President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, has not escaped possible criminal charges for taxes he failed to pay while serving on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings ago is almost ten years old.
Special counsel David Weiss, lead prosecutor in the ongoing tax fraud case against Hunter Biden, has let the statute of limitations expire for failure to pay $124,000 in taxes on his roughly $1 million salary in Burma in 2014. Critics say the move was intended to protect the Bidens from an affair that could have revealed evidence of influence peddling involving then-Vice President Biden.
However, legal experts say Mr. Weiss can revive the case because Hunter Biden has not yet paid the taxes. He could be charged with conspiracy to commit tax fraud, a move that could lead investigators to evidence of Mr. Biden’s alleged involvement in helping Burisma thwart a corruption investigation by the State in the name of his son.
“This is a crucial test for Weiss,” said Mike Davis, former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Article III Project, which advocates for constitutionalist judges and the rule of law.
Mr. Weiss is facing scrutiny from lawmakers in the House and Senate over his handling of the tax fraud and gun violation investigation into the president’s son.
After a plea deal with Hunter Biden failed in court in July, Mr. Weiss indicted him on three criminal firearms charges related to his possession of a Colt Cobra revolver while he was addicted to drugs.
But Mr. Weiss has not yet indicated how or whether he plans to charge Hunter Biden with hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and other possible crimes, including registration law violations. foreign agents or FARA.
House Republicans delved into Burisma’s unpaid taxes when they questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Sept. 20 Judiciary Committee hearing about the whistleblowers’ allegations of political interference. IRS in Hunter Biden tax fraud investigation.
“You let the statutes of limitations expire for 2014 and 2015. Those were the years of criminal tax charges where Hunter Biden was earning money from Burma,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, told Mr. Garland during the hearing.
Testimony provided to House lawmakers by Hunter Biden’s former associate, Devon Archer, indicated that Burisma executives pressured Hunter Biden for his father’s help in ending a corruption investigation. Hunter Biden and Burisma executives called Mr. Biden from Dubai, according to Archer, to ask for his help in thwarting the investigation. Three days later, Biden, then vice president, told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that he had to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma, or risk losing $1 billion in loans.
Republicans accuse the Justice Department of blocking 2014 tax charges against Hunter Biden to prevent further investigation that could incriminate President Biden.
Mr. Garland and Mr. Weiss deny that politics played a role in the investigation and Mr. Biden has denied any involvement in his son’s business affairs.
As part of the now-abandoned plea deal, Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to his failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes in 2017 and 2018. The deal did not result in no prison sentence. The case was scuttled at a court hearing in July, prompting Mr. Weiss to seek and be granted special counsel status to Mr. Garland. The move allows him to charge the president’s son with additional crimes, including violations of FARA, a law the Justice Department reinstated in recent years to prosecute several associates of former President Donald Trump.
“If Weiss intends to restore the integrity of his investigation, he must immediately and aggressively move forward with all readily probable charges against Hunter, including those related to foreign bribery, being an unregistered foreign agent , wire fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy,” Mr. Davis said.
As Delaware’s U.S. attorney, Mr. Weiss began investigating Hunter Biden in 2018. Along the way, according to testimony from congressional investigators, Mr. Weiss was blocked by two Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys from charge Hunter Biden with felony and misdemeanor. violations in California and the nation’s capital, including unpaid taxes on his Burisma salary.
Mr. Weiss let the statute of limitations expire to sue Hunter Biden for his failure to pay Burisma taxes, despite reaching an agreement with Hunter Biden’s lawyers to extend the prosecution period.
“Hunter Biden lied to the IRS to avoid paying $124,000 in taxes on Burisma’s 2014 income,” said Tristan Leavitt, an attorney for one of the two IRS whistleblowers who accused Mr. Weiss and the Justice Department of mishandling Hunter Biden’s tax investigation. “To this day, he has not paid it. The government lets him do this.
In a transcript of a closed-door interview with House lawmakers earlier this month, IRS Criminal Investigation Director Michael Batdorf described a December 2022 call between him, Mr. Weiss and the IRS agent Darrell Waldon.
The Washington Times obtained a copy of the transcript.
In the call, Mr. Weiss informs them that the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of California, Martin Astrada, a Biden appointee, “refused” to work with Mr. Weiss to prosecute Hunter Biden for unpaid taxes in 2017, 2018 and 2019 .
“He just said they said no and he had to make a decision about where he was going to go,” Mr. Batdorf recalled. “I don’t know if he was frustrated. I was frustrated. Was it just me sensing he was probably a little frustrated? I guess he (was) because now he had to make decisions about what he was going to do.
Six months earlier, Washington’s U.S. attorney, Matthew Graves, rejected Mr. Weiss’s request to indict Hunter Biden over Burisma’s unpaid taxes. Mr. Weiss let the statute of limitations pass, said IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, “because he had no way of bringing the charges,” despite Mr. Garland’s assurances that Mr. Weiss had full authority to prosecute the president’s son.
Mr. Weiss will never be able to charge Hunter Biden with crimes related to unpaid taxes, even if the law allows it, and will instead let gun charges be the most serious punishment for the president’s son.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani said that under federal sentencing guidelines, Hunter Biden, who intends to plead not guilty, could be sentenced to up to 14 months in prison for the firearms offenses if convicted.
“They had this agreement” regarding the tax crimes charges, Mr. Rahmani said. “As far as accumulating more, if it was going to happen, it would have happened by now.”