”
CNN later reported Wednesday that it had contacted Hunter Biden’s lawyer and his father’s presidential campaign last week seeking comment on the investigation, which CNN reported is “examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.”
CNN reported that the investigation had been “largely dormant in recent months” due to Justice Department rules that bar taking legal actions in a cases that could affect an election.
The New York Post reported in October that the FBI seized both a computer and a hard drive believed to be Hunter Biden’s in December 2019, after the owner of a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware, notified federal authorities he had possession of those items.
The store owner also gave a copy of the hard driver to a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney for President Donald Trump, The Post reported. Giuliani then gave a copy of the hard drive to the newspaper.
In a statement Wednesday, the transition team of Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said, “President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger.”
The White House and the U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees U.S. attorneys’ offices, declined to comment.
Hunter Biden has long struggled with drug addiction.
During the presidential election, Trump and his allies made Hunter Biden a focal point of political attacks, particularly in connection with his business dealings in Ukraine and China.
Hunter Biden and his father have denied any wrongdoing in relation to his business overseas, which Joe Biden says that he played no role in.
Trump last year was impeached by the House of Representatives for witholding congressionally appropriated military aid for Ukraine as he pressured that nation’s new president to investigate the Bidens. Trump was acquitted by the Senate after a trial.