Updated Mar 28, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Judge to rule by April 17 in Hunter Biden tax case

Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden departs after an interview with the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 28. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Efforts by Hunter Biden's lawyers to dismiss tax charges against the president's son were met with skepticism by the judge overseeing the case on Wednesday, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: The bid to dismiss the case, if successful, would lighten the legal and political quagmire Hunter Biden has been embroiled in.

Driving the news: During the hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi heard arguments in a slew of motions filed by Hunter Biden's lawyers to dismiss part or all of the charges, according to ABC News.

  • The Washington Post reports that the Trump-appointed judge gave no indication on how he would rule in the motions, but said in response to one: "One of the big hurdles that this motion has it that it's not filed with any evidence."
  • Scarsi seemed particularly skeptical of the argument by Hunter Biden's legal team, led by Abbe Lowell, that the Justice Department brought the felony charges against their client due to political pressure from former President Trump and congressional Republicans, per the Los Angeles Times.
  • "Is there any evidence that pressure from any outside entity influenced the prosecution team?" the judge asked Lowell.
  • "There really is no evidence. You cite to things on the internet," he said during another part of the hearing, per the LA Times.

State of play: Hunter Biden's legal team has sought to dismiss the case, arguing that the investigation into him had been compromised by ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov's lies.

  • The tax case is a separate matter from the indictment Smirnov faces concerning President Biden and his son.

What's next: Scarsi will issue a decision on whether or not to dismiss the case by April 17.

The big picture: The Justice Department filed nine tax-related charges against Hunter Biden in December, alleging evasion of assessment, failure to file and pay taxes, and false or fraudulent tax returns.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect additional developments.

Go deeper