NBC News Justice and Intelligence correspondent Ken Dilanian claimed Friday on “Morning Joe” that it was “perfectly legal” for Hunter Biden to take money from overseas because he is not an officeholder.
Federal agents revealed Thursday they believe there is enough evidence to charge Biden with tax and gun crimes after the Federal District of Delaware opened an investigation in 2018 over his alleged failure to pay taxes and for lying on a firearm application.
“As you know, Joe, tax cases are not all that difficult. [Biden] paid a $2 million tax bill last year so he was in a rear on his taxes,” Dilanian said. “The question in these cases is always when does it become criminal tax evasion and there’s a lot of prosecutorial discretion about that. There’s a lot of people who evade taxes who are never prosecuted criminally so that’s gonna be a big issue in this case,” he began.
“In terms of like corruption, conflict of interest, we’ve never heard a hint that there were potential criminal charges there, because Hunter Biden wasn’t an office holder, it was perfectly legal for him to take money from foreign governments, as long as he wasn’t inappropriately giving them information from his family or something, there’s no hint of that,” he continued.
He said it looked “terrible” for Biden to have been making money off the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, where he served on the Board of Directors while his father served as vice president. He then said the charges all come down to the decision made by the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, David C. Weiss, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. (RELATED: REPORT: DOJ Investigating Lobbying Firm Linked To Hunter Biden)
Hunter Biden claimed on his firearm application he was not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” He later revealed in his memoir he used crack cocaine “every 15 minutes” during the time of his application, indicating he may have violated 18 U.S. Code § 922, a law prohibiting an individual from making a “false or fictitious oral or written statement” or for an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” to obtain a firearm.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2018 placed a $112,805 lien on Biden in unpaid taxes from 2015, the year in which he served on the board for Burisma Holdings. Rosemont Seneca Bohai (RSB), an American firm controlled by Biden’s business partner Devon Archer, paid him more than $700,000 between June 2014 and October 2015.
After disclosing he was under investigation, Biden paid a “significant” amount back in taxes, the New York Times reported.
He also potentially violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), requiring “certain agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political activities … to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal.” Biden and his business partner Tony Bobulinski allegedly texted about setting up to avoid FARA.