New evidence chronicles efforts to conceal Hunter Biden’s tax problems from voters in 2020
New documents show Kevin Morris' role in concealing Hunter Biden's lingering tax issues as his father was campaigning for the Democratic nomination.
New evidence released by the House Ways and Means Committee from IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler chronicles Hunter Biden’s alleged efforts, with the help of Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris, to conceal delinquent taxes from the electorate as his father campaigned for the Democratic nomination in 2020.
Morris, a Democrat donor, lent millions to Hunter Biden so he could pay off the tax debts and cover other expenses after warning the tax issues posed "considerable risk personally and politically" for the future first family, according to testimony and documents Ziegler gave lawmakers.
The IRS agent supplemented his original whistleblower testimony from the summer with the documents at a closed door hearing Tuesday before the committee.
The new documents shed light on alleged Justice Department obstruction of the tax case and broader political interference in the investigation, but they also provided more details on the high-powered Hollywood lawyer's assistance to Hunter Biden, confirming previous reporting by Just the News.
Ziegler told the committee that he got the impression the Biden campaign was behind Morris’ assistance to Hunter Biden, raising concerns of campaign finance violations, attorney Tristan Leavitt told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show on Wednesday. Leavitt is president of the Empower Oversight center that represents the IRS whistleblowers.
“[As] the whistleblowers have shared some information previously regarding, Kevin Morris is someone who was donating or 'loaning' money to Hunter Biden, within just a couple months of having met him at a campaign fundraiser, New York Times reports, it was in December of 2019,” Leavitt said.
Ziegler's evidence chronicled a two and a half hour “crisis meeting” at Morris’ home in Los Angeles and an email from Morris warning of the personal and political risk that Hunter Biden’s unresolved tax issues posed, Leavitt explained to Just the News.
As then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign for the Democratic nomination was in full swing, Hunter Biden and his team of lawyers and accountants called a “crisis meeting” at the home of Kevin Morris in the Pacific Palisades, a high-end Los Angeles neighborhood. The date of this meeting is not stated in the documents, but it likely took place between Jan. 18 and Jan. 27, 2020, according to the chronology of an IRS interview memo.
The meeting was ostensibly to discuss Hunter Biden’s mounting tax issues. But Hunter Biden’s accountant Troy Schmidt told IRS, DOJ, and FBI investigators that the group ended up not discussing the tax returns at all, according to an interview memo Ziegler provided to the committee.
According to Ziegler, the tax loss for the entire investigation—which included failure to pay taxes on income from 2014 to 2019, some of which came from foreign sources like Burisma and Chinese companies—was almost $1.8 million. Schmidt was hired by Hunter Biden to prepare his unfiled tax returns.
Schmidt told investigators that Morris summoned him to his home for the meeting and “at the time, he had no idea what he was walking into,” the memo stated.
Schmidt said that meeting lasted two and a half hours, yet Hunter Biden’s tax returns were not a topic of discussion. The accountant told investigators that there were at least ten attendees, though he could only recall three lawyers—George Mesires, Kevin Morris, and Lindsey Wineberg — as well as Hunter Biden himself.
Schmidt told investigators that Morris had “first appeared” in his orbit two days before the meeting. The accountant said that Morris was an advisor to Hunter Biden as well as the Biden family, which did not surprise Schmidt because there were “a lot of attorneys” who worked for Hunter Biden, according to the memo.
You can read the interview memo below:
In an email to Schmidt that the IRS whistleblower turned over to Congress, Morris specifically highlighted the political risk of failing to file the returns in a timely manner.
“Emergency is off for today. Still need to file Monday- we are under considerable risk personally and politically to get the returns in,” Morris wrote Schmidt on Feb. 7, 2020.
“Sorry for the pressure earlier. Please send the issues list ASAP,” Morris continued, expressing urgency.
You can read the email from Morris here:
Morris did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News.
There was certainly a political urgency. Four days before Morris’ email, Joe Biden had finished 4th in the first electoral contest of the Democratic primary, the Iowa Caucus, behind upstart Mayor Pete Buttigieg and both Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Campaign prognosticators were predicting certain doom for the former vice president if there was no turnaround.
With more contests approaching at the end of the month that could make or break the campaign, there appeared to be an urgency to ensure that Hunter Biden’s personal tax issues did not become a political albatross around his father’s neck.
Ziegler told the committee in his affidavit that Hunter Biden was also experiencing a “significant amount of external pressure” regarding his unfiled tax returns at the time. The younger Biden’s ongoing paternity case being fought out in the Arkansas courts was another potential point of political risk for his father’s campaign. The story had already broken in the media as Joe Biden’s campaign was preparing for the Democratic primaries.
“The external sources of this pressure known at the time by the investigative team was from Hunter’s Arkansas child support court case and from potentially being in breach of his marital separation agreement with his ex-wife,” Ziegler wrote in his affidavit.
You can read Ziegler's affidavit below:
In November 2019, a DNA test confirmed that Hunter Biden was the father of a child with Lunden Roberts, the Arkansas woman who had filed suit against him in May that year, seeking both financial support and health care for the child. During the child support litigation, Roberts’ lawyer filed motions attempting to get Hunter Biden to report his income from his work in Ukraine and with Chinese companies.
Hunter Biden’s own, now defunct plea agreement, admitted that he failed to pay income taxes on millions of dollars in income from Ukrainian energy company Burisma and Chinese companies in the period from 2017 to 2019 alone. The plea agreement did not include violations from 2014 and 2015, because the statute of limitations to bring charges had expired. The circumstances that led to the failure to bring charges has been another point of contention by the IRS whistleblowers.
By Jan. 27, 2020, Hunter Biden agreed to pay child support to Roberts’ daughter. This decision came around the same time as the “crisis meeting” held at Morris’ home in L.A., according to the chronology of the Schmidt interview.
As Just the News previously reported, Morris spent about $5 million to cover Hunter Biden’s tax debts, his rent, and other expenses during this time period. In his testimony Tuesday, Ziegler confirmed this reporting, telling congressional investigators that the IRS team found about $4.9 million in loans from Morris to Hunter Biden for various purposes.
“Hunter received approximately $4.9 million in payments for personal expenses, again in the form of a loan and gift from Democratic Donor Kevin Patrick Morris,” Ziegler said in his testimony. Ziegler also explained that Morris paid off Hunter Biden’s tax debts.
Morris’ efforts to cover these tax debts averted a potential risk to the Joe Biden campaign and kept the issue out of the news in the lead up to the 2020 general election, leading the IRS whistleblowers to consider campaign finance violations alleging the campaign accepted an illegally large contribution in the form of the assistance to the younger Biden. Prosecutors rejected the idea of bringing such charges.
In an interview with the investigators, Hunter Biden’s uncle, James Biden, said that Hunter specifically requested that he thank Kevin Morris “on behalf of the family” for what he had done. According to the interview memo, James Biden sent a thank you message to Morris in March 2020.
The timing is striking. By this point, then-candidate Joe Biden’s political fortunes had reversed after a commanding victory in the South Carolina primary in late February. Biden would go on to dominate Super Tuesday, winning a majority of the states that held primary elections on March 3, 2020, all but ensuring his continued momentum to the nomination.