A Central District of California federal grand jury has handed up a nine-count indictment of Hunter Biden on tax charges. Three of the charged crimes are felonies. The rest are misdemeanors. The detailed 56-page indictment is posted online here and embedded in Victor Nava’s New York Post story here.
The gist of the case is set forth in paragraph 4 of the indictment: “The Defendant 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, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020.” Biden willfully avoided payment of taxes to support a dishonest and “extravagant” (i.e., dissolute) life. The indictment draws on Biden’s at paragraphs 115-116.
The pseudonymous Mr. Techno Fog (not to be confused with Phileas Fogg) explicates the indictment in here. Mr. Fog employs the term “willingly” when the required state of mind is “willfully,” but his post presents a good summary of the charges. The indictment makes out the element of willfulness over and over again.
The indictment is signed by Leo Wise as principal senior assistant special counsel. The AP published a profile of Wise this past September.
Now is the time to review what we have learned to date about the Biden family business. Charles Lipson provides a good summary in his recent RCP column “The Biden Family Grift” (“and Hunter’s Fake Offer To Testify”).
The Biden Department of Justice sought to tank this case with a sweetheart deal to which Delaware United States Attorney David Weiss had agreed. At the plea hearing, Trump-appointed Delaware Federal District Judge Maryellen Noreika blew up the deal with a few pointed questions. Thank you, Judge Noreika.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to the New York Post. The Post’s coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election opened our eyes to the Biden family business. If the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism recognized excellence in reporting, it would have gone to the New York Post several times over for its laptop coverage. As it is, the Post remains the newspaper of record on the Biden family business.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to the House Republican majority that emerged from the 2022 elections. The indictment would not have happened were it not for the efforts of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to deliver a House majority.
Were it not for the current (and evanescing) House Republican majority, whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler are highly unlikely to have stepped forward. Most of all, we owe a debt of gratitude to brave Messrs. Shapley and Ziegler. They rightly commented that the indictment represents “a complete vindication of our thorough investigation.” Indeed it does.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who has led the committee’s investigation into the Biden family business. Comer has issued this statement on the indictment:
Two brave IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, placed their careers on the line to blow the whistle on misconduct and politicization in the Hunter Biden criminal investigation. The Department of Justice got caught in its attempt to give Hunter Biden an unprecedented sweetheart plea deal and today’s charges filed against Hunter Biden are the result of Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler’s efforts to ensure all Americans are treated equally under the law. Every American should applaud these men for their courage to expose the truth.
IRS whistleblowers also revealed investigators were prevented from following evidence that could have led to Joe Biden. The House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Bidens’ influence peddling schemes reveals how Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefitted from his family cashing in on the Biden name. In fact, Hunter Biden’s corporate entities implicated by today’s indictments funneled foreign cash that landed in Joe Biden’s bank account. Unless U.S. Attorney Weiss investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden’s DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy.
Biden defense attorney Abbe Lowell has done his best to orchestrate a campaign threatening key players involved in the exposure of the Biden family business. Lowell is quoted in the AP and Reuters stories on the indictment. Lowell accused his former sweetheart deal mate David Weiss of “bowing to Republican pressure” to bring the indictment. “Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,” Lowell said in a statement.
Neither the AP nor Reuters seeks expert comment on that patently ludicrous assertion. This is my comment. Abbe Lowell to the contrary notwithstanding, Hunter Biden would have been charged with numerous tax offenses that Merrick Garland, David Weiss, and the rest of the Biden Department of Justice suppressed or slept on and that are now barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. If Hunter’s last name were anything other than Biden, those charges would have been brought long ago. As to Lowell himself, some people will say anything for money and some make a living out of it.
The White House declined comment on the indictment. This is my comment. The indictment shows in detail that just about everything President Biden has ever said about the Biden family business is a lie and that the Biden family business represents a historic case of political corruption. The indictment should therefore have a cataclysmic effect on Biden’s continued pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination and, if not, on the 2024 presidential election.