These are headlines that Joe Biden doesn’t need right now: The US judiciary is charging his son in another case. What sounds boring – tax offenses – turns out to be a source of delicate details.
In the middle of the US election campaign, President Joe Biden is confronted with another accusation against his son Hunter – and with the publication of juicy details from his past.
On Thursday evening (local time) charges were brought against Hunter Biden in a second case: this time for tax offenses. The judiciary accuses the 53-year-old of not paying his federal taxes due for several years, but instead spending millions on an “extravagant lifestyle.” The indictment, which was published on Thursday evening, lists in great detail delicate expenses, such as for sex clubs, drugs and women.
Specifically, it covers the years 2016 to mid-October 2020 – i.e. until shortly before Joe Biden’s election as president. During this time, Hunter Biden recorded more than seven million US dollars in income, according to the 56-page indictment. However, the accused decided not to pay taxes but to use the money for other things: “for drugs, hostesses and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothes and other things of a personal nature, in short: for everything except for his taxes.” .
Several charges are listed: failure to pay taxes, tax evasion and filing false tax documents.
The indictment lists exactly what Hunter Biden earned in those years, including through a lucrative position at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma – at a time when Joe Biden was responsible for Ukraine as Vice President. This has already given Joe Biden negative headlines, uncomfortable questions and investigations in Parliament. But Hunter Biden’s other opaque foreign transactions, such as in China, are also listed in the indictment. Likewise, payments from a “personal friend” totaling $1.2 million over several months in 2020.
Above all, the meticulous compilation of Hunter Biden’s expenses in those years is particularly challenging. A few items from 2018 alone: $383,548 for payments to “various women,” $100,330 for “adult entertainment,” $772,548 in ATM cash withdrawals, $151,459 for clothing and accessories. In several cases, Hunter Biden billed payments to women with whom he had romantic or sexual relationships as salaries. He also recorded other things as “business expenses”, such as $10,000 for a membership in a sex club, payments to strippers, plane tickets for an “exotic dancer” or the rental of a Lamborghini. Likewise, countless overnight stays in expensive hotels, which he himself described in his memoirs as the scene of alcohol and drug orgies.
In the book, which was published in 2021, Hunter impressively and with amazing openness recounted his past as an alcoholic and junkie, as well as other private escapades. The autobiography has already gotten him into legal trouble elsewhere: over a gun purchase in 2018, at a time when, according to his memoirs, he was still deep in the drug swamp.
The other charge
In September, charges were brought against Hunter Biden in the state of Delaware. In the case, he is accused of having provided false information when purchasing the weapon and knowingly concealing his drug addiction – a violation of weapons law. The new indictment on the tax allegations, which is now being dealt with by a court in the state of California, where Hunter Biden lives, is now added.
The 53-year-old has been in the sights of the US justice system for a long time. For years, investigations were ongoing against him in connection with possible tax crimes. In June, the public prosecutor’s office in Delaware finally published formal allegations against the president’s son for violations of gun and tax laws. At the time, it initially looked as if he could avert a trial in both cases through a legal deal with the public prosecutor. But the agreement fell through at a court hearing.
And shortly afterwards, in view of the delicate situation, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special investigator for Hunter Biden: the prosecutor David Weiss, who had already been investigating, was given extra powers and pushed forward the investigation. The Ministry of Justice said on Thursday that the investigations were continuing. Hunter Biden may be threatened with additional legal trouble.
The implications for the election year
For the son of a sitting president to be indicted is highly unusual, if not unprecedented. The fact that more juicy details are coming to light that go beyond the memoirs is an additional burden for Joe Biden in the middle of the election campaign. Also because the Democrat likes to set himself as an example of integrity and decency.
Above all, it adds another remarkable twist to an election year that is already going to be one like no other before: In the coming year, it will not only be the former US President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump, who wants to challenge Joe Biden, who will be taking part in the election campaign have to face several court proceedings due to various serious allegations. The incumbent’s son will also have to complete court appearances parallel to his father’s re-election campaign. Both have never existed like this before.
The charges against Hunter Biden provide the president’s political opponents with plenty of material for political attacks. The Republicans in the House of Representatives are also likely to try to use this to their advantage: They have initiated investigations into possible impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden because of alleged involvement in his son’s business. As things stand, the plan has no chance of success, but it could still become a nuisance for the Democrat in the election year.