Special Counsel David Weiss unveiled nine federal tax-related charges against Hunter Biden on Thursday more than four months after a plea deal was derailed by a federal judge.
The Biden son will return to court facing three new felony charges and six misdemeanor counts relating to tax evasion and filing false returns, but he will escape penalties related to foreign influence-peddling that involves his father in the White House.
Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart in July after confusion over whether Biden would have broad immunity from future potential charges. The initial plea agreement was limited to two misdemeanor tax crimes and a felony firearm charge, the latter of which would have been dismissed if he remained sober and didn’t commit any more crimes for 24 months.
The Biden family, however, raked in upwards of $20 million from foreign oligarchs, including from China, Russia, and Kazakhstan, through a series of shell companies, many of which were established while Joe Biden was vice president. The Biden family’s influence-peddling schemes are now at the center of a congressional impeachment inquiry against the president.
Whistleblowers involved with the federal tax investigation from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claimed the probe suffered undue interference from the Department of Justice, which left the most serious felonies off the table. In November, House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee formally subpoenaed one of Weiss’s top deputies, Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf. Wolf is supposed to appear before lawmakers next week.
“Information available to the Committee suggests that you — either directly or by instructing others — are responsible for many of the decisions to deviate from standard investigative protocol during the Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden,” House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote.
Hunter Biden has also been formally subpoenaed to deliver testimony before lawmakers in the lower chamber. On Wednesday, Jordan, with House Oversight Chairman James Comer of Kentucky, threatened to hold Hunter Biden in contempt over his refusal to comply with lawmakers’ request. Hunter Biden’s attorney offered only to allow testimony in a public forum. House Republicans denied the request but said Hunter Biden should have a public hearing at a later date following a closed-door deposition.
“Mr. Biden’s attempt to avoid sitting for a deposition pursuant to the terms of subpoenas — by offering instead to testify at a public hearing — amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the Committees,” lawmakers wrote. “Mr. Biden will not succeed in attempting to dictate to the Committees how they conduct their investigation.”