Updated Dec 8, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Justice Department files new charges against Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse on July 26 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo:

The Department of Justice on Thursday filed nine tax-related charges against Hunter Biden, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: They’re the second set of charges lobbed against Hunter Biden as his father, President Biden, campaigns for another presidential term.

  • Hunter Biden, who was indicted earlier this year on federal gun charges, could face a maximum of 17 years in prison if convicted of the new charges, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
  • CNN first reported on the new charges.

Driving the news: The charges include evasion of assessment, failure to file and pay taxes and false or fraudulent tax returns.

  • "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," according to the indictment, filed by special counsel David Weiss.
  • Prosecutors allege in the indictment that Hunter Biden "spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills."
  • Prosecutors also accuse Hunter Biden of subverting "the payroll and tax withholding process of his own company by withdrawing millions outside of the payroll and tax withholding process."

Background: Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty in October to three counts related to alleged illegal possession of a firearm.

  • He is accused of falsifying a federal firearms form and illegal possession of a firearm while using a narcotic, per an indictment in September.

What they're saying: "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," Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's attorney, said in a statement.

  • Lowell accused Weiss of "bow[ing] 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," Lowell concluded.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's attorney.

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