Federal agents investigating President Biden’s son Hunter have gathered what they believe is sufficient evidence to charge him with tax crimes and a false statement related to a gun purchase, according to people familiar with the case. The next step is for the US attorney in Delaware, a Trump administration holdover, to decide on whether to file such charges, these people said.
The investigation into Hunter Biden began in 2018 and became a central focus for then-president Donald Trump during his unsuccessful 2020 reelection effort. Initially, the investigation centered around Hunter Biden’s finances related to overseas business ties and consulting work. Over time, investigators with multiple agencies focused closely on whether he did not report all of his income and whether he lied on gun purchase paperwork in 2018, according to the people familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing case.
Agents determined months ago they had assembled a viable criminal case against the younger Biden. But it is ultimately up to prosecutors at the Justice Department, not agents, to decide whether to file charges in cases where prosecutors believe the evidence is strong enough to lead to a likely conviction at trial.
Given the intense political interest in a criminal probe involving the son of a sitting president, Attorney General Merrick Garland has made clear that the US attorney in Delaware, David C. Weiss, who was nominated by Trump in late 2017, is supervising the case.
Garland has vowed there will be no political or otherwise improper interference in the Hunter Biden case and has not moved to push Weiss to make a decision, the people familiar with the matter said. It is not uncommon for Justice Department investigations to take years to finish.
A spokeswoman for Weiss declined to comment, as did spokespeople for the Justice Department, and the FBI and IRS, the two primary investigative agencies.
Asked about the case, Chris Clark, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, accused investigators of leaking information. ‘’It is a federal felony for a federal agent to leak information about a Grand Jury investigation such as this one,’’ Clark said in a written statement. ‘’Any agent you cite as a source in your article apparently has committed such a felony. We expect the Department of Justice will diligently investigate and prosecute such bad actors. As is proper and legally required, we believe the prosecutors in this case are diligently and thoroughly weighing not just evidence provided by agents, but also all the other witnesses in this case, including witnesses for the defense. That is the job of the prosecutors. They should not be pressured, rushed, or criticized for doing their job.’’
Any charging decision involving the Biden case is especially fraught because Trump and his allies have made accusations of corruption in Hunter Biden’s business dealings a key line of attack against Democrats, both before and after the 2020 presidential race. At the height of the election campaign, Trump allies revealed that a Delaware computer shop owner had turned over to the FBI a laptop that had apparently belonged to Hunter Biden. Trump and others argued the data on the laptop showed evidence of unethical and possibly illegal business deals; Joe Biden and his supporters denounced the efforts as a smear.
In March, The Washington Post reported that two computer security experts had reviewed thousands of the e-mails purportedly from Hunter Biden’s computer and found they were authentic communications, based on cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies. It could not be determined for this article whether the laptop and its contents were useful in the Justice Department investigation.
Walker denies latest report on abortion scandal
Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Georgia, is denying the latest reports from the Daily Beast that he paid a former girlfriend to have an abortion — and that the woman is the mother of one of his children.
In an interview Thursday morning with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Walker reiterated his denials of the Daily Beast’s reporting.
‘’I know this is untrue. I know it’s untrue, and they keep telling me things like that, and it’s totally, totally untrue,’’ Walker said on the ‘’Hugh Hewitt Show.’’ ‘’And I’m not sure why that would be told. I know nothing about any woman having an abortion. And they can keep coming at me like that, and they’re doing it because they want to distract people.’’
In a muddled answer, Walker repeatedly brought up that he had already been forgiven. And although he has campaigned in support of a national abortion ban at 15 weeks of pregnancy, Walker suggested to Hewitt that there would have been no shame in having undergone the procedure.
‘’I hate to say I’ve been born again, but I have a new life. And I’ve been moving forward, and had that happened, I would have said it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of there,’’ Walker said. ‘’You know, people have done that, but I know nothing about it. And if I knew about it, I would be honest and talk about it, but I know nothing about that.’’
The Daily Beast reported Monday that Walker had paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009 and that the woman had provided proof of their relationship, along with a ‘’get well’' card Walker had sent her after the procedure. After Walker publicly denied the story as a ‘’flat-out lie’' and said he didn’t know who the former girlfriend could be, the woman — whom the Daily Beast had kept anonymous — went back to the news outlet to say she was the mother of one of Walker’s children.
‘’Sure, I was stunned, but I guess it also doesn’t shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn’t remember,’’ she told the Daily Beast. ‘’But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too.’’
Cheney urges voters to reject two GOP candidates in Arizona
Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, urged voters in Arizona to reject Republican nominees for governor and secretary of state, describing them as threats to democracy because they have worked to overturn election results in 2020 and indicated they may not accept the outcome this year.
‘’If you care about democracy, and you care about the survival of our Republic, then you need to understand, we all have to understand, that we cannot give people power who have told us that they will not honor elections,’’ Cheney said during an appearance at Arizona State University.
The congresswoman, one of former president Donald Trump’s fiercest critics, is vice chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. She spoke late Wednesday at the McCain Institute’s ‘’Defending American Democracy Series.’’
Cheney’s targets were Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, a former television reporter, and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, a state legislator. Lake has been endorsed by Trump and, like Finchem, falsely claims the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Finchem was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when it was attacked by Trump supporters looking to stop Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s win. He also said he was interviewed by federal officials about the attack but has denied any wrongdoing.
Lake has called President Biden an ‘’illegitimate president’' while echoing Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged. Finchem has said that if he had been secretary of state in 2020, he would not have certified Biden’s win in the state.