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HomeLatest NewsHunter Biden asks judge to dismiss tax charges, saying they're politically motivated

Hunter Biden asks judge to dismiss tax charges, saying they’re politically motivated

Hunter Biden’s attorneys argued Wednesday that the federal tax charges the president’s son is facing in California should be dismissed because they were part of a prosecution fueled by politics.

Abbe Lowell, lead counsel for Biden, argued the case was the “least ordinary prosecution a person could imagine”, claiming irregularities in how it was initiated and investigated.

But federal prosecutors have rebuffed the claims. In legal filings made in recent weeks, special counsel David Weiss’ office said politics had no bearing on the case and dismissed claims that the charges were pursued to appease Republicans, calling the assertion “conspiratorial” and “nothing more than a house of cards.”

U.S District Judge Mark Scarsi appeared doubtful of the argument during the hearing, pointing to a lack of evidence to support the assertion that politics had any influence on the charges.

Biden did not appear for the hearing Wednesday, but he 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 him with failure to file and pay taxes, tax evasion and filing a false tax return.

Biden’s attorneys also argued that the tax charges violated a diversion agreement between federal prosecutors and the president’s son last year.

A plea agreement on two misdemeanor tax charges and a diversion agreement stemming from a firearms charge unraveled in court in July 2023, when the judge questioned whether the agreement would allow Biden to avoid potential future charges. Biden’s attorneys maintained the agreement was still legally binding. Federal prosecutors said the “proposed agreement” had not been approved the U.S. Office of Probation and Pretrial Services and had not yet gone into effect.

Judge Scarsi will issue a decision on April 17.

The motion to dismiss hearing comes as Republican-led congressional committees are winding down an impeachment inquiry into President Biden that centered in part on whether the president profited from Hunter Biden’s business ventures and whether senior officials in the Biden administration took steps to impede criminal probes into the president’s son.  

In a closed-door deposition before lawmakers in February, Hunter Biden dismissed the inquiry as a “baseless and destructive political charade,” contending his father had no involvement in his business dealings.

Rep. James Comer, Republican of Kentucky and chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, signaled he will prepare criminal referrals at the conclusion of the investigation. Critics of the inquiry say the GOP-led congressional committees have not yet produced any evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden. 

Elli Fitzgerald contributed reporting.

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