Hunter Biden, son of incoming president Joe Biden, said on Wednesday that federal investigators are conducting a probe into his taxes.
The investigation by the FBI and IRS started in 2018 and concern’s Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, CNN reported. Investigators are looking into whether those dealings violated money laundering laws.
One person with knowledge of the probe told CNN that the investigation in part concerns a 2.8 carat diamond that Hunter received in 2017 from Ye Jianming, former chairman of CEFC China Energy and a former business partner of Hunter. (In a subsequent interview with the New Yorker, Hunter said he had given the diamond to associates and did not know what happened to it.)
“I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs,” Hunter said in a statement to the media. “I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.”
NEW: Hunter Biden says he was informed yesterday by US Attorney’s Office in Delaware that they are investigating his "tax affairs"
"I am confident a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately” he says. pic.twitter.com/AILWdn1edV
— Matt Viser (@mviser) December 9, 2020
The Biden-Harris transition team released a simultaneous statement in support of the incoming president’s son.
“President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger,” the transition team said.
The investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes slowed significantly before general election because of Justice Department guidelines prohibiting activity that could have a significant impact on election results, a person with knowledge of the probe told CNN.
In July of this year, the District of Columbia filed a $453,890 tax lien against Hunter Biden, who owed about $200,000 in state income taxes in 2017 and 2018, according to records reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. However, the lien was released after the “tax issue was resolved,” a spokesman for the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer told the Free Beacon.
Additionally, in 2018 the Internal Revenue Service placed a tax lien on Hunter Biden and ex-wife Kathleen Buhle for $112,805 in unpaid taxes, the Daily Caller reported. The lien was active until March 20 of this year.
It is not clear if the current investigation against Hunter Biden is connected with either of the liens.
A report by Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committee Republicans released in September detailed numerous business dealings between Hunter Biden and foreign officials and entities. The FBI in 2019 opened an investigation into Hunter Biden for money laundering, according to a report by Sinclair Broadcast Group, although that report remains unconfirmed.