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That New Hunter Biden Indictment

Above photo: Attorney and businessman Hunter Biden (son of US President Joseph Biden) on the left, lawyer Abbe Lowell on the right, surrounded by a gaggle of reporters asking about Biden’s potential testimony before the House of Representatives about his foreign business dealings. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s a Limited Hangout.

Before wading through the latest indictment of Hunter Biden, this one for nine counts of assorted tax violations, we must consider briefly the record of David Weiss, the special counsel who signed the 56–page document made public last Thursday. Only then can we read the grand jury findings unsealed last week for what they are and are not.

David Weiss is the Justice Department attorney in Delaware who has run the DoJ’s lengthy (as in slow-walked) investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged violations of tax and gun laws. Among much else, David Weiss appears to have connived with other Justice officials to cover up a Federal Bureau of Investigation finding that Hunter and President Biden accepted bribes of $5 million each from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter sat on the board from April 2014 to April 2019.

David Weiss made sure that Internal Revenue investigators did not have access to Hunter’s infamous laptop after the FBI took possession of it in December 2019. David Weiss made sure that investigators—his investigators among them—were denied a requested warrant to search a cottage on Joe Biden’s Delaware estate. David Weiss let Hunter’s lawyers know in advance that investigators planned to search a storage unit Hunter kept. David Weiss barred IRS agents from interviewing members of the Biden family. David Weiss, as overseer of the investigation, let Hunter know in advance that IRS and FBI agents intended to interview him in California, so allowing Hunter to evade them.

David Weiss, after all this and probably more that is not visible to our naked eyes, put together the agreement that let Hunter plead to misdemeanor charges earlier this year and immunized him from whatever findings of criminal conduct that may come to the surface in the future. A properly disinterested judge assigned to validate that preposterous bargain, Maryellen Noreika, could not believe her eyes when she saw it last summer and promptly deep-sixed it.

At that point, it followed naturally that Attorney General Merrick Garland rewarded David Weiss for all his good, loyal work by naming him special counsel, so giving him expanded powers to continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

Now David Weiss has signed an indictment—the second Hunter faces, the other covering the gun charges—laying out three charges of tax evasion, three charges of failing to file and pay taxes, and three more for filing false or fraudulent tax returns. And now, with a few snippets from David Weiss’s c.v. in hand, we are ready to read and evaluate this document for what is in it and what is missing.

The New York Times wants us to think this is “a major new development … with potentially enormous political costs for his [Hunter’s] father.” We are supposed to think, in other words, that Special Counsel Weiss is on the case and seeing that he and A–G Garland and the rest of the incorruptible DoJ are once again making sure American justice is cleanly and properly served.

I do love it when The Times and the corporate media that follow it like pilot fish demonstrate so clearly to us that there is no air whatsoever between them and the powers they are supposed to report upon with the sort of distance Judge Noreika so admirably displayed last summer. It is always a useful reminder that we must not take at face value anything they publish beyond the sports scores and where to find the best corkscrew of 2023.

The Weiss indictment is certainly a development in the Biden case, though I see no argument that it is “major” or even “new.” In my read this is more of what David Weiss, Garland and their DoJ colleagues, along with FBI Director Christopher Wray and his colleagues, have been doing all along. The objective here is to control the damage and continue protecting “the Big Guy” at all costs.

After the plea deal collapsed last July, it was evident Garland and Weiss had to clean up a mess in Aisle 6. This is how I read the new indictment. What came out last week looks to me like a classic limited hangout: Something had to be done to restore the impression that Justice was conducting a serious investigation, some move that spoke of unsparing, even merciless impartiality while allowing the sparing and partiality to continue per usual.

This is why the document, while laying out the charges as it must, gives the peculiar impression that it was written as much for public consumption as for a judge, a jury, or for contending attorneys. I will return shortly to this curious feature of United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Robert Hunter Biden Defendant

Here is the fourth clause in the section marked Introductory Allegations:

The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020. In furtherance of that scheme, the Defendant: a. subverted the payroll and tax withholding process of his own company, Owasco, PC by withdrawing millions from Owasco, PC outside of the payroll and tax withholding process that it was designed to perform…

This is a sound summary. What follows some pages later can be read in part as a charge sheet. Let’s go through this quickly. I will round up numbers for the sake of simplicity.

In Count 1, Biden is charged with failing to pay $46,000 in taxes he owed on the taxable income of $1.3 million he earned in 2016. Count 2 moves to the 2017 tax year, during which Biden (now well in the Burisma arrangement) made $2 million in taxable income, on which he owed $582,000 in taxes. The charge here is failure to pay. Count 3 also concerns 2017. “He [Biden] did willfully fail, on or about October 15, 2018, in the Central District of California and elsewhere, to make an income tax return,” the document reads.

Counts 4 and 5 are about the 2018 tax year. And again, Biden had $1.6 million in taxable income, owed the IRS $621,000 on it. “The Defendant did not timely file his 2018 Form 1040 by October 15, 2019, when it was due,” Count 4 reads. Count 5 reads, like Count 3, a little redundantly: In addition to not paying his 2018 taxes, he didn’t file a 1040.

