Aides for President Joe Biden and Democratic party operatives are reportedly divided on the political consequences of Hunter Biden’s legal counteroffensive.
Biden advisers and Democratic strategists have different perceptions of how Hunter Biden’s aggressive legal strategy will influence his father’s political fortunes as he runs for reelection, eight people close to President Biden and his son told Politico. (RELATED: Joe Biden And Embattled Son Hunter ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ To Celebrate Thanksgiving)
A former 2020 campaign aide told Politico some White House officials feel “irritated that he’s being more aggressive, because he is not clearing the tactics and the strategy.” Other aides are concerned Hunter Biden’s legal tactics increase the spotlight placed on his foreign business dealings and personal scandals, Politico reported.
Hunter Biden keeps his father up to date on his legal maneuvers and his legal team informs the White House ahead of any major legal decisions, a person close to his legal team told Politico.
The legal matters themselves are entirely decided by Hunter Biden and his lawyers, including the recent attempt to have a court authorize subpoenas for former President Donald Trump and former officials from Trump’s DOJ.
Biden campaign staffers are reportedly strangers to Hunter Biden and the first son previously made significant media moves without consulting his father’s aides first, according to Politico. A glowing 2019 New Yorker profile and an interview Hunter Biden conducted with “Good Morning America” were apparently carried out without guidance from Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, Politico reported.
Hunter Biden was indicted in September for three federal gun charges tied to his October 2018 purchase of a firearm when he was battling drug addiction. He pleaded not guilty to the gun charges at an Oct. 3 arraignment.
Hunter Biden, his attorneys and the White House declined to comment to Politico.
Special counsel David Weiss continues to investigate Hunter Biden’s taxes. Weiss’ investigation into Hunter Biden was marred by testimony from two IRS whistleblowers accusing the Department of Justice (DOJ) of giving the first son special treatment prior to Weiss’ special counsel designation. (RELATED: Special Counsel Investigating Hunter Biden Still Hasn’t Filled Out His Legal Team Months After Appointment)
“We’re not playing for a tie,” a friend of Hunter Biden’s told Politico. “We’re playing for setting the record straight, and accountability for those who have harmed him.”
The friend of Hunter Biden told Politico that Hunter Biden’s legal team takes issue with Democrats “sacrificing” him for political expediency.
“Intentionally or not, they’re betting on the political expediency of sacrificing Hunter,” the friend said. “The greater good is served by accountability and vindication, and not by acquiescence to political prosecution and the effort to dehumanize him.”
Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty in July to two tax offenses in Delaware. He was expected to plead guilty until District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned a prosecutorial immunity provision inside of a pretrial diversion agreement tied to the guilty plea deal.
Hunter Biden has leveled civil lawsuits against the IRS and multiple former Trump officials connected to the dissemination of his abandoned laptop archive. IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley testified that the FBI verified the authenticity of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop as early as November 2019.
His defense attorney, Abbe D. Lowell, also suggested Weiss investigate the IRS whistleblowers in an August letter.
The House Ways and Means Committee released documents in September supporting the IRS whistleblower testimony. Weiss and other DOJ officials on the case have testified before Congress and confirmed major allegations brought forward by the whistleblowers.
Biden allies believe Hunter Biden’s aggressive legal strategy of fighting back against his political opponents could win over the public, according to Politico. Some aides believe the politics surrounding Hunter Biden are fixed as long as Joe Biden is cleared of any wrongdoing, the outlet added.
“The American public likes to see people fight back,” former Kamala Harris communications director Jamal Simmons told Politico. “People who fight for themselves tend to get the benefit of the doubt from the public. And I actually think that probably does help the president in the long run.”
The younger Biden’s foreign business dealings continue to be scrutinized by the House Oversight Committee as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Biden. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Lashed Out At Business Magnate For Ignoring Him After He Secured Meetings With Joe Biden, Emails Show)
Comer unveiled bank records on Nov. 1 showing how Chinese money sent to Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden in August 2017 resulted in a $40,000 check from Joe Biden’s sister-in-law Sara Biden. The check from Sara Biden is classified as a loan repayment and the White House insists the $40,000 payment constituted a loan repayment.
Hunter Biden is prepared to testify publicly before the Oversight Committee in December, Lowell wrote in a letter Tuesday to Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer.
Comer quickly rejected Lowell’s offer and insisted Hunter Biden testify behind closed doors in addition to testifying publicly. Comer subpoenaed Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden on Nov. 8 to appear before the committee.
The Oversight Committee sent additional subpoenas to multiple former business associates of Hunter Biden.