The US attorney's office in Delaware is investigating the tax affairs of Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden. The troubling development for Hunter comes months after intense scrutiny over his business dealings with China, suspicious ties to a Ukrainian energy company, as well as a bunch of personal scandals including alleged links with prostitution rings.
The Biden transition team defended Hunter's record, saying President-elect Joe Biden was deeply proud of his son.
Federal prosecutors, who are working alongside the IRS Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, will likely summon Hunter Biden for questioning, CNN reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Joe Biden is not implicated in the probe, the report says.
Hunter acknowledged the probe was on. "I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs," he said in a statement.
Shady Business Dealings in China
The focal point of the investigation is if Hunter and his associates breached tax and money laundering laws while carrying out business dealings in foreign countries, especially in China.
The investigation, which has been going on since 2018, was on the backburner in recent months, adhering to the Justice Department guidance that prevented moves that could impact the presidential election.
In October, the New York Post reported exclusively that Hunter had arranged a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm Burisma in 2015. The Post produced an email sent to Hunter by the Burisma executive as proof of the communication.
In September, the Senate Republicans released a damning report that accused Hunter Biden of various malpractices during his stint on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. One of the most startling accusations in the report is that Biden wired thousands of dollars to shady people who were involved in the sex industry.
The report also gave a detailed account of Hunter's alleged misdemeanour while his father Joe Biden was in power. It says Hunter sent funds to "non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine.
On a personal front, Hunter was in uneasy limelight last year when an Arkansas woman sued him over paternity. In January, Arkansas Circuit Judge Holly Meyer ruled that Biden was the biological father of the baby born to Lunden Alexis Roberts. The woman was then revealed to be a former stripper at a Washington club that Hunter had frequented. This relationship happened around the time Hunter was dating the widow of his late brother, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.