The remaining counts, 6 through 9, seem heavier going to me. In these, Biden is charged with filing “false and fraudulent” tax returns, tax evasion—the indictment’s term—and, Count 9, “failure to timely pay” a 2019 tax bill of $197,000 on taxable income of $844,00. To sum this up, the document reads:

The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020.

You can read in the mainstream press that Hunter Biden faces a maximum prison term of 17 years for these offenses. Don’t wait for it is my straight-out advice. There are clues all over this document to suggest it is, in its own way, another kind of fraud if we consider misuse of the judicial system—the Democrats’ favorite sport these days—as such.

As you read through, consider the repeated phases, “failure to timely pay…” or “did not timely file…” as these appear throughout the 56 pages. Weiss and his colleagues used these locutions eight times, by my count. And here is the thing: It is now a matter of record that Hunter Biden has paid all of his taxes, with interest and penalties also covered. What does this business of “timely” suggest? To me  this looks like another plea bargain in the making—and remember, Weiss considered this same record of tax violations nickel-and-dime stuff when, earlier this year, he fashioned the deal that would have let Biden off more or less free.

Two other features of this indictment are striking. One, there is the extensive harping on Hunter Biden’s dissolute habits during the years in question. And our Hunter was pretty far out in orbit while crack, booze and post-adolescent rebellion against an emotionally abusive father—Dr. Lawrence’s psychiatric diagnosis—ruled his life. Some of the false deductions Biden claimed in those returns he filed are pertinent (if also amusing): Flying a stripper from Los Angeles to New York went down as a business deduction in 2018. Ditto a payment of $4,000 for a rented Lamborghini Biden drove around L.A. until his Porsche arrived from the East Coast.

There are pages and pages of details in this line. “Between 2016 and October 15, 2020,” the indictment reads, “the Defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes.” The indictment repeats the phrase extravagant lifestyle” eight times. O.K., we get it: Strip clubs, prostitutes, expensive tailors, expensive drugs, expensive travel, expensive entertainment: This was what Hunter’s bicoastal scene was made of.

But why does this indictment go on and on and on about Biden’s dissolution and extravagance? Expensive and extravagant everything is not unlawful, after all, and needn’t have been noted in a legal document. My answer to this question: This is not only a legal document. All the wadding is part of David Weiss’s latest charade. Weiss wants those reading his indictment to think he shares the common contempt for the outlandish conduct of the president’s son. He’s mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore. The tough Special Counsel is out for Hunter Biden: This is the U.S. Justice Department as theater.

The other strange feature of the indictment merits but brief mention. Beginning on page 5 and running three pages we find a description of the U.S. tax system that reads as if it were written for sixth-graders. “Tax returns are typically due on April 15 of the calendar year following the tax year,” it explains. And: “Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is the standard IRS form that individual taxpayers use to file their annual income tax returns.” Again, what is this text doing in this document? Is it meant to inform the judge, jury and attorneys involved in Biden’s tax case? Or is it for us, we up in the peanut gallery watching David Weiss do his stuff on our behalf?

Now that we have considered what is in this indictment, we must note what isn’t, as this is far more important that anything we have read. What is not here is what this indictment is all about.

Here is a passage from the introductory section:

In or around April 2014, the Defendant joined the board of directors of Burisma Holdings Limited (“Burisma”), a Ukrainian industrial conglomerate. Burisma agreed to pay the Defendant an annual salary of approximately $1,000,000, to be paid in monthly disbursements. In March 2017, Burisma reduced his compensation to approximately $500,000 a year but he continued to serve on the board of directors until in or around April 2019. As a result, he received a total of approximately $1,002,016 in 2016, $630,556 in 2017, $491,939 in 2018, and $160,207 in 2019. 

There are, following this, similar paragraphs describing an influence-peddling caper involving a Romanian executive fighting bribery charges. “The Romanian contract,” as the indictment terms it, netted Biden and two associates $3 million, divided evenly among them. And then come passages covering the infamous CEFC China Energy schemes, which ended similarly. Biden and his associates were paid $3 million and assorted other sums “for sourcing deals and for identifying other potential ventures.” The total take from the Chinese, was, of course, many more millions. This was the period during which Hunter Biden took up referring to “the Big Guy” when discussing with associates who got what as the fruit dropped.

O.K., now to the charge sheets further down in the text. Burisma, CEFC, the Romanian deal (which sounds especially sordid): They are nowhere to be found. In the Burisma case it gets positively weird. “The Defendant did not report his income from Burisma on his 2014 Form 1040,” the indictment notes on page 10. This is the last we read of what sounds like an open-and-shut case of tax evasion. I start to think Weiss’s indictment, whatever else it is and is not, is simply sloppy.

Burisma, the Chinese, Hunter Biden’s other foreign involvements: Among these there are obvious, glow-in-the-dark violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, given Hunter Biden’s compensated activities on American soil in behalf of the Ukrainians, the Chinese and others. The FARA violations directly implicate the Big Guy in his crack-addled son’s apparently uninhibited limitless criminality. Which is why there is nothing on these violations in Weiss’s indictment.

Presentation is all with David Weiss, Merrick Garland, and their DoJ colleagues—not the law, not responsibility, not what is right, not what Americans deserve. It is all we will get out of these institutional abusers, and all Weiss offers in these indictments.

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