Hunter Biden’s lurid and lewd videos have spilled out onto the internet over the last month, along with reports that he could soon face federal charges. Multiple news organizations are reporting that the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the president’s son has reached “a critical stage.”
Shortly after the 2020 election, Hunter acknowledged that he was under investigation by the federal government and had been since 2018. He has since paid about $2 million to the Internal Revenue Service, but it doesn’t appear that the payment ended the matter.
There’s speculation that the charges could involve violations of tax laws as well as laws regulating foreign lobbying. There may also be a charge of making a false statement in connection with the purchase of a firearm. Or there could be what one expert called “a generous plea deal.”
Meanwhile, Hunter’s penchant for vivid electronic record-keeping continues to produce new information. For example, the New York Post recently reported that the personal calendar on his abandoned laptop computer shows that between 2008 and 2016, “Hunter Biden met with his father at least 30 times at the White House or the vice president’s residence, often just days after he returned home from overseas business jaunts.” Eric Schwerin, the president of Hunter’s investment company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, was invited to 21 of those meetings, according to the calendar entries.
President Biden has said repeatedly that he had no involvement in his son’s overseas business dealings, but if his son is under scrutiny for allegedly violating foreign lobbying laws, and there’s a record of business meetings between them in close proximity to foreign trips, and a lot of money is changing hands through questionable business partnerships, it raises obvious questions about influence peddling.
“Hardly a day goes by without another revelation about how intimately involved Joe Biden was with his son Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign business dealings,” House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik told the New York Post. Another lawmaker who plans to investigate is Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky. “We have evidence, emails, voice mails, damning evidence on Hunter Biden,” he said in an interview.
Over on the Senate side, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding an investigation of Joe Biden’s possibly unwitting financing of Hunter’s involvement with an Eastern European escort ring. The transactions were flagged by JPMorgan Chase in late 2018 and early 2019 in a Suspicious Activity Report, or SAR, filed with the U.S. government and now published by the Daily Mail.
A Ukrainian escort named Anna Dekhtiar received $274,873 over four months from eight different bank accounts, one of which was linked to a company owned by Hunter Biden. The SAR stated that there was “no clear, legitimate economic purpose” for the payments, and that cash deposits “appear structured in attempts to avoid [currency transaction report] filing” requirements.
The New York Post reported a second SAR in which JPMorgan Chase flagged payments from Hunter’s company to “adult entertainment industry and potential association with prostitution [or who] were listed in prior SAR filings related to human trafficking.”
Along with volumes of video evidence of activities with drugs and prostitutes, Hunter’s abandoned laptop contains emails and texts documenting business deals, including one that promised 10% for “the Big Guy,” to be held by “H.” Another email notes a meeting with then-Vice President Joe Biden and the former president of Colombia, Andrés Pastrana Arango, “whose business Hunter had been courting for months,” according to the New York Post’s reporting.
The Post interviewed the crown prince of Yugoslavia about his meeting with Hunter; the prince said he was hoping that Hunter’s dad would help to renovate the family’s royal palace in Belgrade. Hunter was also “wined and dined by billionaire oligarchs in Moscow” before returning to meet with his father at the vice president’s official residence.
If ever there was a case that cried out for a fully independent special counsel, this is it. But the Biden administration’s Justice Department has not appointed one. The prosecutor heading up the Hunter Biden case is Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who was appointed by President Trump.
This almost guarantees that the public will never feel confident that the decision to charge or not charge the president’s son was made purely on the facts and the law. It will carry the taint of politics either way. Regardless of the evidence, some people may believe that any charges against Hunter are simply a partisan attack, while other people may see politics in the prosecutor’s apparent decision not to pursue a wider influence-peddling investigation.
The federal charges or non-charges won’t end the matter. Republicans are vowing to investigate Hunter Biden and Biden family influence peddling if, as expected, the party wins majority control of the House this November. Rep. Comer said the Republicans will “hold very transparent hearings,” promising not to “stack a committee [like] Democrats did on Jan. 6.”
But if you don’t like that investigation, there will be others. For instance, a group of hackers recently gained access to what apparently is Hunter Biden’s iCloud backup of his phone data. The Secret Service issued a statement saying it is “aware” of the alleged hack.
“At this time we are not in a position to make public comments on potential investigative actions but I can assure you the Secret Service along with other federal law enforcement partners are aware of the social media posts and claims referencing Mr. Biden,” a spokesperson said.
We’ve learned that Hunter Biden isn’t shy about showing everything. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks like we’re going to see even more of it.
Write Susan at Susan@SusanShelley.com and follow her on Twitter @Susan_Shelley