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

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

Eric Bradner and Daniel Strauss, CNN

Trump wins all delegates at stake in Michigan GOP convention amid leadership battle

Former President Donald Trump won all 39 delegates at stake at a Michigan Republican convention Saturday, as officials there sought to move past a leadership battle that has split the state party into rival factions.

8 hours ago

The Utah Senate on March 1, 2024....

Lindsay Aerts

Final day of 2024 legislative session saw billions in funding and a move to ban pride flags

The final day of Utah’s 2024 legislature saw over 100 bills passed, involving funding for downtown, social media restrictions for minors, and a $29.4 billion budget.

1 day ago

Cache County Clerk David Benson addresses a crowd regarding election law violations. (Mike Anderson...

Mike Anderson

Cache County Clerk addresses office election law violations

Cache County Clerk David Benson answered questions from the media and local voters about findings of numerous election law violations in his office.

1 day ago

FILE: Ballots are counted by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of Tuesdays election ...

Associated Press

Arizona’s new voting laws that require proof of citizenship are not discriminatory, a US judge rules

A U.S. district judge has ruled Arizona legislators did not discriminate when they adopted laws requiring counties to verify the status of registered voters who haven’t provided proof of U.S. citizenship.

1 day ago

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, listens as his attorne...

Farnoush Amiri and Lisa Mascaro, Associated Press

Takeaways from Hunter Biden’s combative deposition with Republican lawmakers

The transcript of the congressional deposition of Hunter Biden has been released. It reveals the contentious testimony that took place Wednesday as Republicans scrambled to advance an impeachment inquiry on the brink of collapse.

1 day ago

The seal of the Utah House of Representatives (Istvan Bartos, KSL News)...

Daniel Woodruff

Republicans tout legislative successes while Democrats criticize polarization

The Utah Legislature adjourns Friday night after a 45-day session that was jam-packed with hundreds of bills on various issues.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to federal tax charges