US Justice Department expanding probe of taxes, business dealings of Hunter Biden

In recent days, a longstanding investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ) into the taxes and financial affairs of Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has become the subject of prominent news reports in the mainstream press. The reports, nearly all citing anonymous sources within the DoJ, confirm that the investigation, which began during the Trump administration but was not disclosed by Hunter Biden until December 2020, has broadened in scope.

As of this writing, no official charges have been made against Hunter Biden or any other member of the Biden family.

Prominent articles on the federal investigation into the younger Biden’s international business dealings began to appear in mid-March. On March 16, the New York Times reported that the president’s son recently paid off an outstanding tax liability of over $1 million. Nevertheless, “a grand jury continued to gather evidence in a wide-ranging examination of his international business dealings, according to people familiar with the case,” the newspaper wrote.

Subsequent reports, citing sources within the DoJ, confirmed that witnesses with close ties to Hunter Biden, including former business and romantic partners, are being interviewed by a federal grand jury located in Wilmington, Delaware. Among them is former business associate and fellow Yale University alumnus Devon Archer.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, centre, his son Hunter Biden, left, and his sister Valerie Biden Owens, right [AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu]

Archer was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment in February for his participation in a fraud scheme, following his conviction in 2018. The operation involved defrauding the Oglala Sioux tribe of roughly $60 million in bonds.

While Hunter Biden was not involved in Archer’s fraud case, the former friends and business partners both sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, which, the DoJ has confirmed, is under investigation.

Hunter Biden was appointed to the Burisma board, despite having no experience in the field, during the period when his father, then vice president, served as the point-man for the Obama administration’s imperialist operations in Ukraine following the US-backed Maidan coup of February 2014.

Burisma paid Hunter Biden roughly $50,000 a month between 2014 and 2019. The money was wired to a Delaware-based corporation called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, which was owned by Archer and registered by him on February 13, 2014. The company, according to a September 2020 report by Senate Republicans, acted as “a shell entity” to receive an estimated $3.5 million in payments from Burisma to Archer and Hunter Biden. In the same report, the Republicans detailed Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China.

Citing emails on Biden’s laptop, the Washington Post on March 30 confirmed that over a 14-month period, Hunter and his uncle, James Biden, received $4.8 million in “consulting fees” from the China Energy Company Limited (CEFC).

The fees were part of a contract signed by Biden and Dong Gongwen, president of CEFC, on August 2, 2017. In its article on the contract, the Washington Post reported that Hunter Biden “would get a one-time retainer of $500,000 and would then receive a monthly stipend of $100,000, with his uncle James Biden getting $65,000 a month.”

While the federal investigation was originally centered on alleged tax violations and money laundering by Hunter Biden, recent press reports indicate that the government is also looking into whether Biden violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by failing to register with the State Department.

The Republicans are seeking to make these shady dealings a centerpiece of their 2022 midterm election campaign. Spearheaded by Trump’s fascist former White House adviser Stephen Bannon and Trump’s coup lawyer Rudy Giuliani, they are presenting Joe Biden as the head of a crime family that is in the thrall of the Chinese Communist Party. According to their conspiracy theory, the CCP, seeking to protect its “investment” in the Bidens, intervened in the 2020 presidential election to falsify the vote in favor of its preferred candidate.

The reports confirm evidence of self-dealing and corruption on the part of Hunter Biden, which one would be safe in assuming did not stop with him. Corruption is pervasive in the bourgeois political system and both of its corporate-controlled parties.

Under conditions of a global pandemic in which the financial oligarchy has enriched itself fabulously over the bodies of millions of workers, it is not surprising that its political puppets exploit their office for personal gain.

That, however, does not alter the fact that the Republican Party is massively implicated in the attempted coup of January 6, 2021 and is being transformed under its “Fuehrer” Trump into a fascistic party. The petty, or not-so-petty, corruption of the Bidens (as well as the Obamas, the Clintons, etc.) in no way lessens the danger to the working class represented by the growth of a fascist movement in the US.

In this connection, it is noteworthy that as evidence of widespread support for Trump’s coup attempt within the ruling class and its military, police and intelligence agencies has mounted, extending to the Supreme Court itself, Democratic-aligned organs such as the Washington Post and New York Times have taken to reporting details of Hunter Biden’s business dealings that were previously the specialty of right-wing, pro-Trump news outlets such as the New York Post.

When the latter began publishing articles on the subject in October 2020, the Washington Post and the Times dismissed them as “Russian disinformation.”

The timing of the rash of recent articles by Democratic-aligned newspapers publicizing and lending credibility to the charges against Hunter Biden suggests a push-back by factions within the Biden administration, the Democratic Party and the Justice Department to calls from some Democrats, including members of the January 6 Committee, for Attorney General Garland to end his silence and announce prosecutions of Trump and his top co-conspirators.

Last Monday, March 28, during a meeting of the House Select Committee on January 6 that voted unanimously to refer Trump accomplices Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro to Congress on criminal contempt charges, several committee members, including Democrats Elaine Luria, Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren, forcefully called on Garland to bring charges against those previously referred to the DoJ for contempt of Congress.

“This committee is doing its job. The Department of Justice needs to do theirs,” demanded Lofgren. So far, only Bannon has been arraigned on criminal contempt of Congress charges, while former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, whom Congress voted to hold in contempt in December 2020, has yet to be arraigned.

Less than a week later, the New York Times published a front-page article titled “Garland Faces Growing Pressure as Jan. 6 Investigation Widens.” The Times reported that while “there is no indication that federal prosecutors are close to charging the former president,” Joe Biden was allegedly “aghast” that Trump’s inner circle could defy congressional subpoenas.

The Times reported that Biden expressed frustration “to his inner circle” late last year regarding Garland’s refusal to date to launch high-level prosecutions.

The very next day, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, appearing on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” denied the reporting in the Times, telling his host, “I’ve never heard the president say that.” He hastened to add that Biden “has confidence in the attorney general.”

One day later, on Monday, April 4, Politico ran an interview with Lofgren in which the January 6 Committee member suggested there was no point in the committee sending a criminal referral against Trump to the Justice Department.

“A referral doesn’t mean anything,” Lofgren said. “It has no legal weight whatsoever.”

These developments underscore the role of the Democratic Party in covering up the fascist plot that culminated in the January 6, 2021 attempt to overthrow the US Constitution, and in keeping the working class in the dark about the ongoing and accelerating preparations for dictatorial rule.