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Hunter Biden's tax indictment presents fresh political challenge as his father arrives in LA

Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — As President Joe Biden arrived in Los Angeles on Friday for a weekend of fundraising among Hollywood elite, his only living son was hit with his second grand jury indictment this year — with the special counsel accusing the younger Biden of various tax crimes.

Hunter Biden has long served as a political punching bag for his father’s opponents, and the latest indictment, in L.A., along with another in Delaware charging him with firearms violations, has the president’s son facing two trials on opposite coasts while his father makes the case for reelection to the country.

The younger Biden asserted in an interview for the podcast “MobyPod,” released Friday, that the onslaught by Republicans was part of a long-running effort to ultimately defeat his father.

“They are trying to — in their most illegitimate way, but rational way — they’re trying to destroy a presidency,” he told the musician Moby, though it’s unclear when the interview was recorded.

“And so it’s not about me,” Biden continued. “And (in) their most base way, what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to kill me, knowing that it will be a pain greater than my father could be able to handle.”

In the 56-page indictment unsealed late Thursday, Biden, who resides in Malibu, was accused of failing to pay his taxes on time from 2016 to 2019, filing false and fraudulent tax returns in 2018, and tax evasion.


The nine charges span a period when Biden, 53, was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine, which he documented in graphic detail in a memoir that dwells on the death of his brother, Beau, along with the grief and depression that consumed him and his family.

Biden has since become sober and paid his taxes, along with penalties and interest. His lawyers are expected to point to his well-publicized addiction to explain his chaotic financial affairs.

But prosecutors contend that he “willfully” failed to file and pay his taxes to the Internal Revenue Service on time, and that he instead plunked down cash for a bacchanalia across L.A. featuring “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature.”

Further, prosecutors allege that when preparing tax returns in 2020, in the early months of his sobriety, Biden misclassified a long list of personal expenses from 2018 as business expenses to reduce his tax burden. Those expenses include tuition for his daughter and a Venmo payment to an exotic dancer, according to the indictment.


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