Thursday, 10 December 2020

Joe Biden says he is 'proud of Hunter' after federal prosecutors' tax probe is revealed into his son's controversial Chinese business dealings after being PAUSED in case it affected election

 President-elect Joe Biden insisted Wednesday he is 'proud' of Hunter after federal prosecutors publicly launched a probe into his son's taxes.

Federal authorities had paused their investigation in the run up to the election to avoid affecting the outcome, which would be a breach of the Justice Department guidelines.

Now the election is over, prosecutors in Delaware, the IRS Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, have stepped up their probe by issuing subpoenas and seeking interviews, CNN reports.

Reacting to the news, the Biden-Harris transition team said he was 'deeply proud of his son'.

They added that Hunter had 'fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger'.

Hunter had earlier put out a statement Wednesday saying he is under federal investigation over his taxes. 

'I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs,' Biden said.

The statement was put out by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' transition office. 

The Associated Press reported that the Justice Department is scrutinizing some of Hunter Biden's Chinese business deals and not the contents of his laptop, shared in the weeks before the election by President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. 

While the probe started in 2018, a new round of subpoenas went out Tuesday, including to Hunter Biden, the Associated Press said.  

Hunter Biden (left) put out a statement Wednesday through his father President-elect Joe Biden's (right) transition office revealing that he was under federal investigation over his taxes

Hunter Biden (left) put out a statement Wednesday through his father President-elect Joe Biden's (right) transition office revealing that he was under federal investigation over his taxes

The Biden-Harris transition team put out a statement Wednesday from Hunter Biden and President-elect Joe Biden, in which Hunter Biden revealed he was under federal investigation for his taxes

The Biden-Harris transition team put out a statement Wednesday from Hunter Biden and President-elect Joe Biden, in which Hunter Biden revealed he was under federal investigation for his taxes 

Hunter Biden (left) is being probed over his business dealings with China, CNN reported. President-elect Joe Biden (right) isn't under investigation, sources told the network

Hunter Biden (left) is being probed over his business dealings with China, CNN reported. President-elect Joe Biden (right) isn't under investigation, sources told the network 

'I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,' Hunter Biden said in a statement.  

A spokesperson for the Delaware U.S. Attorney's office told DailyMail.com, 'We cannot comment on an ongoing investigation' when asked about the origin of the investigation and what, exactly, investigators were looking at. 

Hunter Biden's business dealings - particularly those in Ukraine and China - have been politically problematic for his father for more than a year. Hunter Biden was doing business in foreign countries while his father was serving as President Barack Obama's vice president. He's been accused of profiting off his father's political career. 


President Donald Trump's impeachment involved a scheme to pressure the Ukrainian president into announcing an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden - a likely 2020 rival - while holding up $400 in military aid.   

There was chatter that Hunter Biden was being investigated when The New York Post published emails in October from a laptop that purportedly belonged to the younger Biden, with the contents given to the newspaper by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. 

CNN reported Wednesday that an investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings in China had been put on pause in the run-up to the election because Justice Department guidelines prohibit actions that could have an impact on the outcome. 

But now federal authorities are actively looking into the younger Biden's dealings including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws when doing business in foreign countries, but mainly China, CNN said.    

The network also reported that some of the transactions involved people that the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed presented counterintelligence concerns, again an issue with the Chinese. 

Fox News Channel reported that Hunter Biden is a 'subject/target' of the grand jury investigation. A target means there's a 'high probability that person committed a crime' and a subject is someone you 'don't know for sure' has committed a crime. 

Fox's sources said transactions from 'China and other foreign nations' triggered Suspicious Activity Reports, prompting the probe. 

Fox said the probe began in 2018, meaning it predated the Trump-friendly Attorney General Bill Barr taking over the top post at the Justice Department.

Barr has said publicly that the the president-elect isn't under investigation and two sources told CNN that the probe doesn't allege any wrongdoing on Joe Biden's part.     

