Politics

Hunter Biden’s Drug Addiction Defense Shattered By New California Indictment

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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The new criminal indictment from a California grand jury Thursday shatters Hunter Biden’s go-to defense of his ill-advised behavior and lucrative foreign business dealings.

Hunter Biden and his allies routinely use his struggles with drug addiction to excuse his lavish lifestyle and downplay the millions he hauled in from foreign sources during and after Joe Biden’s vice presidency. However, the new indictment containing nine tax related charges against Hunter Biden explains how he continued to avoid paying taxes after his recovery from his drug addiction. (RELATED: White House Reveals Whether Joe Biden Will Pardon Son Hunter In Light Of New Charges)

READ THE FULL INDICTMENT:

“Notably, in 2020, well after he had regained his sobriety, and when he finally filed his outstanding 2016, 2017, and 2018 Forms 1040, the Defendant did not direct any payments toward his tax liabilities for each of those years,” the indictment reads on page 16. (RELATED: Burisma Slashed Hunter Biden’s Salary When Donald Trump Took Office, New Indictment Shows)

“At the same time, the Defendant spent large sums to maintain his lifestyle from January through October 15, 2020. In that period, he received financial support from Personal Friend totaling approximately $1.2 million. The financial support included hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for, among other things, housing, media relations, accountants, lawyers, and his Porsche,” the indictment adds.

The younger Biden spent over $70,000 on rehabilitation services from 2016-18 to address his issues with alcohol and crack cocaine, the indictment shows on page 13. Instead of paying his taxes, he spent $4.9 million from 2016-19 to maintain a lavish lifestyle featuring numerous women, pornography, drugs, luxury goods and other personal expenses, page 13 of the indictment shows.

“The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020,” the indictment says.

“Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, the Defendant individually received more than $7 million in total gross income. This included in excess of $1.5 million in 2016, $2.3 million in 2017, $2.1 million in 2018, $1 million in 2019 and approximately $188,000 from January through October 15, 2020. In addition, from January through October 15, 2020, the Defendant received approximately $1.2 million in financial support to fund his extravagant lifestyle.”

He became sober in May 2019, the same month he married his current wife Melissa Cohen, according to his failed guilty plea deal with Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Financial Backer Feared Political ‘Risk’ Caused By Delinquent Tax Returns, Docs Show)

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JULY 26: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on July 26, 2023 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in a deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution on an additional gun charge. However, the federal judge overseeing the case unexpectedly delayed Biden’s plea deal and deferred her decision until more information is put forth by both the prosecution and the defense. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Hunter Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” is centered around his battle with drug addiction. The book was published in April 2021 after he entered into a contract in November 2019, according to the indictment. Hunter Biden spoke candidly about his battle with drug addiction during his interviews promoting the memoir.

Biden appeared on musician Moby’s podcast for a two part interview, with the first installment released on Dec. 8, the day after the California grand jury leveled new tax charges against the first son. Moby and Biden discussed his drug addiction and memoir in detail as Biden attempted to portray himself as a victim of his political opponents’ relentless personal attacks.

He took a similar approach in an op-ed written for USA Today on Nov. 2, where he accused his father’s political opponents of weaponizing his drug addiction against him. (RELATED: Joe Biden Used Fake Name To Exchange Over 50 Private Emails With Hunter Biden’s Business Associate, Docs Show)

“I don’t know a family that hasn’t been impacted in some way by addiction. What is distinct about my situation is that I’m the son of the president of the United States,” Hunter Biden wrote.

“What troubles me is the demonization of addiction, of human frailty, using me as its avatar and the devastating consequences it has for the millions struggling with addiction, desperate for a way out and being bombarded by the denigrating and near-constant coverage of me and my addiction,” he added.

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 29: Rep. James Comer (R-KY) attends a news conference with House Republican leadership at the U.S. Capitol November 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. The House Republican leadership spoke on a range of issues, including their impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Joe Biden. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Republicans on the Ways and Means, Judiciary and Oversight Committees are leading an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden based on his son’s foreign business dealings and testimony from two IRS whistleblowers accusing the DOJ of giving Hunter Biden special treatment during its investigation.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan have threatened Hunter Biden with contempt if he defies a congressional subpoena and fails to appear for a Dec. 13 closed-door deposition.

House lawmakers are weighing a floor vote to expand the legal authority of the impeachment inquiry. So far, investigators have revealed more than $24 million sent by foreign sources to the Biden family and its business associates from 2014-19. Many of the details laid out in the California indictment were uncovered by House investigators and IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.

“Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,” Hunter Biden’s defense counsel Abbe D. Lowell said in a statement addressing the California tax charges. His client faces up to 17 years in prison for three felonies and six misdemeanors related to his apparent failure to pay taxes in a timely manner and allegedly filing false tax returns.

Lowell appeared to use the drug addiction defense when he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday and discussed Hunter Biden’s new tax charges.

“He has extraordinary accountability. I mean, first of all, he nearly died,” Lowell said to co-host Mika Brzezinski, citing his client’s memoir. “He’s the first to say ‘this was me Hunter Biden squandering the opportunities I had in life,’ that’s enormous accountability.”

Panelists on “Morning Joe,” including Brzezinski, previously used Hunter Biden’s struggles with drug addiction to defend his conduct and portray him as relatable.

Special counsel David Weiss, the lead prosecutor in the ongoing DOJ criminal investigation, had been working with the California grand jury on collecting evidence prior to the most recent indictment.

Before Weiss became special counsel, Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California E. Martin Estrada declined to cooperate with Weiss on the case, both prosecutors confirmed when they testified before the House Judiciary Committee, according to transcripts reviewed by the Caller.

The IRS whistleblowers first brought to light Estrada’s decision not to partner with Weiss on potentially prosecuting Hunter Biden for alleged tax related offenses in California. Hunter Biden is now suing the IRS for alleged illegal disclosures by the IRS whistleblowers.

The first son was indicted on three federal gun charges in September in connection with his purchase of a firearm in Delaware while he was addicted to crack cocaine. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in October and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

President Biden does not plan on pardoning his son, the White House said Friday.