Earlier this week, it was announced that House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Kentucky) had quietly subpoenaed Bank of America, asking for records relating to three of Hunter Biden’s business associates.
The subpoena was broad and called for “all financial records” spanning 14 years, beginning in 2009, according to a copy of the letter obtained by CNN.
Hunter Biden: What Happens Next?
This marks quite the escalation in Comer’s investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, and it has led to a guessing game in the Beltway over who may have received proceeds from a $3 million wire to Hunter Biden associate John “Rob” Walker weeks after Joe Biden left the vice presidency in 2017. Comer has said he will reveal the individual at some point shortly.
House Oversight Committee Republicans are currently investigating the Biden family’s domestic and international business dealings to determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality.
Does Smoke Mean Fire?
Even before the 2020 election, Republicans have scrutinized the business dealings of Hunter Biden – arguing that evidence gathered from whistleblowers indicates a pattern of influence peddling while Joe Biden may have benefitted financially.
Comer has called the president’s son a “corrupt national security threat” and claimed that there is evidence he conducted various deals with Chinese, Russian, and Ukrainian officials.
Hunter Biden had sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019 – which overlapped with Joe Biden’s time as vice president. Hunter, who graduated from Yale Law School, has worked as a lawyer, lobbyist, and investor – in the latter role he’s worked on a number of investments with Chinese companies.
He is currently selling his paintings through a New York art gallery.
The younger son of the president is also reportedly the subject of a criminal investigation into his past tax filings, and for a statement, he made on a form to purchase a handgun. Questions have been raised about the amount of income he declared on his taxes, while he had apparently answered “no” to a question on a gun purchase form in 2018 asking if he was using illicit drugs.
By his own account in his memoir, he was then a user of crack cocaine.
It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether there is enough evidence to bring charges against Hunter Biden and whether those crimes would warrant the time and resources that might be required in a criminal trial, Time magazine reported. Should he be charged with tax evasion or filing a false return, he could face fines and even jail time.
Lying on a Firearms Transaction Record is a felony and a conviction could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years – although prosecutors rarely bring such charges.
A Lot of Baggage
The issue is whether the Justice Department would give Hunter Biden a pass without looking it like they’re doing so because he’s the president’s son. On the flip side, Hunter Biden – and his legal team – could argue he’s being singled out and facing unfair scrutiny.
None of this could be remotely described as “good news” for President Joe Biden as he prepares to announce a re-election bid. Adult children of the president can bring a lot of baggage that a campaign would like to avoid. It also could allow Republicans to question what the president may have known and when he knew it.
Way back in September 2019 during a campaign stop, then-candidate Biden said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
Never? That seems like a stretch, and those words could come back to haunt Joe Biden.
The probe into Hunter Biden’s past may not derail his father’s bid for a second term, but it isn’t likely to help it in the least.
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Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.