One item of interest to investigators could be a 2.8-carat diamond gifted to Hunter Biden in 2017 from the founder and former chairman of CEFC China Energy, Ye Jianming, after a Miami business meeting, CNN said. 

The diamond was part of the original inquiry, but it's unclear if it's still a focus, the network reported.  

Hunter Biden described receiving the diamond during his July 2019 interview with The New Yorker, saying that after meeting Ye and offering to use his contacts to help the Chinese businessman identify liquified natural gas projects in the U.S., the diamond was sent to his hotel room. 

Hunter Biden said he didn't interpret as a bribe. 'What would they be bribing me for?' he asked. 'My dad wasn't in office.' 

But he decided not to keep the gem anyway. 

'I knew it wasn't a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird,' he said. 

Hunter Biden said he gave the diamond to one of his associates and he didn't know what happened to it.    

NBC News also reported that Hunter Biden and his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle had an IRS lien against them for unpaid taxes amounting to $112,805.09 - though it's unclear if this is connected to the ongoing investigation. 

Buhle, however, in their divorce documents listed 'a large diamond' among Hunter Biden's possessions. 

She valued the diamond at $80,000. Hunter Biden said it was worth closer to $10,000. 

Ye was later detained by Chinese authorities as part of an anti-corruption investigation, The New Yorker said, and a deal he and Hunter Biden were working on in Louisiana fell through. Hunter Biden told the magazine he didn't believe Ye was a 'shady character at all' and called what happened 'bad luck.' 

Tony Bobulinski, the former business associate of Hunter Biden who appeared at the final presidential debate as a guest of Trump, seemingly revealed the existence of the investigation in the weeks leading up to the presidential election. 

Bobulinski told Sinclair's James Rosen that he was interviewed by FBI agents a day after he appeared at the debate and briefly spoke to the press, alleging that Joe Biden was in on Hunter Biden's business dealings. 

He said he turned over three cell phones to the FBI.  

'They do list me as a material witness within the entire FBI on their computer systems and it was a very cooperative deep dive into all the facts across that time period,' Bobulinski told Rosen. 

He said he was a witness 'in connection with the discussion of the Biden family, CEFC and other operations around the world involving other countries,' Bobulinski said, name-dropping the company Ye founded.

Tony Bobulinski, the former business associate of Hunter Biden who appeared at the final presidential debate as a guest of Trump, where he's pictured, seemingly revealed the existence of the investigation in the weeks leading up to the presidential election

 Tony Bobulinski, the former business associate of Hunter Biden who appeared at the final presidential debate as a guest of Trump, where he's pictured, seemingly revealed the existence of the investigation in the weeks leading up to the presidential election

Hunter Biden FINALLY appears after weeks of controversy
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Prior to the Nashville debate, Bobulinski said, 'At my approximately hour-long meeting with Joe that night we discussed the Biden's history, the Biden's family business plans with the Chinese with which he was plainly familiar at least at a high level.' 

He said the venture, which never took off, involved British businessman James Gilliar and former Clinton administration official Rob Walker.  

During a Fox News interview, Bobulinski said he met with Joe Biden twice - on May 2 and May 3, 2017 in Los Angeles. There, Joe Biden was told by Hunter Biden they were working on a Chinese-backed infrastructure project.  

Without providing evidence, Bobulinski also alleged that Hunter Biden had received $5 million from his Chinese partners and that Joe Biden was the individual described as 'the big guy' in emails - a suggestion that he expected a share in the profits.   

Joe Biden's Wednesday statement echoed the support he gave for his son during the first presidential debate against Trump, who mocked Hunter Biden for his drug use. 

Biden had just finished talking about Beau Biden when the president interjected, 'Are you talking about Hunter? He got thrown out of the military for cocaine use.' 

'My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem. He's fixed it, he's worked on it. And I'm proud of him. I'm proud of my son,' the former vice president said then.    

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