When President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter confirmed this week that a federal investigation into his “tax matters” was underway, it was not immediately clear what exactly he was talking about.
But his statement reignited control over his business and financial transactions, which were repeatedly referred to by President Donald Trump and other Republicans during Biden’s presidential campaign this year.
“I first learned yesterday that the Delaware attorney’s office informed my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they were investigating my tax affairs,” Hunter Biden said Wednesday.
While there is no indication that the president-elect is involved in the investigation into his son’s financial affairs, Biden is in a precarious position as he is currently considering his candidate for attorney general, the person who will oversee the Department of Justice investigating Hunter.
Specific details of what the Justice Department is investigating are still elusive, but several U.S. media have shed light on the investigation.
Here’s a look at what we know so far.
Work in china
The investigation began two years ago, before Biden launched his presidential campaign, and at least part of the focus is on Hunter’s past work in China, the Associated Press news agency reported.
One aspect of the investigation is whether he failed to report income from his China-related business transactions, the Washington Post said.
However, this “is unrelated to the attacks the Trump campaign and their allies launched against Hunter during the campaign,” a person familiar with the Hunter Biden investigation told the US newspaper.
The New York Times reported that the Delaware attorney’s office was leading the investigation, which also included investigations into potential criminal violations of money laundering laws, in addition to tax laws.
People familiar with the investigation, however, told The Times that the FBI was unable to gather enough evidence to prosecute the money laundering investigation.
The newspaper also said the investigation focused on Hunter and some of his associates and no other members of the Biden family.
Separately, US media outlet Politico reported that federal authorities were investigating Americore, a for-profit company that operated rural hospitals in Pennsylvania in which Joe Biden’s brother, James, was involved.
FBI agents asked about James Biden’s role in the company, Politico reported.
Trump vs. Hunter Biden
Trump has spent months on the election trail trying to tie Hunter Biden’s business relationship to Joe Biden, making it a key part of his stump speeches and directly attacking Biden on the debate stage in September.
“Once you became vice president, he made his fortune in Ukraine, China, Moscow and various other places,” Trump said during the first presidential debate.
“Lock up the Bidens … Lock them up.” Can you imagine if my kids did what this Hunter guy does? Trump said at a rally in Macon, Ga., Oct. 16. “And when you look at what they get away with… And by the way, Biden’s brother, try this one.”
In October, the New York Post published a series of emails from 2015, including one supposed to show Hunter Biden setting up a meeting between a Ukrainian businessman and then-vice president Joe Biden.
Although there was a dispute over the authenticity of the emails, Trump and the Republicans treated the report as “smoking” evidence that the Bidens were up to something nefarious.
Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS News in late October, called the story a “smear campaign” orchestrated by Russian lawyer and Trump Rudy Giuliani.
Hunter also played an indirect role in Trump’s impeachment earlier this year. The president was impeached by the United States House of Representatives over allegations he illegally attempted to persuade the Ukrainian president to dig up damaging political filth on Joe and Hunter Biden.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to link Hunter Biden’s latest revelations to his continued efforts to achieve victory in the presidential election.
Trump quoted a New York Post article that said, “10% of voters would have changed their vote if they knew Hunter Biden.”
Trump ended his tweet by falsely stating, “But I won anyway!”
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2020