The Hunter Biden soap opera is far from over

Nelita Collins
  • He says he can’t remember his affair with a woman that led to a child, and was ordered by a court to pay child support after a DNA test.
  • He is tied to a mysteriously lost laptop that was seized by the FBI, but that he says may have been stolen by Russians.
  • He has been the subject of a partisan investigation meant to embarrass his dad before the 2020 election.
  • He seems to have gotten sober, remarried, published a memoir about his addiction and taken up a new career as an artist, although sales of his art raised their own questions about transparency and conflicts of interest.

But this story is not over.

A federal investigation into the President’s son is gaining steam, there are new details about his foreign business dealings, and he is again the subject of Republican scrutiny.

We may know the broad strokes, but it’s the details that could get Hunter Biden indicted — or not — perhaps on federal charges related to how he made all those millions from foreign sources at a time when he was spiraling out of control on drugs.

Federal investigation heats up

CNN’s Evan Perez and Katelyn Polantz report the probe has gathered steam in recent months. They describe “a flurry of witnesses providing testimony to federal investigators and more expected to provide interviews in the coming weeks, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.” Read the full report.

Trump reinserts himself (and Putin)

In a new interview with a right-wing news outlet published on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release any dirt the Russians have on the Biden family.

New details about millions from China

The Washington Post reports on financial documents from the mysterious laptop that tie Biden to a Chinese company (with links to the Chinese government) that paid him and his uncle James, Joe Biden’s brother, millions more.

Included in the Post report are emails between Hunter Biden and Chinese businessmen. He also once told a property manager he would be sharing office space in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood with his father, but that does not appear to have come to be. Hunter Biden did not comment to the Post on the emails from the laptop.

Grand jury testimony

Federal investigators have interviewed a woman with whom he had an affair and the child he fathered, along with lobbyists and business partners.

One such partner, Devon Archer, who sat with Biden on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, was questioned by a grand jury in Delaware last July, according to Perez and Polantz.

That was before Archer went to jail for defrauding a Native American tribe.

What crimes might Hunter Biden have committed?

Possible charges for Biden and his associates could include tax evasion, money laundering, or violation of foreign lobbying laws and even gun laws, since a firearm purchased by Biden was once discarded in a Delaware dumpster.

Biden has denied any wrongdoing and said he used tax advisers to file taxes.

Back to Burisma

Hunter Biden made millions more from Burisma. Recall that Trump used this connection to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on the Bidens before the 2020 presidential election.

Democrats impeached Trump in early 2020 for using his power as president to pressure a foreign government to get involved in US politics, but Senate Republicans kept Trump in office.

Federal investigators, according to Perez and Polantz’s very detailed and deeply sourced reporting, have focused on Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying firm that Biden may have worked with on trying to improve Burisma’s reputation in the US.

Blue Star employees approached State Department officials after the US government criticized the founder of Burisma. That work was the subject of the 2020 inquiry by Senate Republicans, which did not explicitly find any wrongdoing.

Taxes now apparently paid

Perez and Polantz report Biden has told associates he paid outstanding tax bills. Unpaid taxes in Washington, DC, were also likely paid since public records show more than $450,000 in state liens were lifted in 2020.

Rather than ending the investigation, however, the payments led investigators to examine the source of funds to pay the tax bills, Perez and Polantz report.

Biden political enemies

Hunter Biden’s business dealings have long been a line of political attack for Republicans, often spearheaded by Rudy Giuliani on behalf of Trump. They sought to sully President Biden with the taint of his son’s foreign business dealings and personal problems.

President Biden, who is not implicated in the federal investigation into his son’s activities, has denied having anything to do with his son’s business and praised his son’s attempts to deal with his addiction.

Hunter Biden has admitted his last name got him access to money, and argued the same is true of Trump’s kids, and said he underestimated how his foreign business dealings would be viewed.

But that regret won’t be much help if the US Attorney in Delaware — who has been investigating Biden since 2018, with a quiet period in 2020 in honor of a long-standing custom not to influence presidential elections — finds he broke the law.

None of these developments for Hunter Biden, even if they have nothing to do with his father, can be welcome news to the President, who is struggling with sagging approval ratings.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/30/politics/hunter-biden-investigation-what-matters/index.html

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