Breaking Down the Media’s False Hunter Biden Narrative

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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It’s a tale of two indictments.

In one, the most common iteration, Hunter Biden pleaded guilty to charges largely appropriate to the crimes he committed. In the other (less common, but ultimately more accurate) telling, Hunter was wildly under-charged for crimes no one wants to talk about.

It is not hard to guess which version the corporate media ran with. To justify the narrative that Hunter was appropriately charged, the media zeroed in on the crimes the Justice Department actually pursued while conveniently avoiding the alleged crimes an IRS whistleblower says prosecutors ignored. (RELATED: The Prodigal Son (An Ode To Hunter Biden))

The media trotted out an army of “experts” assuring the public that Hunter did not, in fact, receive a “sweetheart deal.” In fact, according to the experts, he may have even been overcharged. CNN ran with the classic “Experts cast doubt” headline, while the Wall Street Journal went with the slightly more neutral, “Prosecutors weigh in.” Both, however, came to largely the same conclusion.

The Gun Charge

Hunter’s federal gun charge was for the possession of a gun as an addict, and not for lying on the firearm form to buy it. Both outlets spoke with experts who agreed it was “rare” for this charge to be brought on its own. It is typically brought in conjunction with drug or assault charges when prosecutors “have other concerns about the defendant.” One expert told CNN that “it’s rare to even see someone prosecuted at all under the law that Hunter Biden was prosecuted for.”

The Journal reviewed over 100 federal cases involving the same charge and found that in the rare instances it is filed alone, it is typically because prosecutors overcompensate for “threats of violence or previous criminal history.”

Hunter is this rare case: he has no criminal history of violence but wasn’t charged with any other crime related to the possession. While the gun charge seems pretty appropriate, it is just the tip of the iceberg. The real scandal is bundled up with tax charges.

The Tax Charge

Hunter pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for failure to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018.

The Journal found “several challenges that cut in favor of negotiating a plea deal.” Felony charges would have required showing that Hunter “took deliberate steps to evade taxes or fraudulently lower his tax bill.” This would be hard to prove, given his drug-induced confusion after his brother died in 2015. Misdemeanor charges are common for mere failure to pay.

One expert told CNN, “Uncle Sam has suffered no harm and justice was done,” since Hunter paid what he owed by 2021. Another went further, claiming that if “Hunter Biden’s name was John or Jane Doe, no criminal tax prosecution would have ever been contemplated.”

This would all be fairly appropriate… if it were the full story. But the media narrative leaves out — perhaps purposefully — all of the other crimes IRS whistleblowers say occurred. (RELATED: ‘Somebody’s Lying’: Byron Donalds Alleges Merrick Garland Meddled In Hunter’s Case)

According to whistleblower testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month, the unnamed IRS agent in charge of the investigation said Hunter had a litany of tax problems between 2014 and 2019. This testimony pokes gaping holes in the media narrative.

Hunter allegedly failed to pay taxes on his now-infamous arrangement with Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company. According to the whistleblower, Burisma paid Hunter over $650,000 in 2014, which he quickly moved to a Chinese company run by one of his associates. The company then “loaned” him the money back and so he never had to pay taxes. The problem, as the whistleblower points out, is that “You can’t loan yourself your own income.”

Yet, the whistleblower noted, “none of this has been paid or prosecuted,” adding that the statute of limitations has “run out” for tax year 2014.

Filings from 2018 also show that Hunter filed numerous absurd deductions. IRS agents interviewed multiple people to confirm that Hunter’s golf membership was actually a sex club membership, or that his “West Coast assistant” was actually a prostitute.

The whistleblower said that Hunter had personal “involvement” to the extent he would go “through bank statements and would highlight items … he was excluding from being deducted.” His accountants were so uncomfortable with the situation that “they actually made him sign … a representation letter,” personally attesting that all the deductions were legitimate.

By 2020, Hunter owed a whopping $2.2 million in back taxes. According to the whistleblower, a wealthy benefactor named Ed Morris, who Hunter met at a political fundraiser, actually paid his bill. Hunter’s 2020 returns came with a note, which explained that “The taxpayer received financial support from a personal friend totaling approximately $1.4 million.” Harris then paid off the remaining balance in the following months. However, just because he technically repaid what he owed doesn’t mean that he didn’t commit a crime in the process, the whistleblower said.

This all destroys the media narrative in three ways.

First, it shows an active attempt to evade paying taxes beyond a mere failure to pay. Hunter personally participated in making absurd deductions to his 2018 filings. Additionally, his arrangement with Burisma and the Chinese company occurred before his crack use escalated, so the addiction defense is neutralized as well. (RELATED: NYT Confirms DOJ Prosecutor Was Blocked From Bringing Charges Against Hunter Biden)

Lastly, while it is not illegal to receive assistance in paying off taxes, it certainly undermines the media implication that Hunter was an upstanding citizen rectifying his own mistakes. Rather, he was bailed out due to the privilege attached to being the president’s son.

None of this was part of the recent plea deal, but the Justice Department still decided to resolve everything with just two misdemeanor charges. While Hunter likely was appropriately charged in these two instances, based on whistleblower testimony, he should have been charged with more serious offenses in the first place. Instead, he got the ultimate sweetheart deal, and the corporate press is working overtime to sweep it all under the rug.