- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Hunter Biden, the son of presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden, said Wednesday that the U.S. attorney in Delaware is investigating his taxes.

In a statement released by his father’s transition team, the younger Mr. Biden said federal prosecutors in Delaware have contacted his attorney, but did not offer any more details.

“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 advisors,” the statement read.

In a separate statement, the Biden-Harris transition team offered support and cast him as a victim, but did not attack this specific case as illegitimate.

“President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger,” they said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney in Delaware declined to comment.

Federal tax investigations usually include the IRS Criminal Division and the FBI, although it is not known whether either are involved in the Biden probe. Neither agency responded to requests for comment.

The investigation began in 2018, before Attorney General William P. Barr took over the Justice Department, according to CNN.

That same report said the probe concerns the younger Mr. Biden’s foreign dealings, principally in China, and related counter-intelligence worries.

Although it is not officially known why he is under investigation, his business dealings have raised questions from Republicans.

Allegations of money laundering, shady business dealings in China and other countries, as well as other financial improprieties by Hunter Biden constantly dogged his father’s campaign.

Yet none of the accusations or shady dealings have resulted in criminal charges or, until now, have been officially known to have resulted in an investigation.

Rep. Ken Buck, Colorado Republican, earlier this week asked Attorney General William P. Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate Mr. Biden’s role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, despite having no experience in the field, when his father was vice president and handling U.S. relations with Ukraine.

Mr. Buck said the FBI is in possession of emails on a hard drive that are “potentially incriminating.”

That hard drive exists on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, which was brought to the news media by President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

FBI agents took possession of the laptop in 2019, according to a computer repair technician in Delaware who has a copy of the subpoena.

Despite the attention created by the laptop, it is unclear whether its contents are part of the investigation by Delaware prosecutors.

In October, Sinclair Broadcasting reported that the FBI had opened a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden. At the time, the Biden campaign ignored the report.

Two Senate Republicans last month released a report showing that Hunter Biden had close financial ties to a Chinese tycoon linked to that country’s ruling Communist Party.

Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson said the ties “create counterintelligence and extortion concerns,” as the elder Mr. Biden becomes president next month.

The report, based on newly uncovered documents, shows suspicious wire transfers from Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs to Mr. Biden in 2014, while his father was vice president. Documents turned over by a former business associate Tony Bobulinksi were also part of the part.

News of the investigation creates a challenge for the incoming Biden Justice Department. It raises potential conflict of interest questions as federal prosecutors continue to probe the case.

Michael Ahrens, communications director for the Republican National Committee, noted that David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, was recommended for the position by the state’s two Democratic senators.

“It’s going to be hard to attack this Hunter Biden investigation as partisan when it’s being run by a U.S. Attorney who was highly recommended by Delaware’s two Dem senators and later confirmed by voice vote,” he wrote on Twitter.

Delaware Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both Democrats, praised Mr. Weiss after his nomination. Mr. Carper called him an “excellent choice for U.S. Attorney” while Mr. Coons praised him as an “excellent nominee.”

The elder Mr. Biden said this week his son’s business dealings won’t create a conflict of interest.

“My son [and] my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be a conflict whether the appropriate distance from the presidency and government,” Mr. Biden said in an interview with CNN.

• Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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