Why is Joe Biden's son Hunter being investigated for his taxes?
Joe Biden’s son Hunter has said Wednesday that he is under federal investigation, but that he is confident he’ll be cleared of any wrongdoing.
Reports say that the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings actually began in 2018 - before Joe Biden announced his bid for the presidency - and that there is no indication that president-elect Joe Biden is implicated in any way.
Now that the election is over, the investigation enters a new phase, such as issuing subpoenas and requesting interviews. The Justice Department in Delaware who are running the investigation lay low during the election due to guidelines that prohibit overt actions that could affect an election. Hunter Biden received a subpoena on Tuesday, announcing the news on Wednesday.
What is the investigation into Hunter Biden about?
The investigation focuses on multiple financial issues, including whether Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.
Some of Hunter Biden’s business transactions involved people who have sparked counterintelligence concerns to the FBI, but this is a common issue in Chinese business, a source told CNN.
In an interview with the New Yorker in 2019 Hunter Biden recounted an incident in which the head of a company, CEFC China Energy, gifted him a 2.6-carat diamond in 2017. Hunter recalled that he felt uncomfortable with taking it and gave it to other associates. Receiving such a gift could have implications for Biden’s taxes. Biden’s deal with CEFC fell through in the end.
It has not yet become clear whether the current investigation has anything to do with the laptop that the FBI seized in 2019 from a repairman in Delaware who found on it a copy of a subpoena, among other personal and business information.
Joe Biden: deeply proud of son Hunter
The Biden-Harris transition team said the president-elect was "deeply proud of his son," and that Hunter had "fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger."
In a statement Hunter Biden said, "I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisers," he said.
In December 2019, President Donald Trump was impeached by the Democratic-run House of Representatives, accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress arising from his attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. In February Trump was cleared by the Republican-held Senate.
The new investigation into Hunter Biden's tax affairs comes as his father assembles his cabinet. If the case is still on going when Biden is sworn into office next month, his pick for attorney general could have oversight of the investigation, AP noted.