As congressional scrutiny of Hunter Biden heats up, DOJ probe presses on

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(WASHINGTON) — Dual investigations into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings could enter crucial but divergent phases in the coming weeks as congressional scrutiny of the president’s son ramps up and federal prosecutors press forward in their years-long probe of his tax affairs and overseas business endeavors.

The status of the two probes, one rapidly expanding as another enters its fifth year, marks a precarious and pivotal moment for the younger Biden, 52, whose legal challenges and personal life have made him a target for his father’s political foes.

After years of largely avoiding public confrontations about his business dealings, Hunter Biden has recently engaged a new legal team and undertaken a more aggressive legal tack, making private citizen criminal referrals and sending cease-and-desist letters involving some of his most vocal critics.

Here is the latest on the various investigations into the president’s son:

Justice Department probe

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Federal authorities with the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware, led by U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a Trump-era appointee, have been investigating Hunter Biden since 2018, ABC News has previously reported, but the probe was temporarily paused for several months ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Various news outlets have reported for months that prosecutors were nearing a conclusion, but no charges have been filed to this point.

The investigation spilled into public view in December of 2020, shortly after Joe Biden secured the presidency, when Hunter Biden confirmed the probe into his “tax affairs.” Prosecutors have examined whether he paid adequate taxes on millions of dollars of his income, including money he made from multiple overseas business ventures.

Prosecutors have also explored allegations that Hunter Biden lied about his drug use on a gun application form in 2018, despite later acknowledging that he was addicted to drugs around that time, ABC News previously reported.

ABC News has previously reported that the younger Biden borrowed $2 million from his lawyer and confidant, Kevin Morris, to pay the IRS for back taxes, penalties, and liens that he owed.

A grand jury empaneled in Delaware has reportedly heard testimony from multiple witnesses over the course of their probe, including some of Hunter Biden’s business partners and a woman who had a child by Hunter Biden out of wedlock.

The younger Biden, a Yale-trained lawyer, has said he is cooperating with investigators and remained “100% certain” that he would be cleared of any wrongdoing. President Biden has said he and his son never discussed his foreign business dealings and there are no indications that the federal investigation involves the president in any way. The White House has repeatedly sought to distance the president from the probe.

Congressional oversight

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, newly empowered House Republicans have already taken their first investigative steps in a long-expected investigation of Hunter Biden.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James and Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have pledged to “pursue all avenues” of wrongdoing and have called investigations into the president’s family a “top priority.”

To handle any congressional queries, Hunter Biden recently retained high-powered defense lawyer Abbe Lowell, who has represented a number of high-profile political figures including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and former Sen. John Edwards.

Earlier this month, the Oversight committee sent letters requesting “documents, records, and communications” from Hunter Biden as well as from Eric Schwerin, his former business partner, and from James Biden, the president’s brother.

Lowell rebuffed the overture, arguing that the committee “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose and oversight basis for requesting such records from Mr. Biden, who is a private citizen.”

The exchange came just a day after former Twitter executives testified before the Oversight Committee that the social media company made a mistake in blocking users from sharing a controversial 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

President Joe Biden subsequently dismissed the Oversight Committee’s probe in an interview with PBS NewsHour.

“[The] public’s not going to pay attention to that,” he said. “If the only thing they can do is make up things about my family, it’s not going to go very far.”

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