The US Justice Department is reportedly investigating the finances of Hunter Biden, the son of US president-elect Joe Biden.
A person familiar with the matter has told the Associated Press that the investigation includes scrutinising some of his Chinese business dealings and other transactions.
The tax investigation was launched in 2018, the year before the elder Biden announced his candidacy for president
On Wednesday, Hunter Biden said he learned about the investigation for the first time the previous day.
He said in a statement, “I 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,” Hunter Biden said.
Hunter Biden, a lawyer whose late brother Beau Biden was Delaware’s attorney general before he died, did not reveal any other details of the probe.
Kim Reeves, a spokeswoman for David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware, in an email said, “Per DOJ [Department of Justice] policy, we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”
CNN reported that the investigation is centered on “ multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.”
Documents filed by the IRS show Hunter and his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle had an Internal Revenue Service lien against them for taxes not paid, possibly including interest and penalties, totaling $112,805.09, until this past March.
The documents also show the lien was placed in November 2019. It is not immediately clear if the lien has anything to do with the investigation.
Separately, Hunter Biden had individual income tax liens of almost $453,890 placed on him by the District of Columbia on July 9, related to taxes owed for 2017 and 2018, according to a document on file in D.C. Recorder of Deeds Office. Those liens were cancelled six days later, records show.
The District of Columbia’s income tax rate is 8.95 percent for income above $1 million annually, plus about $85,000.
Late on Wednesday, Trump tweeted a quote from New York Post columnist Miranda Devine claiming, “10% of voters would have changed their vote if they knew about Hunter Biden.”