Wagswoofs – Hunter Biden is facing a legal battle as he has been charged with nine tax-related offenses, including three felony counts. The charges were filed on Thursday in a federal court in Los Angeles.
The 56-page filing presents a range of accusations against the president’s son, including claims of tax evasion, failure to file taxes, and submission of a fraudulent form. According to the indictment, the defendant chose to spend millions on a lavish lifestyle instead of fulfilling his tax obligations.
The indictment states that between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the Defendant used the funds for various personal expenses, including drugs, escorts, girlfriends, luxury hotels, rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and more. In essence, he spent the money on everything except his taxes.
Special counsel David Weiss, who was appointed by Trump and has been leading the federal investigation into Hunter Biden, has brought charges against him. These charges consist of six misdemeanor tax offenses.
According to Weiss’ office, if the president’s son is found guilty, he could potentially face a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison.
Hunter Biden has been accused of participating in a scheme spanning four years, during which he intentionally avoided paying a minimum of $1.4 million in federal taxes that he had self-assessed for tax years 2016 to 2019. Additionally, he is alleged to have evaded taxes for the year 2018 by submitting false tax returns. This information was disclosed by Weiss’ office in a news release.
“If Hunter Biden had a different last name, the charges in Delaware and California would not have been brought,” stated Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.
Attorney Lowell expressed his frustration at the handling of the investigation, stating that he had reached out to U.S. Attorney Weiss days prior to request a meeting to discuss the matter. However, instead of a meeting, Lowell claims that the response he received was the leak of information to the media regarding the filing of charges. Despite this, Lowell emphasized that Hunter Biden had already fulfilled his tax obligations over two years ago by paying his taxes in full.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, Lowell reached out to Weiss’ office on Tuesday, requesting a meeting to discuss the investigation. He highlighted that such meetings are common in white-collar investigations.
“We are interested in the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with you and your team,” Lowell expressed in the letter. He referenced a Justice Department policy that encourages involving legal counsel in cases that may involve additional offenses.”
In a statement released on Thursday, Lowell expressed his confidence that the various court proceedings would address the issues at hand. He noted that the first court appearance was scheduled for the following Monday, coinciding with the filing of their motions to dismiss the initial set of charges brought against them by the prosecutors.
The White House has chosen not to provide any comment regarding the charges. According to a White House official, they became aware of the indictment through public reporting and did not have prior knowledge of it.
Judge Mark Scarsi, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, received the case.
The indictment does not seem to mention President Biden or his past position as vice president. It claims that Hunter Biden had multiple chances to fulfill his tax obligations by considering the funds he received from an entertainment lawyer who happened to be a close friend. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Biden deceived his accountants by including expenses marked as business-related, even though he supposedly wasn’t engaged in any business activities during that period.
The indictment also highlights specific payments that were recorded as expenses but were actually used for different purposes. For instance, prosecutors claim that a sum of wired money, which was listed as a “golf member deposit,” was actually used to buy a membership in a sex club.
The imposition of additional charges marks a noteworthy development in an ongoing federal investigation. This investigation has garnered attention from congressional Republicans, who have been using Hunter Biden’s legal troubles as a means to criticize his father. In November, House Republicans issued a subpoena to Hunter Biden, and his legal team has expressed his willingness to testify before the House Oversight Committee next week.
According to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., the additional charges only strengthen the case for Congress to proceed with an impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden. He believes that it is essential to uncover all the facts so that the American people can make an informed judgment.
NBC News previously reported that the House is considering holding a vote next week to officially authorize the Republican-led impeachment inquiry against the president.
According to two IRS whistleblowers, the new indictment aligns closely with the case they had built against Biden. Their testimony, along with publicly available affidavits and filed documents, formed the basis for the charges brought forward.
House Oversight Committee Chair, James Comer, R-Ky., expressed his admiration for the IRS whistleblowers who have come forward with allegations of interference in the Hunter Biden investigation.
“The Department of Justice’s attempt to give Hunter Biden a special plea deal has been exposed, and the charges filed against him today are a direct outcome of the relentless efforts of Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who are dedicated to upholding equal treatment under the law for all Americans,” Comer stated.
The Justice Department has not provided any comment regarding the new indictment.
Shapley and Ziegler, in their own statement, expressed their satisfaction with the indictment, stating that it served as a “complete vindication” of their work. They further emphasized that the evidence presented strongly supported the charges against Hunter Biden.
In July, Hunter Biden entered a plea of not guilty to federal tax charges after the plea deal fell through. However, the misdemeanor charges were dismissed by a federal judge in August. Initially, Biden was anticipated to admit guilt to two federal misdemeanor counts for failing to pay taxes.
According to legal experts, charges similar to the ones brought against Biden earlier this year are seldom pursued in prosecution.
According to Andrew Weissmann, a former FBI general counsel and NBC News contributor, it is uncommon for first-time tax offenders to face prosecution.
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, faced federal gun charges in September. The charges were related to his possession of a firearm while using narcotics. The indictment included two counts that accused him of falsely stating on a form that he was not using illegal drugs at the time of purchasing the gun. Additionally, another count alleged that he possessed a firearm while under the influence of a narcotic. Despite the charges, Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty.
In his statement on Thursday, Lowell asserted that Weiss had succumbed to Republican pressure by filing gun charges that were both unprecedented and unconstitutional.
In August, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss as the special counsel to oversee the investigation into Hunter Biden.
“In announcing Weiss’ appointment, Garland stated that as special counsel, Weiss will retain the same authority and responsibility he has had in overseeing the investigation and making decisions on filing charges. The special counsel will not be under the direct supervision of any Department official on a daily basis, but will still be required to comply with the Department’s regulations, procedures, and policies.”
Weiss, who was nominated by Trump in 2017, began serving as the U.S. attorney in Delaware the following year. Despite the request for resignation from most U.S. attorneys appointed during the Trump administration, Weiss continued to hold his position through the start of the Biden administration.
Weiss urged a federal judge on Monday to reject Hunter Biden’s plea for a subpoena against Trump, former Attorney General William Barr, and other officials from the Trump administration.
Weiss’s team argues that the allegations and subpoena requests center around broad and irrelevant categories of documents. They claim that these documents are likely to be inadmissible and do not pertain to the individuals who made the decision in his case.
President Biden is set to attend fundraisers in Los Angeles this weekend, despite the charges against his son being filed in the same city. It’s worth mentioning that this trip had been scheduled well in advance of the recent indictment.
The new indictment could potentially result in a legal battle that unfolds in parallel with the 2024 presidential campaign. Democrats aim to bring attention to Trump and the pending trials during this time. Trump, the former president, is currently facing two federal cases set for trial in the coming year. Additionally, he has a trial scheduled in New York and another in Georgia, although the start date for the latter has yet to be determined.