The sudden new indictment of Hunter Biden could spell trouble for President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, with at least one legal analyst predicting the president is going to have a difficult time squaring the alleged crimes with his years of denials that his son committed any crime.
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, told Sean Hannity on Fox News late Thursday that special counsel David Weiss’s latest charges “shatter years of denials” by President Biden related to his son’s drug addictions and business activities.
Weiss earlier in the day charged Hunter with three counts each of evasion of a tax assessment, failure to file and pay taxes, and filing a false or fraudulent tax return. The 56-page indictment, which covers alleged crimes committed in California, builds on earlier tax and firearms charges that Weiss brought in Delaware.
“The fact is that this is a circle that is getting tighter around the president,” Turley told Hannity. “It is clear that the president has lied. He obviously lied during the first campaign when he said he had no knowledge of these dealings. Hunter himself contradicted that. Hunter’s associate said it was utter nonsense in recent statements after his testimony. He also said that his son didn’t make any money in China. That obviously is not true.”
During his 2020 campaign, President Biden denied that his embattled son made money while representing Chinese companies. Yet both indictments paint a damning portrait of an entitled son in the throes of addiction to hard drugs who profited off his family name while representing foreign companies across a range of countries. Republicans continue to search for hard evidence that President Biden participated in Hunter’s schemes that enriched multiple members of the Biden family.
“There is a more serious problem here, and that is what the president knew of was not business dealings, it was corruption,” Turley added. “That’s what influence peddling is. The United States has pushed international agreements to stop influence peddling in other countries, the United States believes it’s a leading source of destructive corruption. If the president knew that his family was engaging in that type of corruption, of course it is serious.”
In recent weeks, attorneys for Hunter have gone on the offensive, promising an open-door testimony before House Republicans seeking to question him on his alleged crimes. That testimony may be effectively scuttled given the breadth of new charges that have yet to spark a response from the defense apart from blanket denials of wrongdoing.
“We are looking at two events next week. One is when Hunter Biden is supposed to appear, that may now be effectively scuttled,” Turley told Hannity. “Hunter may be able to use this to plead the fifth, to refuse to answer questions. But the second event is the expected vote on the impeachment inquiry. This indictment might make it easier for Hunter not to speak, but it may make it more difficult for President Biden to avoid that inquiry.”
A vote by the House to approve a formal impeachment inquiry would ramp up pressure on the White House to distance the president from his son, a prospect that has left him lashing out at aides and ordering memos to mainstream media outlets demanding they report on Republicans’ “lies.”