Kevin Morris invoked attorney privilege at least 17 times to avoid questions about Hunter Biden

Morris loaned Hunter Biden at least $5 million and purchased over $800K worth of artwork to keep the first son afloat during his father’s presidential campaign.

Published: January 23, 2024 9:00am

Updated: January 23, 2024 9:14am

In his deposition last week, Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris and his lawyer invoked attorney-client privilege at least 17 times over questions related to his payments and work for Hunter Biden.

According to the transcript of the testimony reviewed by Just the News, Morris said that he began representing Biden about one week after the December 2019 California fundraiser for his father, Joe Biden, who became president in 2020. The details surrounding this meeting were previously reported by Just the News. 

Morris’ early representation of Hunter Biden allowed him to invoke the privilege frequently, to avoid answering questions about his first meeting with the first son, how he paid Hunter Biden’s other attorneys and about the planning for Hunter Biden’s defiant speech in front of the Capitol while avoiding complying with his first congressional subpoena.

Specifically, Morris attempted to invoke the privilege regarding his acquisition of one of Hunter Biden's companies after Joe Biden's inauguration. Additionally, he denied claims that he was motivated by political concerns to help the first son solve his tax issues and stay afloat during his father's campaign, which was indicated by evidence from the IRS whistleblowers last year. 

Morris did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News about his testimony. 

According to the transcript, Morris claimed that his legal representation of Hunter Biden was “global and complete” and therefore argued that almost any detail of their relationship is off limits to congressional investigators. Yet despite this, Morris told the committee that he had not represented Hunter directly in the past three years.

In one example, Morris refused to answer how much in loans he provided to Hunter Biden to pay his legal fees.

“So have you paid millions of dollars for Hunter Biden’s legal fees via loans?” an investigator asked.

“Mr. Morris only knows that from his attorney-client relationship with Mr. Biden and consequently cannot answer that question,” Morris’ lawyer answered.

Morris also initially attempted to invoke the privilege when questioned about his acquisition of Hunter Biden’s Skaneateles – a company that owned a stake in Bohai Harvest RST, a Chinese company from one of Hunter Biden’s initial deals in the country. Morris acquired Hunter’s stake in November 2021, less than a year after Joe Biden was inaugurated.

“How did it come up that you were going to purchase Skaneateles? Or why did you buy Skaneateles of all the companies that Hunter Biden was involved with? Why that one?” investigators asked.

“That’s privileged. I am not going to answer that because of attorney-client privilege,” Morris responded.

However, after a brief recess from questioning, his attorney convinced him that he had to answer the question and Morris reversed course.

“I did the transaction because, you know, I evaluated it as a businessman, and I thought it was something that could be a very successful investment,” Morris said in his new answer.

“[B]ut I did diligence on the assets. I knew what ... Hunter paid for it in the beginning, and I saw, and I still see upside,” he continued.

Yet, earlier in the questioning, Morris was apparently not well informed on what Skaneateles was or what investments BHR makes.

“What kind of company was Skaneateles?” the investigators asked. “I mean, I don’t know. An LLC, I think,” Morris answered.

“And do you know what kind of investments that BHR makes?” Morris was asked.

“I knew better at one time. I remember going through them. I don’t remember exactly what they were. I think they were – I don’t know. I think they were infrastructure,” he answered.

In an effort to justify his expansive attorney-client privilege claims, Morris also claimed, despite not representing his client directly for three years, he is “like a general counsel” in Hunter Biden’s “virtual corporation,” meaning that he is involved in everything with the first son.

“Counsel, in my job I represent high-profile individuals. ... [H]igh-profile individuals have basically virtual corporations. And in those virtual corporations, they have all kinds of staff and assistants. You know, agents and managers ... publicists. You know, whatever. And what I do is I oversee ... sort of the squad. Sort of like a general counsel,” Morris told the committees.

“But I am involved in everything. I am involved in everything. And the same is with Hunter. If you check my retainer agreements, you’ll see that it’s not – it says all matters,” he continued.

A conservative legal group has raised concerns about Morris’ legal representation of Biden while he paid his bills and debts, alleging it could be a violation of California Bar rules.

America First Legal filed a complaint with the state bar against Morris for allegedly violating its Rules of Professional Conduct.

According to rule 1.8.5(a): “[a] lawyer shall not directly or indirectly pay or agree to pay, guarantee, or represent that the lawyer or lawyer’s law firm will pay the personal or business expenses of a prospective or existing client,’ according to the California Bar.

Yet, Morris confirmed to the committee that he loaned Hunter Biden millions of dollars from 2020 to 2024 that are recorded in promissory notes. Just the News reported in November that Morris had loaned at least $5 million to the younger Biden to cover his tax debts and living expenses.

In his testimony, Morris also told House investigators that he never spoke with Hunter Biden or his family members about politics, claiming that his help was not politically motivated, despite being a Democratic donor who supported Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

“So it’s your testimony here today that politically, that political risk had nothing to do with then-candidate Joe Biden; that’s your testimony?” the investigators asked Morris.

“Correct,” he answered.

Yet, previous reports from Just the News revealed how Morris was explicitly concerned with the political risk surrounding Hunter Biden tax debts specifically as he worked in early 2020 to remedy the situation.

In December, IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler provided a new batch of evidence to the House Ways and Means Committee from his team’s tax investigation into Hunter Biden, codenamed Sportsman.

The documents detailed a late January “crisis meeting” held at Morris’ home in Los Angeles with Hunter Biden and his team of accountants and lawyers. The meeting was ostensibly to discuss Biden’s mounting tax issues.

Hunter Biden accountant Troy Schmidt told IRS, FBI and Justice Department investigators that the group did not discuss the tax returns at all, according to one interview memo Ziegler provided to the committee.

In an email to Schmidt that the IRS whistleblower turned over to Congress and that was sent shortly after the crisis meeting, 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.

Morris told the committees, to the best of his recollection, the political risk he referenced in the email was related to the first Donald Trump impeachment because Hunter Biden’s work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma had become front and center as the proceedings unfolded. He claimed that his concerns had nothing to do with Joe Biden’s campaign.

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