Flurry of witnesses providing testimony to feds

Source: 69 News, CNN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Justice Department investigation of Hunter Biden’s business activity has picked up steam in recent months, with a flurry of witnesses providing testimony to federal investigators and more expected to provide interviews in the coming weeks, according to new reporting by CNN, which cited multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in Wilmington, Delaware, are focusing on a number of issues, including whether Hunter Biden and some of his businesses associates violated tax, money laundering, and foreign lobbying laws, Evan Pérez, CNN’s senior justice correspondent reported on the network Wednesday morning.

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Much of the investigation, which was launched in 2018, is focused on Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma, an energy company in Ukraine. He was being paid as much as $50,000 per month while his father, Joe Biden, served as President Barack Obama’s vice president and was tasked with handling Ukraine issues for the Obama administration, according to Pérez’s reporting.

That, of course, raised questions of a conflict,” Pérez told CNN anchor Brianna Keilar.

Joe Biden has said that his son’s work in Ukraine had no influence on his decisions at the time.

News of the stepped up investigation came a day after former President Donald Trump called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release any information he has on Hunter Biden’s dealings with oligarchs in eastern Europe. It’s not clear that any material exists or if the Kremlin has access to it.

“I would think Putin would know the answer to that,” Trump said in an interview with the “Just the News” television show at his Mar-a-Lago resort in south Florida. “I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer.”

The Justice Department’s probe extends beyond Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Europe. The Associated Press reported in late 2020 that investigators were also examining some of Hunter Biden’s Chinese business dealings. At the time, Hunter Biden said he had committed no wrongdoing.

“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,” he said in a statement.

A year earlier, in an interview with ABC News, Hunter Biden admitted to “poor judgement” in his overseas business dealings and that accepting the seat on Burisma’s board was “a mistake, in retrospect.”

The investigation isn’t all that has intensified in recent months. CNN’s Pérez cited anonymous sources as saying that discussions are taking place among Justice Department investigators and prosecutors about the strength of their case against Hunter Biden and whether more work needs to be done before deciding on possible charges.

President Biden is not being investigated as part of the probe of his son’s business activities, sources told CNN.