Kevin Morris attests to nearly $6 million to Hunter Biden as Republicans announce new depositions

The Hollywood lawyer confirmed months of Just the News reporting that detailed millions in loans to Hunter Biden during the 2020 campaign.

Published: January 18, 2024 11:00pm

Updated: January 19, 2024 8:57am

Kevin Morris’ transcribed interview Thursday with the House Oversight Committee confirmed months of Just the News reporting about the Hollywood lawyer’s $5 million in loans to Hunter Biden and his work to limit the political risk related to the first son's tax returns.

The loans from Morris to Biden raise ethical and campaign finance concerns for his father, President Joe Biden, says Oversight Chairman James Comer, a Kentucky Republican. 

The same concerns were raised previously by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who testified on Capitol Hill that their team had begun to look into possible campaign finance violations related to Morris’ payments but were called off by the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Kevin Morris admitted he has ‘loaned’ the president’s son at least $5 million," Comer said Thursday after the interview. "These ‘loans’ don’t have to be repaid until after the next presidential election and the ‘loans’ may ultimately be forgiven. Since Kevin Morris has kept President Biden’s son financially afloat, he’s had access to the Biden White House and has spoken to President Biden.”

He also said: “This follows a familiar pattern where Hunter Biden’s associates have access to Joe Biden himself. As we continue more interviews this month and the next, we will continue to follow the facts to understand the full scope of President Biden and his family’s corruption."

House Democrats believed Morris' testimony was less conclusive and did not indicate President Biden’s involvement.

"Just like every other witness in this colossal embarrassment of an ‘investigation,’ Kevin Morris affirmed today that he has no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden and that Joe Biden was not involved in, did not profit from, and took no official actions in relation to Morris and Hunter Biden’s relationship," said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, the committee's top Democrat. 

Morris’ closed-door interview is the latest in a series planned by the Republican-led committee over the next month culminating in a deposition of Hunter Biden scheduled for Feb. 28, Comer and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan announced Thursday. Last month, House Republicans approved an impeachment inquiry into President Biden after they spent months probing his son Hunter's foreign business dealings and uncovered what they allege is an influence peddling scheme by the Biden family that the president may have benefitted from financially. 

Before the younger Biden’s testimony, the committees plan to interview five more individuals with knowledge of Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and the Biden family, including Eric Schwerin and Tony Bobulinski.  Schwerin, who worked with Hunter at Rosemont Seneca, communicated over email with then-Vice President Biden at least 54 times and visited the White House at least 36 times. Bobulinski was at the center of the Biden family's efforts to secure a business relationship with CEFC China Energy and its Chairman Ye Jianming.

Morris did not respond to an email request for comment from Just the News by the time of publication.

“My only goal was and is to help my friend and client. In this country there is no prohibition against helping a friend in need with no ulterior motive,” Morris reportedly said in his opening statement, according to Punchbowl News

"I did not and do not have any expectations of receiving anything from Hunter’s father or the Biden administration in exchange for helping Hunter, nor have I asked for anything from President Biden or his administration,” Morris continued. 

Morris also reportedly said that he is "confident" that Hunter Biden will repay his loans. 

The highlights of the transcribed interview confirm reporting from Just the News and the IRS Whistleblowers, including:

  • Lanette Phillips and Hunter Biden met at a campaign fundraiser for Joe Biden in California. Phillips later introduced Hunter Biden to art gallerist Georges Bergès.
  • Kevin Morris gave Hunter Biden $5 million in loans to pay off tax debts and personal expenses. They put together paperwork after the fact, detailing the loan agreement.
  • Morris worked with Hunter Biden’s team of accountants to limit the political risk of the younger Biden’s tax debts.
  • Hunter Biden sold $875,000 worth of artwork to Morris, over half of his total production.

Morris and the younger Biden reportedly met at a Joe Biden fundraiser in 2019 hosted by Hollywood socialites in California, according to The New York Times. Phillips, one of the fundraiser hosts and a Democratic donor, introduced Morris to Hunter Biden. The successful Hollywood lawyer and the son of the former vice president became fast friends. Now, Hunter Biden calls Morris a brother and a central figure is restoring his dignity after his financial difficulties that came on top of his drug addictions.

“I don’t know where I would be if not for Kevin,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “And I don’t mean just because he has loaned me money to survive this onslaught, I mean because he has given me back my dignity. He’s been a brother to me."

Hunter Biden ultimately received payments exceeding $5 million from Morris in the middle of his father’s presidential campaign for bills and expenses, including five-figure monthly rents at California homes, child support payments, some travel, legal bills, and federal and local tax debts totaling over $2 million, according to documents reviewed by Just the News in November of last year.

Just the News estimated that the payments totaled over $6 million, when the art sales are included. These figures have since been confirmed publicly by the Oversight committee.

Twenty months after the funds began to flow, Morris and Biden committed the arrangement to paper, classifying the payments as loans in promissory notes, according to the documents.

Presidential brother James Biden, uncle of Hunter Biden, told IRS investigators and federal prosecutors in a September 2022 interview that he did not know why Morris had been so helpful to his nephew.

“Morris was helping RHB a lot, but James B didn’t know why,” the IRS summary of an interview with James Biden stated. “James B thought that this might have been because of his ego. RHB asked James B to thank Morris because Morris requested a thank you,” according to the IRS summary, which was provided to Congress by the whistleblowers.

Shapley and Ziegler also provided evidence that showed Morris’ assistance to Hunter Biden was motivated by the political risk that the tax debts posed for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Ziegler told the House Ways and Means Committee that he got the impression that the Biden campaign itself was behind Morris’ assistance to the younger Biden, which raised concerns about the campaign finance violations that the Oversight Committee addressed in Morris’ testimony.

In late January 2020, Hunter Biden and his team of lawyers and accountants gathered at the home of Kevin Morris for a “crisis meeting,” to ostensibly address the younger Biden’s mounting tax issues. However, Hunter Biden’s accountant told the IRS, FBI, and Justice Department that the delinquent tax returns were not discussed at all, according to a memo that Ziegler provided to congressional investigators.

Shortly after the meeting, Morris emailed Hunter Biden’s accountant and reminded him of the political pressure hanging over their heads.

“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 the accountant on Feb. 7, 2020.

“Sorry for the pressure earlier. Please send the issues list ASAP,” Morris continued, expressing urgency.

Despite concerns about the potential for the campaign finance violations, the whistleblowers testified that they were explicitly told not to pursue an investigation into those specific allegations by the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office overseeing the Hunter Biden case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wolf, a deputy of David Weiss, told Shapley and his team that she “did not want any of the agents to look into the [campaign finance] allegation,” according to a memo the whistleblower provided to Congress.

The Oversight committee last week confirmed reporting from Just the News that Kevin Morris was also a major buyer of Hunter Biden’s artwork. The owner of the art gallery that represented Biden, Georges Bergès, told investigators that Morris bought $875,000 worth of art from Biden, even as he was loaning him millions.

Bergès also told investigators that he never spoke with the White House about any ethics agreement governing Biden’s art sales.

This contradicted then-Press Secretary Jen Psaki claim in July 2021 that “a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards […] But all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist, adhering to the highest industry standards. And any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand.”

Instead, the vast majority of Biden’s artwork was purchased by Democratic donors and people known to him, including Morris and Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, who President Biden appointed to a federal commission.

[Jan. 19, 2024: This story was updated to include comments from Morris reportedly delivered in his open statement to Congress.]

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