US President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter has said his tax affairs are under investigation.
The investigation is being conducted by federal prosecutors in Delaware.
Hunter Biden said he took the case “very seriously” but was confident an “objective review” would show he had handled his affairs “legally and appropriately”.
The Biden-Harris transition team said the president-elect was “deeply proud of his son”.
A statement from the team said Hunter had “fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger”.
Hunter said he learned of the investigation on Tuesday. He did not disclose any further details.
Hunter, 50, was a frequent target of Republican criticism during the 2020 election campaign.
His presence on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was vice-president came under scrutiny during the impeachment trial against Donald Trump earlier this year.
Mr Trump was accused of pressing Ukraine to probe what the Bidens were doing in the country, and using military aid as a bargaining chip. He was impeached by the House, where the Democratic Party has a majority, but cleared by the Republican-dominated Senate.
The investigation into Hunter’s tax affairs comes as the president-elect assembles his Cabinet. If the case is still ongoing when Mr Biden is sworn into office next month, his pick for attorney general could have oversight of the investigation, AP news agency notes.
The spotlight stays on Hunter
The presidential election is over, but it seems President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter – a regular target of Republican attacks during the campaign – is going to stay in the news.
The revelation that Hunter is under tax investigation is not entirely surprising. There have been hints of such an inquiry for months. With official confirmation, however, comes further scrutiny – and potential political headaches for the president-elect.
If Republicans maintain control of the US Senate, hearings into Hunter’s finances – and any ties to President Biden – are a foregone conclusion. And if the investigation turns into formal charges, political concerns for the Biden family could turn into very real legal ones.
While Donald Trump’s critics will be quick to accuse the outgoing president of orchestrating this investigation as political reprisal, the US attorney behind it – David Weiss of Delaware – is a veteran prosecutor. Although he was appointed by the current president, Weiss also worked as a deputy in the office, and as interim US attorney, during Democrat Barack Obama’s presidency.
Hunter Biden, in a statement, says he acted “legally and appropriately”. If so, this matter will eventually fade from view. Being under the federal criminal microscope, however, is never a pleasant affair.
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