Hunter released a statement via his father’s transition team on Wednesday, December 9, and said he "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."
"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," he continued.
The investigation is believed to be related to a laptop owned by Hunter, which was taken into FBI possession in late 2019. The laptop is said to obtain documents and communications about business deals in China and Ukraine, and the investigation is examining whether or not Hunter broke tax and money laundering laws in those dealings. Hunter is said to have left the laptop at a computer repair shop in Delaware and never came back for it.
The laptop came to light in a series of news stories, some of which were pushed by Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. At the time, the FBI said: "As a general matter when contacted, the FBI reviews information from the public for consideration of any violations of applicable federal laws."
The investigation has been going on for some time but was put on hold during the presidential election in November. Now that it’s over, the investigation has continued and entered a new phrase with the FBI and IRS, who are issuing subpoenas and looking for interviews, CNN reported.
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According to Fox News, the probe involves "Suspicious Activity Reports" from banks that flagged money transfers from China and other countries. A report written up by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee about Hunter's association with Ye Jianming, who is the founder of CEFC China Energy Co., and his business partner, Gongwen Dong, claims "those associations resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow."
In September, a report was released that claimed that Hunter and "and his family were involved in a vast financial network that connected them to foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe" by Republican senators and that those connections "raise criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns."
In October, The Post reported that a copy of the hard drive showed an email from Hunter where he introduced his father to an executive at a Ukrainian energy company in 2015 when he was still Vice President. Within a year, Joe reportedly pressured Ukrainian officials to fire a top prosecutor who was investigating the company.
In 2017, an email described a "provisional agreement" to divide ownership in a new company with a share of 10 percent "held by H for the big guy?" Tony Bobulinski, who was part of the deal, confirmed "H" stood for Hunter and Joe was "the big guy." However, it is still unclear whether the evidence on the laptop will be used in the tax investigation.
Joe’s transition team backed up Hunter and said: "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."