Joe Biden vowed to crack down on tax cheats, his DOJ just charged his son Hunter as one of them
Sweeping grand jury indictment levied three felony and six misdemeanor charges against Hunter Biden that carry 17 years in prison.
Joe Biden made cracking down on tax-cheating millionaires a centerpiece of his presidency, even securing the funds to hire new IRS agents and auditors. On Thursday, his Justice Department branded first son Hunter Biden as a quintessential tax cheat who chose to underwrite an "extravagant lifestyle" with millions in foreign monies rather than pay his debts to Uncle Sam.
In a sweeping grand jury indictment that levied three felony and six misdemeanor charges that carry 17 years in prison, Special Counsel David Weiss markedly increased the legal peril for Hunter Biden while also placing a dark cloud over the president's own political fortunes just weeks before the start of the presidential primary elections.
Weiss' indictment, unsealed in federal court in California, laid out in meticulous detail how Hunter Biden engaged in a four-year scheme to evade $1.4 million in taxes, claiming in some years he didn't even file tax returns while in others he cheated by not claiming all of his income or using illegal deductions. The charges are in addition to three gun felonies Weiss secured against the first son in federal court in Delaware earlier this fall.
"Rather than pay his taxes, the Defendant spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle," the indictment charged.
It added: "Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the Defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature. In short, everything but his taxes."
You can read the indictment here.
The indictment suggested no expense was too small for an unscrupulous Hunter Biden to use to cheat on taxes, citing at one point a "$1,500 Venmo payment on August 14, 2018.
"That payment was to an exotic dancer, at a strip club. The Defendant described the payment in the Venmo transaction as for 'artwork.' The exotic dancer had not sold him any artwork," the indictment noted.
The indictment also poses significant new challenges for Joe Biden, coming just a week before the U.S. House is set to vote to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry against him and less than two months before.primary voters as set to cast the first 2024 election ballots.
Several passages in the indictment directly contradict Joe Biden's long-held denials.
For instance, the indictment confirms the Biden family got millions from China, something Joe Biden denied. It also confirms that Hunter Biden's business dealings with the Ukraine energy firm Burisma Holdings involved misconduct, specifically the failure to pay taxes on 2014 payments that Hunter Biden got from the firm while his father was vice president.
"The Defendant did not report his income from Burisma on his 2014 Form 1040," the indictment noted pointedly, confirming reporting that Just the News first published more than two years ago. Prosecutors could not charge Hunter Biden with that tax offense because they allowed the statute of limitations to expire in 2022, but they included it in the indictment for the court of public opinion.
The charges involve what prosecutors claimed was a years-long tax evasion scheme.
"The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020," the indictment alleged.
Hunter Biden's lawyer Abbe Lowell suggested Thursday night that his client was a victim of politics. If the president's son's "last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought," Lowell insisted.
"I wrote U.S. Attorney Weiss days ago seeking a customary meeting to discuss this investigation. The response was media leaks today that these charges were being filed," Lowell added.
Prosecutors painted a portrait of Hunter Biden as an unscrupulous taxpayer, evading payment of taxes and failing to file tax forms even as he hauled in millions from foreign interests.
It claimed the president's son spent large sums on an "extravagant lifestyle" – including more than $188,000 on adult entertainment – rather than pay his taxes.
The indictment alleged he cheated with improper deductions even when Hunter Biden did file taxes.
"When he did finally file his 2018 returns, [he] included false business deductions in order to evade assessment of taxes to reduce the substantial tax liabilities he faced as of February 2020," the indictment stated.
The indictment also verifies key allegations that two IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, made to Congress earlier in the year and chronicles how Hunter Biden made millions of dollars from foreign interests while his father was vice president and afterwards. It specifically cites two controversial deals Hunter Biden struck, one with the Burisma in Ukraine and the other with CEFC China Energy.
It also confirmed Hunter Biden tried to help a Romanian oligarch "contest bribery charges he was facing in his home country."
"The Defendant had a legal obligation to pay taxes on all his income, including income earned in Ukraine from his service on Burisma’s Board, fees generated by deal-making with the Chinese private equity fund, as well as income derived from his work as a lawyer and other sources," the indictment also noted.