Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden, said Wednesday he is under federal investigation for “tax affairs,” The Associated Press reported.
“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,” Hunter Biden said in a statement. “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.”
The probe was revealed five days before Joe Biden is expected to be formally chosen as the next president by the Electoral College, CNBC reported.
“President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger,” the Biden transition team wrote in a statement.
The investigation was opened in late 2018 and has included inquiries into potential criminal violations of tax and money laundering laws, according to The New York Times. The money laundering aspect of the case failed to gain traction after FBI agents were unable to gather enough evidence for a prosecution, the newspaper reported.
The disclosure comes at an awkward moment for the President-elect, who has yet to name his pick for attorney general. Joe Biden’s choice could have oversight of the investigation when Biden takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, the AP reported.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado, called for a special-counsel investigation of Hunter Biden, according to The Washington Post.
“This is why AG (William) Barr needs to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Hunter Biden,” Buck tweeted. “It would be wildly inappropriate if his dad’s AG was involved in this matter.”
Hunter Biden’s attorneys did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment, according to the AP.
The White House and the U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees the U.S. attorneys’ offices, declined to comment, CNBC reported.
According to CNN, investigators have been examining multiple financial issues involving Hunter Biden, including whether the President’s son and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.
Some of those transactions involved people who the FBI believes ignited counterintelligence concerns, the news network reported.
The inquiry was focused on Hunter Biden and some of his associates, and not the President-elect or other family members, the Times reported.