Latest News 12-01-2024 01:12 9 Views

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to tax charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss

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Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty in his initial appearance in federal court Thursday, after being charged with tax crimes out of Special Counsel David Weiss’ investigation. 

Judge Mark Scarsi presided over the proceedings. Hunter was processed after the hearing by the U.S. Marshals Service.

The president's son pleaded not guilty to all nine federal tax charges stemming from Weiss' investigation. Hunter's trial is scheduled to begin on June 20. 

Weiss charged Hunter in December, alleging a 'four-year scheme' when the president's son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports.

Weiss filed the charges in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

The charges break down to three felonies and six misdemeanors concerning $1.4 million in owed taxes that have since been paid.

In the indictment, Weiss alleged that Hunter '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.'

Weiss said that, in 'furtherance of that scheme,' the younger Biden 'subverted the payroll and tax withholding process of his own company, Owasco, PC by withdrawing millions' from the company 'outside of the payroll and tax withholding process that it was designed to perform.'

The special counsel alleged that Hunter 'spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills,' and that in 2018, he 'stopped paying his outstanding and overdue taxes for tax year 2015.'

Weiss alleged that Hunter 'willfully failed to pay his 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 taxes on time, despite having access to funds to pay some or all of these taxes,' and that he 'willfully failed to file his 2017 and 2018 tax returns on time.'

Judge Scarsi on Thursday set the same conditions of Hunter's release as those set in Delaware, where the first son pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges brought by Weiss in October. 

Those conditions include the requirement for the president's son to seek employment and communicate all international travel plans. Hunter also is prohibited from possessing a firearm and using alcohol and drugs, and he is required to get drug tested randomly and participate in a substance abuse counseling program. 

The next motions hearing was set for March 27 in Los Angeles. 

Hunter's defense attorney Abbe Lowell attacked Weiss over the charges last month, accusing the special counsel of 'bowing to Republican pressure' when talking to the press.

'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,' Lowell said in a statement.

Hunter’s court appearance in California comes a day after the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee passed resolutions to hold Hunter in contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden, setting up a full vote on the House floor in the coming days that would recommend the first son for prosecution.  

Hunter made a surprise appearance on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning, as the House Oversight Committee considered the resolution.

The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees had subpoenaed Hunter to appear for a closed-door deposition, scheduled for Dec. 13, 2023, as part of the House GOP impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

Hunter offered to testify publicly, but Republicans rejected the request. Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, cited the setting of other witness interviews, saying Hunter would not receive special treatment. The chairmen did, however, vow to release a full transcript of his deposition, as they had for previous witnesses, and agreed to schedule a subsequent public hearing.

On Dec. 13, Hunter appeared on Capitol Hill, but not for his deposition. Instead, he delivered a statement to the press, defying the subpoena.

Fox News' Lee Ross contributed to this report. 

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