According to The New York Times, presidential son Hunter Biden, who was under investigation by federal prosecutors for alleged tax fraud, has apparently paid what he owes, although he remains the subject of additional investigations. According to the article, Biden informed a colleague that his tax debt, which topped $1 million, had been paid, but that he needed to take out a loan to pay it.
Nonetheless, he is still being investigated for additional potential tax law infractions, as well as “foreign lobbying and money laundering restrictions,” according to the publication, which adds that Mr. Biden’s inability to pay all of his taxes has been a focus of the current Justice Department probe.
While the payment does not prohibit criminal proceedings against him, tax law experts believe it may make it more difficult for prosecutors to get a conviction or a harsh sentence for tax-related violations since juries and judges are more sympathetic to defendants who have paid their debts.
Mr. Biden’s taxes, though, are only one component of a larger probe emanating from work he undertook across the world. Hunter Biden is a Yale-educated lawyer whose professional activity has crossed with his father’s public career, including acting as a registered lobbyist for domestic interests and seeking agreements and clients in Asia and Europe when his father was vice president.
Last month, a federal grand jury in Wilmington, Del., heard evidence from two witnesses, one of whom was a former employee of Hunter Biden whose lawyer was later subpoenaed for financial information relating to money Mr. Biden got from a Ukrainian energy business.
According to the New York Times, the present probe began as a basic tax examination under the Obama administration. However, it increased in 2018 as a result of the finding of evidence indicating probable criminal breaches of tax laws, as well as money laundering and foreign lobbying restrictions, according to sources familiar with the inquiry.
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According to the Times, prosecutors are confronting a number of challenges in pursuing criminal charges. They include the difficulties of showing that Biden meant to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires lobbyists to notify the Justice Department of any lobbying activity or public relations help provided on behalf of foreign clients.
Biden has not been charged with any of the crimes he has committed, nor has he been charged with any sort of felony, but the Justice Department has not said if any are forthcoming, according to the Times.
“For President Biden, the long-running case is both politically and personally fraught. Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company, became a flashpoint in his father’s race in 2020 against President Donald J. Trump and helped set off the events that led to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment,” the Times article reported.
The disclosure regarding Hunter Biden’s business conversations and deals in Ukraine and abroad was first revealed by the Times’ competitor, the New York Post, only a few weeks before the 2020 election.
According to papers recovered on the hard drive, a copy of which Rudy Giuliani supplied to The Post. Hunter Biden, then-President Trump’s personal attorney, connected his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a key executive of a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the older Biden pressed Ukrainian government authorities to fire a prosecutor investigating the company.
The extremely restricted interaction is mentioned in a message of thanks allegedly delivered to Hunter Biden by Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, on April 17, 2015, almost a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at an estimated salary of up to $50,000 per month.
On social media, The Washington Post’s reportage was heavily restricted and repressed. Twitter froze The Post’s account for weeks, essentially halting the dissemination of the news. Other major media sites suggested at the time that the documents disclosed by The Post were tied to a Russian misinformation effort aimed at aiding Trump.