Apr 29, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden declares war on Fox News with threat of "imminent" lawsuit

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, center, departs after an interview with the House Oversight Committee in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.  Photographer: Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hunter Biden, center, leaves an interview with the House Oversight Committee in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 28, 2024. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hunter Biden is threatening to sue Fox News for defamation, exploitation of his image and publication of hacked photographs, according to a letter obtained by Axios that was sent to the news channel last week.

Why it matters: It's the latest salvo in the president's son's more aggressive legal and press strategy over the past year amid criminal charges and tabloid coverage, and first big move after navigating the impeachment inquiry into his father.

Driving the news: Hunter Biden's legal team wrote that they anticipate "imminent" litigation against Fox News and requested that prominent Fox News hosts, including Sean Hannity, Jesse Watters and Maria Bartiromo, preserve documentation.

  • The lawyers also demanded that Fox News take down their special, "The Trial of Hunter Biden" — a six-part mock trial focused on his foreign business dealings.
  • "While routinely defaming and disparaging Mr. Biden, FOX has simultaneously sought to profit by the unlawful exploitation of Mr. Biden's image, name, and likeness for commercial purposes and reprehensible dissemination of salacious photographs depicting Mr. Biden," wrote lawyer Tina Glandian, a partner at Geragos & Geragos.

Glandian also demanded that Fox News hosts update their viewers about the February indictment of Alexander Smirnov, a former informant charged with lying to the FBI about Hunter Biden's business dealings.

  • She also asked that all FoxNews.com articles be updated with an editor's note.
  • Glandian requested a response by Friday, Apr. 26, but did not receive one, a person involved in the case told Axios.
  • Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Between the lines: The threatened lawsuit is part of a flurry of motions and counter-suits filed by Hunter Biden's team following the unraveling of his plea deal last summer.

  • The new strategy has at times created friction with his father's White House advisers, who previously urged Hunter to lie low rather than publicly fight back.
  • Hunter has had his father's support, however, making such frustrations moot.
  • Lawyer Abbe Lowell has handled most of this new strategy but is not involved in the potential litigation against Fox News because of a legal conflict, two people familiar with the matter told Axios.

What's next: Hunter is set to face trial in Delaware in early June for alleged gun crimes.

  • Lowell still has several pending motions to dismiss the felony gun charges in Delaware.
  • Later that month, Hunter's California-based trial on federal tax charges is set to begin. Hunter has pleaded not guilty and faces significant jail time if convicted.
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