Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to federal tax charges

Jan 11, 2024, 2:34 PM

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, flanked by Kevin Morris, left, and Abbe Lowell, righ...

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, flanked by Kevin Morris, left, and Abbe Lowell, right, attend a House Oversight Committee meeting on January 10 in Washington, DC. The committee is meeting today as it considers citing him for Contempt of Congress. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

(Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

(CNN) —Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty Thursday on federal charges he faces in California for allegedly failing to pay more than a million dollars in taxes.

The embattled son of the president made his initial appearance Thursday in a federal courthouse in Los Angeles in the case brought by special counsel David Weiss.

Hunter Biden has been charged with nine counts related to a tax-avoidance conspiracy that prosecutors say he implemented over several years while enjoying a lavish, and at times salacious, lifestyle. Hunter Biden’s attorney has argued that they amount to nothing more than a political hit job.

Republicans have focused on the president’s son and his overseas business dealings with Ukrainian and Chinese companies, accusing Joe Biden himself of financially benefitting from Hunter Biden’s dealings; claims that are yet unproven.

The charges against Hunter Biden stem from a yearslong investigation by Weiss, the US attorney for Delaware, who was appointed as special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland in August.


‘Everything but his taxes’


According to the indictment filed in California, where Hunter Biden lives, the president’s son “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019.”

“(T)he Defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes,” the indictment states.

Hunter Biden is indicted on 9 tax charges, adding to gun charges

Prosecutors say Hunter Biden falsely claimed some of these expenses, including payments to escorts, as deductions on his taxes. He has since paid the IRS back what he owes in taxes and penalties.

In his 2021 autobiography, cited in the indictment, Hunter Biden detailed his struggle with addiction, including with crack cocaine – a period that overlaps with some of the timeframe covered in the indictment.

The Justice Department has previously said that if convicted on the tax charges, Hunter could face a maximum of 17 years in prison.


The deal that fell apart


In July, the stage was set for the president’s son to enter into an agreement with prosecutors on two federal tax charges that would also resolve a felony gun charge.

But that deal, which could have put an end to Hunter Biden’s current legal troubles, quickly fell apart during a hearing in Delaware.

During the hearing, the federal judge presiding pressed prosecutors and defense attorneys on the deal itself as well as each party’s understanding of the extent of the deal and what, if any, potential future prosecution it protected Hunter Biden from.

While prosecutors told the judge the deal did not limit them from bringing future charges against the president’s son under foreign lobbying laws, Hunter Biden’s attorneys disagreed.

“As far as I’m concerned, the plea agreement is null and void,“ Hunter Biden’s attorney Christopher Clark told the judge after the fundamental disagreement over the extent of the deal came to light.

Despite Clark’s attempts to salvage the deal later during the hearing, the judge declined to accept a revised agreement, questioning the constitutionality of the deal they had struck with prosecutors that would resolve a felony gun charge.

Two months after the collapsed deal, Hunter Biden was indicted on three gun charges in Delaware over his alleged purchase of a firearm several years ago while using illegal drugs.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys have moved to dismiss the gun charges and have maintained the original deal with prosecutors remains valid.


Republican investigation


Republicans in Congress could vote as early as next week to hold Hunter Biden in contempt after he failed to appear before the House Oversight and House Judiciary committees for a closed-door deposition following a congressional subpoena.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys have said their client would be willing to sit down for a public hearing before the committees and the president’s son made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, interrupting the House Oversight’s hearing to hold him in contempt.

Hunter Biden makes surprise visit to Capitol Hill as GOP takes a first step to hold him in contempt

Several Republican members of the committee, who subpoenaed Hunter Biden as part of their investigation into the president, confronted him for failing to appear for the deposition, with one Republican lawmaker suggesting he should be immediately arrested and jailed.

As CNN has reported, the stunt by Hunter Biden represents an aggressive legal strategy by the president’s son and his lawyers, who recognize the significant difficulty Republicans in Congress would have getting the Justice Department to take up any contempt charge against Hunter Biden, who already faces charges by the department in two states.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, talking about the proposed changes that are happening to downt...

Carole Mikita and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This plan is ambitious’: Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson talks about the revitalization of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson spoke to KSL TV about all the proposed changes that could hit downtown Salt Lake City.

9 hours ago

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologized to members of his family who objected to a new TV ad released Sund...

Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. fails to qualify for CNN’s debate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has failed to qualify for next week’s debate in Atlanta. Host network CNN said Thursday the independent presidential candidate fell short of benchmarks both for state ballot qualification and polling

16 hours ago

Protestors gather outside the House chambers during a legislative special session at the Utah State...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Utah lawmakers vote to block federal protections for LGBTQ+ students under Title IX

Utah lawmakers convened in a special session on Juneteenth to declare the state's intent not to follow a federal rule providing anti-discrimination protections to transgender youth.

2 days ago

Tuesday February 9, 2006. Photo by Scott G. Winterton / Deseret Morning News.The Ten Commandments m...

Sara Cline, Associated Press

New Louisiana law requires that The Ten Commandments must be displayed classrooms

Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

2 days ago

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 19: People watch a television broadcast reporting a meeting between North...

Kim Tong-Hyung

Russia and North Korea sign partnership deal that appears to be the strongest since the Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a new partnership that includes a vow of mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

2 days ago

Utah leaders are reacting to a call from the U.S. surgeon general to include a warning label on soc...

Daniel Woodruff

Utah leaders react to call for warning label on social media platforms

Utah leaders are reacting to a call from the U.S. surgeon general to include a warning label on social media – just like there are on cigarettes.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to federal tax charges