Judge to Hear Motion to Dismiss Hunter Biden’s Tax Charges

Judge to Hear Motion to Dismiss Hunter Biden’s Tax Charges

Hunter Biden, left, son of President Joe Biden, arrives with attorney Abbe Lowell at the O'Neill House Office Building for a closed-door deposition in a Republican-led investigation into the Biden family, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 28, 2024. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

3/26/2024

Updated: 3/26/2024

A federal judge in Los Angeles on March 27 will hear arguments on a motion to dismiss Hunter Biden’s tax-related charges, following his legal team’s claims prosecutors targeted him because he is the president’s son.
Mr. Biden is facing nine felony and misdemeanor charges after failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes for three years during a time when he was addicted to drugs. He pleaded not guilty to all charges in January.
In a motion to dismiss filed Feb. 20, Mr. Biden’s lawyers argued indictments returned by a grand jury last year were a result of “what courts define as outrageous government conduct that violates his right to due process of law.”
The defense claims two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, made claims before Congress last year that the investigation was affected by politics.
Government prosecutors disagreed with the claims in a response filed March 11, arguing Mr. Biden has failed to prove the charges resulted from the public statements and has not proven the IRS was guilty of any “outrageous misconduct.”
“In advancing his claim, [Mr. Biden] acts no differently than these two agents, making unfounded accusations that prosecutors’ decision-making in this case was affected by politics, although in the opposite direction,” Special Counsel David Weiss wrote in the government’s response. “In any event, the defendant has failed to put forth any evidence that the indictment resulted from Shapley and Ziegler’s public comments. And that’s because it didn’t.”
A hearing on the matter is set for March 27 with Judge Mark Scarsi at the Los Angeles federal courthouse.
Special prosecutor Mr. Weiss started investigating Mr. Biden in 2019 after he was appointed as a U.S. attorney by then-President Donald Trump but was asked to continue his work by President Biden. Attorney General Merrick Garland made Mr. Weiss a special counsel in 2023.
The Los Angeles court case stems from a grand jury indictment returned in December charging Mr. Biden with three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses related to his business dealings.
After pleading not guilty Jan. 11, Mr. Biden was released on his own recognizance on the conditions that he registers with pre-trial probation, seeks employment, doesn’t use alcohol or drugs, and doesn’t possess a firearm.
A trial is set for June 20.
Mr. Biden faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
During the years in question, Mr. Biden reported making about $7 million from work for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian firm, and other companies, including the Chinese firm CEFC China Energy.
He allegedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on “various women,” another $190,000 on adult entertainment, and about $400,000 on clothes, according to financial information by Mr. Weiss’s team. In total, he spent nearly $5 million while failing to pay at least $1.4 million in federal taxes, according to the indictment.
Abbe Lowell, one of Mr. Biden’s attorneys, has said in media interviews that Mr. Biden ultimately paid the taxes and is only being prosecuted because he is part of the Biden family.
The Los Angeles County Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles on Jan. 11, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The Los Angeles County Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles on Jan. 11, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Before he was indicted in California, Mr. Biden first faced a set of tax charges filed against him in Delaware, in conjunction with a firearm charge. His lawyers reached a plea deal with the government that would have included Mr. Biden’s admission of intentionally failing to pay taxes in exchange for entering pretrial diversion for the felony firearm count. But that deal fell apart after questioning from a federal judge.
The charges were then brought, along with additional counts, in California, where Mr. Biden lived during the years in question.
Meanwhile, Mr. Biden could face trial in Delaware on federal firearms charges as soon as June 3, if the judge hearing the case does not grant his attorneys’ motion to dismiss it.
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika set a tentative date in that case earlier this month during a telephone hearing, but said she was still weighing the defense’s motions to toss it out.
In that case, Mr. Biden has pleaded not guilty to lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a federal form to buy a gun that he said he threw in a dumpster 11 days later.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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