Federal prosecutors are investigating Hunter Biden over his tax affairs, the president-elect’s son said in a statement on Wednesday, marking another troubled chapter for the lawyer and investment adviser a little more than a month before his father is to take office.
In the statement, Hunter Biden said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware had advised his legal counsel about the matter on Tuesday and that he was confident he handled his tax affairs “legally and appropriately.”
“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,” Hunter Biden said.
The statement was sent out via President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.
Hunter Biden did not divulge further information about the investigation, including its scope. Kim Reeves, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined to comment.
The younger Biden has been the subject of intense scrutiny related to his business dealings overseas, particularly for a Ukrainian energy company. The president-elect’s son was a target of Republicans, and attempts made by allies of President Donald Trump to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden ultimately resulted in Trump’s impeachment.
One of Trump’s closest allies in Congress has been pressing Attorney General William Barr to appoint a special counsel to oversee the investigation of Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
“We request that the Department of Justice immediately appoint an independent, unbiased special counsel to investigate the issues that we have raised,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, said in a letter signed by 10 Republican colleagues and dated Oct. 19.
On the same day the House Republicans sent the letter, Barr quietly appointed a special counsel to oversee the origins of the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, a move that ensured it would likely carry over into the Biden administration. Barr revealed the existence of the probe only earlier this month.
The saga has also entangled other members of the president-elect’s inner circle. Biden’s nominee for secretary of State, Tony Blinken, was interviewed by congressional Republicans as part of a probe into Hunter’s business activities. That investigation failed to establish that Hunter Biden’s work influenced his father’s actions as vice president or U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
Hunter Biden’s tax woes will also likely come up at the confirmation hearings for whomever his father picks to be attorney general. The president-elect committed to having an independent Justice Department during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper last week, saying he wouldn’t direct whom the department should prosecute.
“It’s not my Justice Department. It’s the people’s Justice Department,” Biden said.
His comments were meant to create a contrast with the Trump administration, in which Barr’s activities were frequently criticized as being in concert with Trump’s legal agenda.
The Biden transition team included a statement of support on Wednesday for the president-elect’s son: “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.”
Kyle Cheney, Tyler Pager and Matthew Choi contributed to this report.