Biden will face three felony tax charges in relation to tax evasion and filing a false return, as well as six misdemeanor charges for failure to pay taxes between 2016 and 2019.
Prosecutors wrote in a Thursday night press release:
"Hunter Biden engaged in a four-year scheme in which he chose not to pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019 and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns."Weiss's office also alleges that Biden withdrew millions from his company, subverting the payroll and tax withholding process, and also "spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills."
Court documents also accuse Biden of failing to pay back taxes for 2015 beginning in 2018, and for not paying his 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 taxes on time, "despite having access to funds to pay some or all of these taxes."
Court filings say he made $7 million between 2016 and 2020.
The prosecutors wrote:
"Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the Defendant spent this money 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 well after he had regained his sobriety."Hunter Biden's attorney dismissed the charges as part of a broader case that would not have warranted a prosecutor's attention without the scrutiny brought by the GOP.
Abbe Lowell said in a statement:
"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."
Comment: $1.4M would have been 'brought'.
Together, the charges carry up to 17 years in prison upon conviction and come as Biden is facing congressional scrutiny over his business dealings and a subpoena for a deposition next week in connection with their impeachment inquiry.
The House Oversight Committee has demanded his testimony in a Dec. 13 closed session. Biden has offered to testify only in a public setting, citing concerns of House Republicans misrepresenting his testimony and irritating lawmakers who say he cannot dictate the terms of his appearance.
The charges follow the evaporation of a plea deal earlier this year in which Biden was set to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of willful failure to pay taxes as well as enter a diversion program in connection with a gun crime.
But the deal fell apart as Weiss and attorneys for Biden came before a Delaware judge who would need to approve the deal, at odds over the extent the president's son would be immune to further prosecution.
Weiss, also the U.S. attorney for Delaware, has since filed charges in that state on three counts related to Biden's purchase of a firearm while denying drug use he later acknowledged publicly, speaking in his book and elsewhere about his battles with addiction.
Lowell also cited that saga and the GOP interest in the case in his response:
"First, U.S. Attorney Weiss bowed to Republican pressure to file unprecedented and unconstitutional gun charges to renege on a non-prosecution resolution. Now, after five years of investigating with no new evidence - and two years after Hunter paid his taxes in full - the U.S. Attorney has piled on nine new charges when he had agreed just months ago to resolve this matter with a pair of misdemeanors."The charges for Biden come as the House is preparing to take a vote next week to formalize its impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
Part of their probe reviews Weiss's investigation of Hunter Biden following claims from two IRS whistleblowers that the special counsel's team mismanaged the prosecution and slow-walked the case.
IRS investigators Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler said they found stronger evidence of tax crimes in California and Washington, D.C., expressing frustration those weren't more zealously pursued by Weiss's team.
Thursday's charges nod to those complaints and come after Weiss indicated in court filings in the Delaware case that additional charges could be coming.
The filings also include charges and substantial information about some of the later tax years Weiss's team investigated, something Zeigler told House investigators DOJ previously viewed as a risky prospect.
"[Weiss] has been getting concerns from DOJ Tax regarding the tax years because...the information regarding the subject's brother's death, the substance abuse - that all those things could play a huge role and cause the jury to say essentially - to have sympathy for him and to not convict on the charges."House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), one of the leaders of the House GOP impeachment probe, credited the whistleblowers for the charges filed on Thursday, saying in a statement that the original charges from earlier this year were part of a "sweetheart plea deal." But he also charged:
"The whistleblowers "were prevented from following evidence that could have led to Joe Biden. Unless U.S. Attorney Weiss investigates everyone involved in the Bidens' fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden's DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy."The court filings also cover the time period during which Hunter Biden worked for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, taking in a total of nearly $2.8 million over the tax years reviewed by Weiss.
Hunter Biden's work for Burisma is at the center of the House GOP's impeachment probe, based on unproven and shaky allegations that then-Vice President Biden deliberately used government policy to benefit his son's work — allegations that were also a catalyst for the first impeachment of former President Trump.
Republicans are also probing whether the president financially benefited from Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings, which he and the White House have repeatedly denied and brushed off as a partisan attack.
During that time, Hunter Biden also earned income from numerous other sources that have since come under the scrutiny of the GOP, many of which he failed to pay taxes on despite making significant income.
That includes a deal with CEFC, a Chinese energy company, where Hunter Biden earned $100,000 per month and a one-time retainer fee of $500,000. Prosecutors wrote in the filing:
"The Defendant had a legal obligation to pay taxes on all his income, including income earned in Ukraine from his service on Burisma's Board, fees generated by deal-making with the Chinese private equity fund, as well as income derived from his work as a lawyer and other sources."The filing does not hold back from delving into embarrassing details about Hunter Biden's personal life in detailing how he spent his money, repeatedly nodding to drug use or payments for escorts as well as how he avoided making alimony payments to his ex-wife.
At one point the indictment quotes from Hunter Biden's memoir, saying he associated himself with "thieves, junkies, petty dealers, over-the-hill strippers, con artists, and assorted hangers-on" amid his addiction to crack cocaine.
It breaks down some of those payments, with one page of the filing creating a category for "payments - various women" and "Adult Entertainment." The filing also notes a $1,500 Venmo payment in 2018.
"That payment was to an exotic dancer, at a strip club. The Defendant described the payment in the Venmo transaction as for 'artwork.' The exotic dancer had not sold him any artwork."The nature of those relationships in part comes under the microscope as Hunter Biden paid some of them as employees. The court documents state:
"The Defendant falsely claimed that money paid to women with whom he had personal relationships was wages, reducing his tax burden."