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In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his father's, Vice President Joe Biden's, debate in Danville, Ky. A recent Senate GOP committee report focuses on Hunter Biden and has fueled problematic social media claims. (AP) In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his father's, Vice President Joe Biden's, debate in Danville, Ky. A recent Senate GOP committee report focuses on Hunter Biden and has fueled problematic social media claims. (AP)

In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his father's, Vice President Joe Biden's, debate in Danville, Ky. A recent Senate GOP committee report focuses on Hunter Biden and has fueled problematic social media claims. (AP)

Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg December 15, 2020

If Your Time is short

  • The U.S attorney in Delaware is investigating the taxes of Hunter Biden. We know this because Hunter Biden gave a statement saying so.

  • Unnamed sources say a separate investigation out of Manhattan also touches on Biden’s affairs.

  • There is still no evidence connecting either investigation to president-elect Joe Biden.

President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is back in the news.

Hunter Biden put out a statement Dec. 9, saying that the U.S. attorney in Delaware is investigating his taxes. 

"I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately," Biden said.

Before the election, President Donald Trump and his allies pushed theories of Hunter Biden’s malfeasance, and aimed to ensnare Joe Biden himself. Based on news reports that rely on anonymous sources, the latest legal developments don’t directly involve the president-elect. Here’s the big picture of what the reports say.

The Delaware investigation targets Hunter Biden himself. The details remain unknown, but Hunter Biden said that investigators had told his lawyer that they were looking into his taxes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware said it can not comment on an ongoing investigation. Several national newspapers, citing unnamed sources, reported that the matter focused on Hunter Biden and his associates, not his father or anyone in the president-elect’s circle.

A separate investigation is underway out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, N.Y. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hunter Biden’s investments caught investigators’ attention as part of a broader probe into international financial transactions. Biden, the report says, was not specifically targeted. That investigation includes money laundering.

Biden’s foreign business dealings have drawn keen Republican interest. He served on the board of directors of the Ukranian energy company Burisma when his father was vice president. 

Hunter Biden was also involved with a Chinese energy firm and a Chinese investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST, or BHR. PolitiFact reported how, in 2015 and 2017, BHR inked multi-million dollar deals with various Chinese companies. 

Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine led to a September 2020 report from Senate Republicans that raised questions about his work but also noted "the extent to which Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board affected U.S. policy toward Ukraine is not clear."

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