The White House on Friday dodged questions about a bombshell report suggesting the president’s son could face tax felony charges and lying about buying a gun.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation for years, and now sources say investigators have enough evidence to file charges.
Details of the probe were leaked on Thursday.
But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged questions from DailyMail.com about whether President Joe Biden was concerned about the leak or the possibility that his son could be charged.
“This is an ongoing investigation that is being handled independently of the Department of Justice, so I will refer you to the Department of Justice,” she told reporters traveling with Biden on Air Force One.
It’s the same kind of words she’s used with every question about the investigation and whether Hunter was trying to cash in on his famous name.
A day earlier, a report revealed that federal agents now believe they have enough evidence to file charges.
That Washington Post claims that the investigation into the president’s son, which began in 2018, is now in the hands of US Attorney David Weiss, who was nominated by Donald Trump and would oversee any decision on charges.
“This is an ongoing investigation that is being handled independently of the Department of Justice, so I will refer you to the Department of Justice,” Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday.
The president was joined by his son Hunter during a trip in August when they flew to South Carolina for a week-long vacation on Kiawah Island
The investigation was sparked by Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals while father Joe was vice president, and the charges could include failure to pay income taxes, money laundering and violations of U.S. tax laws.
A series of deals Hunter has made with business tycoons in China, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have come under intense scrutiny – and the president has insisted he knows nothing about them.
However, DailyMail.com received a voicemail in 2018 in which it was determined that Joe had knowledge by saying “I think you’re in the clear” following a New York Times article detailing a connection between Hunter and a Chinese oil magnate.
Investigators have also questioned whether he lied on paperwork to buy a gun in 2018, which his late brother’s wife Hallie later tossed in the trash near a Delaware high school.
Hunter’s lawyers responded to the Washington Post’s Thursday story with fury by suggesting that leaking such information is a federal crime.
Hunter paid back an outstanding tax liability in 2020 and acknowledged an investigation into what he called his ‘tax affairs’.
The case is being overseen by a Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware who was confirmed in 2018 and asked to stay on under the Biden administration. Biden and AG Merrick Garland have repeatedly said they would leave the case to career prosecutors. The newspaper cited anonymous people familiar with the matter.
The arms purchase case concerns standard papers for the purchase of a weapon. On the form, Hunter denied using illegal drugs or being addicted to drugs — statements undermined by his own behavior.
He has revealed in his own memoir that he was addicted to crack cocaine and has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.
Images found on his infamous laptop, which surfaced weeks before Election Day 2020 and contained data that experts who analyzed it have confirmed to DailyMail.com, appear to show crack cocaine use.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation for years on tax and other matters. In 2020, he acknowledged a government investigation and settled for back pay
Emails traced to the laptop also point to a range of business activities in China and elsewhere. He also secured a lucrative board position with a Ukrainian energy company and did business in Kazakhstan and other remote areas.
The gun case is the type that prosecutors sometimes charge and sometimes overlook. But according to DOJ figures cited by the Post, there were 478 citations for possession of firearms the year of Hunter Biden’s purchase, with charges filed in 298 cases.
Rebecca Roiphe, the Joseph Solomon Distinguished Professor of Law at New York Law School, told DailyMail.com that prosecutions for lying on a federal form are rare, but if convicted, the crime carries a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison .
“Prosecutors have broad discretion whether to bring charges in a case even if they have sufficient evidence to prove that a person violated federal criminal law,” she said.
“Some of the factors a prosecutor may weigh include: the extent of harm caused by the offence, the offender’s background or characteristics and whether he has made efforts to pay back or shown signs of rehabilitation, how similar cases have been dealt with in the past , and generally whether this use of resources would be in the public interest.
“I think prosecutions for lying on gun purchase forms are relatively rare, but I don’t know exact numbers. I imagine in general it would be pretty hard to prove that a person lied on the form. With tax crimes, prosecutors tend to consider whether the individual has made an effort to repay taxes and whether pursuing civil remedies would be sufficient.
‘Federal prosecutors are considering this because in some cases they may be able to obtain a fair settlement and deter others from committing tax crimes without expending resources on a criminal prosecution.
“In terms of punishment, the punishment for the tax crimes will vary depending on the particular crime charged. The penalty for lying on the federal form can be up to ten years in prison.’
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain vouched for the president’s son in a television interview in April.
The White House said ‘no one’ at the White House was involved in the allegations about the president’s son, which Chief of Staff Ron Klain called a ‘private matter’
Acting U.S. Attorney David Weiss is overseeing the investigation. AG Merrick Garland has said he would refer the Trump-appointed prosecutor
Information from Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop provides information about his foreign dealings
Hunter Biden has spoken openly about his struggles with substance abuse. His admissions could work against him if prosecutors decide to charge him with lying about drug use on a document when he bought a firearm in 2018
“Obviously, the president is confident that his son did not break the law,” Klain said.
“But most importantly, as I said, it’s a matter to be decided by the Department of Justice, by the legal process. It’s something nobody in the White House is involved in.”
A 2018 voicemail from Hunter’s iPhone, uncovered by DailyMail.com, appears to show Joe Biden reaching out to his son to discuss a New York Times article about his work with CEFC, despite the president’s denials that that he ever spoke to Hunter about his overseas business. acts.
‘Hey buddy, it’s dad. It is 8.15 on Wednesday evening. If you get a chance, give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you,’ Biden said on the answering machine.
‘I thought the article that was published online, it will be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you are ready. And anyway, if you get a chance, call me, I love you.’
Hunter’s attorney, Chris Clark, lashed out at “delicious” in his own scathing response to the story.
“It is a federal crime for a federal agent to leak information about a Grand Jury investigation like this,” he said in a statement to the Post. ‘Every agent you cite as a source in your article has obviously committed such a crime. We expect the Department of Justice to diligently investigate and prosecute such bad actors. ‘
“As is proper and legally required, we believe that prosecutors in this case carefully and thoroughly weighed not only the evidence provided by agents, but also all the other witnesses in this case, including witnesses for the defense.” That is the task of the prosecutors. They should not be pressured, rushed or criticized to do their job.’
With information in the public domain that investigators working the case believe there is enough evidence to charge, it could put pressure on the prosecutor overseeing the case to file charges.
Hunter’s business practices have come under increased scrutiny as media organizations continue to investigate the content of material originating from Hunter’s laptop.
He and Biden’s brother James were reportedly paid about $5 million by Chinese energy giant CEFC.
He even said that he was once presented with a 2.8 carat diamond by CEFC Energy China tycoon Ye Jianming.
Klain also told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: ‘I just want to be absolutely clear, these are the actions of Hunter and his brother. They are private matters. They don’t involve the president. And they are certainly something that no one in the White House is involved in.’
The mass of emails uncovered on Hunter’s laptop, which a Wilmington garage owner says someone resembling Hunter dropped off at his garage and never picked up, include emails that refer to an apparently dysfunctional tax situation.
“You need 2017 filed so we can try to work out a payment plan,” his accountant Bill Morgan wrote him in messages CNN said it authenticated.
At the time, the IRS was still pinging him to pay arrears on his 2015 return.
“They want $158,000,” Morgan wrote. ‘The IRS has notified the State Department and they will not renew your passport until this is resolved.’
The gun case had its origins in a 2018 incident in which Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, who had an affair with Hunter, took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can.
In the midst of a search for the weapon, Secret Service agents approached a gun store owner seeking paperwork on the purchase, Political reported last year. The gun shop owner subsequently turned the papers over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The tax probe began way back in the Obama administration, the New York Times reported, then expanded in 2018 to include potential criminal tax violations.
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