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As prosecutors weigh charges, memos show Hunter Biden was warned about unpaid taxes, lobbying

Hunter Biden was told in 2016-17 he had unpaid taxes on foreign income, alerted to debate over registering as a FARA lobbyist.

Published: March 17, 2022 7:47pm

Updated: March 19, 2022 10:32pm

As they decide whether to file criminal charges, federal prosecutors have access to key Hunter Biden memos that state the president's son was alerted years ago to legal issues about unpaid taxes on foreign income and the potential of having to register as a foreign lobbyist.

The memos from business associates, accountants and law partners were turned over in December 2019 to the FBI on a laptop that Hunter Biden had abandoned at a Delaware repair shop. They provide supporting evidence to suspicious financial transactions flagged to the Treasury Department between 2016 and 2019 by banks that were revealed by a 2020 Senate investigation.

Two of the most tantalizing memos involve Hunter Biden's relationship with Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas firm long regarded as corrupt by U.S. officials that hired Hunter Biden and his now-convicted business partner Devon Archer to its board in spring 2014.

The hirings coincided with a trip then-Vice President Joe Biden made to Kyiv as President Obama's newly named point man for U.S.-Ukraine policy.

The computer records show that just as word of the Burisma hiring became public Hunter Biden was looped into an email string with Ukrainian company executives and one of his American law partners laying out an aggressive plan to lobby U.S.  agencies. There was a pointed discussion about gaining influence inside the Obama-Biden administration for Burisma without having to register as a lobbyist under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

"Devon and Hunter — The immediate plan is to reach out to the Energy and Ukraine desks, respectively, at State Dept to introduce them to Burisma and 'update' them on Burisma's current situation," the law partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner wrote.

"We can't just go in there with a hard ask but it is often the case that the conversation is open to an ask, assuming it goes well," the May 12, 2014 memo added. At the time Hunter Biden was joining the Burisma board, he also worked at the Boies Schiller law firm and was directing some of Burisma's legal work to the firm.

The memos openly discussed a desire to avoid registering as lobbyists.

"We at BSF will lead all this work and can execute the political and legal work right up to the line where we would need to register as lobbyists, but I don't want to register under the lobbying disclosure act or the foreign agents registration act," the law partner wrote.

Later, she inquired about whether Burisma had any American subsidiaries so it could lobby through them and not be viewed as a foreign entity.

"Devon — Does Burisma have any related company registered in the U.S.? A subsidiary of any sort even?" she asked in an email string where Hunter Biden was copied.

"They do not," Archer wrote back.

The law partner who wrote the email and Hunter Biden's lawyer did not return repeated calls seeking comment on the emails.

The New York Times reported Wednesday the federal investigation into Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings began in 2018 and is focused on issues like whether he legally was obligated to register under FARA, whether he violated tax laws or laundered any money.

Hunter Biden acknowledged he was under tax investigation in December 2020, shortly after his father was elected, and has denied any wrongdoing.

The Times reported Hunter Biden recently paid a belated tax bill around $1 million dollars.

Memos obtained by Just the News more than a year ago show the president's son was warned as early as 2016 by a business associate and accountant that he had failed to pay taxes on large payments he had received from Burisma.

For instance, just four days before Donald Trump assumed the presidency, a business colleague warned Hunter Biden he had not paid taxes on approximately $400,000 that he had been paid by Burisma in 2014 alone.

"In 2014 you joined the Burisma Board and we still need to amend your 2014 returns to reflect the unreported Burisma income," Rosemont Seneca executive Eric Schwerin wrote Hunter Biden in the Jan. 16, 2017 email. "That is approximately $400,000 extra so your income in 2014 was close to $1,247,328."

The emails actually started months earlier in spring 2016, when Hunter Biden learned his longtime business partner Archer was under federal investigation.

"Hunter and I talked briefly this morning and feel good with where we are on the taxes and the narrative regarding that," Schwerin wrote defense lawyers George Mesires and Michael MacPhail on April 14, 2016 as the team tried to secure a cooperation agreement with federal authorities in the Archer case.

The conversations were prompted by a subpoena to Hunter Biden from federal authorities a few weeks earlier, the emails show. "I received a SEC subpoena for any information I have related to the situation Devin [sic] is dealing with," Hunter Biden wrote a lawyer and Schwerin on March 23, 2016.

The inner circle devised a strategy for Hunter Biden to file an extension to file his 2015 taxes and "begin the process of amending the 2014 returns to reflect the Burisma payments from 2014," the emails stated. The move would buy time so that Hunter Biden's team could develop a proffer and produce documents to federal prosecutors to avoid becoming ensnared in the criminal case against Archer, the emails revealed.

At the time, FBI, SEC and IRS agents were bearing down on Archer, and agents arrested him a month later in May 2016 on charges he helped defraud a Native American tribe, a move the emails show was closely monitored by Hunter Biden's team.

Archer was convicted by a federal court in 2018, and he was recently sentenced to a year and one day in prison and millions in fines and restitution. Archer is appealing the sentence.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who played a key role in Congress investigating the false Russia collusion narrative and the Ukraine impeachment scandal, said Thursday the laptop documents and their relevance to the FBI probe illustrate the dangers of the censorship that occurred in major social media and news media when the Biden scandal first broke in 2019.

Major news media called the Biden scandal a "conspiracy theory," national security experts aligned with the Biden campaign alleged falsely that the story and the laptop were "Russian disinformation," and Twitter and Facebook censored stories about the issues.

"You have the Democrats' candidate for president in the weeks leading up to the election, we find out his son who had this cushy job with Burisma that was the focus of the 2019 impeachment was not paying taxes," Jordan told Just the News. "I mean that comes out just days and weeks before the presidential election.

"That's what [the censors] had to avoid. They went to any length they could to stop that with social media platforms, not allowing this story to go forward. The legacy media, as John pointed out, and of course all these intel people who came forward and said, 'Oh, this is really Russian disinformation.' No, it wasn't. It was the truth."

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