US special counsel announces federal indictment of Hunter Biden, alleging 9 tax law violations

Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was charged with nine counts of tax violations in California in a federal indictment handed down by a grand jury on Thursday.

The new charges against the younger Biden include three felonies and six misdemeanors in connection with his failure to file and pay his taxes and the filing of false tax returns. These charges, which were filed by Special Counsel David Weiss in US Court in the Central District of California, are serious. If he is found guilty, the president’s son could receive a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison.

Hunter Biden before the start of the vice presidential debate, at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, October 11, 2012. [AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]

The 56-page indictment states in paragraph four of the section titled “Introductory Allegations”:

The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020.

The indictment states that Biden “subverted the payroll and tax withholding process” of his own company, Owasco, PC, by withdrawing funds from the firm in an illegal manner. It asserts that he spent millions of dollars “on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills;” that he stopped paying his “outstanding and overdue taxes for tax year 2015,” despite having access to funds to pay the government; that he “willfully failed to pay his 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 taxes on time;” and that he “willfully failed to file his 2017 and 2018 tax returns on time.”

The charges were filed in California, the state where Hunter Biden lives. The indictment against the 53-year-old son of the president details his spending on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes.”

The indictment provides an accounting of Biden’s alleged fleecing of Owasco’s finances, including a total of $1.6 million in ATM cash withdrawals for purchasing $400,000 in clothing and accessories, $750,000 for restaurants, health and beauty products, groceries and other retail purchases as well as $683,212 for “payments — various women.”

The younger Biden has acknowledged his dissolute lifestyle during this period, which he attributes to a drug addiction.

The new charges are now added to a previous indictment against Hunter Biden secured by the special counsel on September 14, in which Weiss brought three felony charges against him in a Delaware court in connection with his illegal purchase of a revolver in 2018.

At the time, Hunter Biden was a recovering drug addict, who had struggled with his addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine, and it was illegal for him to purchase a weapon. He lied on his application, saying he was not a recovering drug addict to skirt the law. In that indictment, Weiss wrote that Biden “possessed a firearm while knowing he was an unlawful user of or addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance, in violation of federal law.”

The new indictment against Hunter Biden further complicates the legal problems facing the family of President Biden just as the campaign for the 2024 presidential election gets under way in earnest. Supporters of the fascist Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are seeking to use the charges against Biden’s son as a means of undermining the senior Biden’s campaign for reelection, claiming that Hunter Biden’s alleged tax violations are part of a broader range of corrupt business practices in which the current president is implicated. There are, in fact, aspects of the case that point to possible, if not likely, corruption and influence-peddling linked to Joe Biden’s political operations.

In any event, the latest indictment and the likelihood of criminal trials of Hunter Biden in the midst of the 2024 presidential election campaign call into question the viability of Joe Biden’s bid for a second term. It coincides with plummeting poll numbers for the 81-year-old incumbent, including a collapse in support among younger voters that is driven by opposition to the genocide in Gaza.

In Ukraine, Hunter Biden had a well paid position on the board of directors of Burisma, a large energy company, even though he had no apparent qualifications for the post other than the fact that he was the son of the then-US Vice President. Joe Biden had been named by President Obama to head US efforts in Ukraine after the Maidan coup of 2014, in which fascist groups drove out the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, and replaced him with a pro-NATO puppet.

After Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, Hunter Biden shifted his business focus to China, working on a deal with CEFC China Energy. While he claimed he made little money, a subsequent report by the Washington Post said the firm paid $4.8 million in fees as part of a consulting agreement signed by the younger Biden.

As a Trump-appointed US attorney for the state of Delaware prior to his elevation to federal special counsel, David Weiss had charged Hunter Biden with misdemeanor tax violations and gun law violations.

The Biden administration worked out a plea bargain between Weiss and Hunter Biden’s attorneys in June 2023 and hoped it would put an end to the younger Biden’s legal problems. Under the deal, he was to plead guilty to the misdemeanor tax counts and accept a “diversion agreement” on the gun charge, thereby avoiding prison time.

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden leaves after a court appearance, Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in Wilmington, Delaware. [AP Photo/Julio Cortez]

However, in July, Judge Maryellen Noreika, also a Trump appointee, refused to approve the agreement, an unusual occurrence in a plea deal involving misdemeanor charges. She did so after Weiss stated that his investigation of Hunter Biden’s business relations would continue, prompting Biden to plead not guilty to the tax charges.

One factor in the prosecution of Hunter Biden is the desire of the Trump camp to divert attention from the multiple federal and state trials he is facing for his own criminal business practices and his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by means of fascist mob violence.

Responding to the indictment on Thursday, Hunter Biden’s defense attorney Abbe Lowell accused Weiss of “bowing to Republican pressure” in the case. Lowell said, “Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought.”

Meanwhile, House Republicans are seeking to exploit the new charges against Hunter Biden to push their impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden.

The indictments against Hunter Biden, the ongoing and pending trials of Donald Trump and the impeachment probe of President Biden in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election are expressions of a massive crisis of the entire US political system. With the fascist Trump as the Republican Party front-runner and the incumbent Democrat Biden identified as “Genocide Joe” for his complicity in the murderous Israeli onslaught on Gaza, the 2024 elections will be held under unprecedented conditions of crisis of the entire capitalist system.