Sunday, May 19, 2024

Federal grand jury has charged Hunter Biden with scheme to evade federal taxes on millions in income from foreign businesses; this is the second indictment against him this year and a major development in a case Republicans have made a cornerstone of a possible impeachment of President Biden. Mr. Biden faces three counts each of evasion of a tax assessment, failure to file and pay taxes, and filing a false or fraudulent tax return, according to the 56-page indictment. The charges were filed in California, five months after he appeared to be on the verge of a plea deal that would have avoided jail time and potentially granted him broad immunity from future prosecution stemming from his business dealings. But the agreement collapsed, and, in September, he was indicted in Delaware on three charges stemming from his illegal purchase of a handgun in 2018. Justice Department officials said that if convicted, he could face a maximum of 17 years in prison. The failure of Mr. Biden’s lawyers to reach a new settlement after talks with Special Counsel David C. Weiss fell apart has now subjected Mr. Biden to the perils of two criminal proceedings in two jurisdictions, with unpredictable outcomes. The indictment includes a more detailed description of Mr. Biden’s activities and tangled business deals than the government had previously made public. However, the indictment contains no reference to President Biden. This new development comes on the cusp of a vote by the Republican-led House to formalize its impeachment inquiry into President Biden. While this new indictment has no reference to the President, prosecutors pointed out that Hunter Biden’s compensation from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, dropped from $1 million a year in 2016 to $500,000 in March 2017.

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