Hunter Biden files motions to dismiss tax charges against him in California

 

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Attorneys for Hunter Biden filed several motions in federal court Tuesday to dismiss federal tax charges filed against him in California, arguing they violate a diversion agreement between President Biden’s son and prosecutors last year and are part of a “selective and vindictive prosecution” that has been compromised by politics.

“This case follows a nearly six-year record of [the Justice Department] changing its charging decisions and upping the ante on Mr. Biden in direct response to political pressure and its own self-interests,” attorneys for Hunter Biden said in legal filings.

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to nine federal tax charges in the Central District of California in January after federal prosecutors alleged he engaged in a four-year scheme to avoid paying at least $1.4 million in federal taxes and charged the president’s son with failure to file and pay taxes, tax evasion and filing a false tax return.

In the 56-page indictment, prosecutors also alleged Hunter Biden earned more than $7 million in gross income when he failed to pay taxes, funding an “extravagant lifestyle” and evading taxes by classifying some personal expenditures — such as luxury hotel stays, luxury vehicle rentals, and escort services — as business deductions.

Attorneys for Hunter Biden argue in recently filed court documents that “salacious” portions of the indictment characterizing Biden’s personal expenditures should be redacted, are irrelevant to the law and are “meant to depict Mr. Biden as irresponsible, frivolous, and otherwise of questionable character and integrity”.

In their legal filings, attorneys for Biden also asserted that special counsel David Weiss’ appointment was unlawful and funding for the investigation had not been approved by Congress, violating the Appropriations Clause.

A spokesperson for Delaware U.S. Attorney Davis Weiss declined to comment.

The investigation into Hunter Biden, led by Weiss, spanned nearly six years, beginning during the Trump administration and carrying over into the Biden administration.

Republican-led congressional committees probing Hunter Biden’s personal finances and his foreign business dealings have centered most of their investigative focus on whether senior officials in the Biden administration took steps to impede criminal probes into the president’s son, and whether he personally benefited from any foreign business brokered by his family.

Hunter Biden has denied that his father was financially involved in his business dealings.

IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, case agents previously assigned to the Hunter Biden investigation, told lawmakers they recommended federal charges be brought against the president’s son for tax violations but testified before Congress that Weiss had said he was denied special counsel status and was “not the deciding person” to bring charges in the case. They alleged intentional slow walking and “an undeniable pattern of preferential treatment” in the federal investigation.

“There were really earth-shaking statements made by David Weiss,” Shapley told  CBS News last year. “And the first one was that he is not the deciding person on whether or not charges are filed,” the whistleblower added. “It was just shocking to me.” Weiss, however, told Congress, he was never “blocked or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges” or his investigation. Garland granted Weiss special counsel status last August.

In the court documents, Hunter Biden’s legal counsel alleged IRS whistleblowers Shapley and Ziegler, as agents of the government, engaged in a “public media campaign” to “force prosecutors’ hands to bring charges” against Biden, and federal agencies did not prevent the disclosure of Hunter Biden’s confidential tax information violating Biden’s due process of law.

Hunter Biden is expected to appear before the Republican-led House Committees on Oversight and Accountability and on the Judiciary in a closed-door interview next week, as House Republicans continue their impeachment inquiry into President Biden. The GOP-led congressional committees have yet to produce evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden.

The White House has dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a ” baseless political stunt.”

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