FACT CHECK: Joe Biden Claimed in 2019 There Is No Evidence His Son Hunter ‘Did Anything Wrong’
President Joe Biden claimed in a December 2019 interview, while he was a presidential candidate, that there was no evidence that his son Hunter Biden did “anything wrong.”
Hunter Biden was recently charged with nine tax-related felonies earlier in December 2023. He was also federally charged in September 2023 with making false statements on a firearms application and illegally owning a firearm.
House Republicans are expected to vote Dec. 13 on a formal impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden regarding his son’s business activities, The New York Times reported. The president’s son, Hunter, appeared at a news conference on Capitol Hill to demand for a public hearing instead of a private deposition, according to the outlet.
In 2019 Biden claimed in an Axios interview with Mike Allen that there is no evidence that what Hunter did was wrong. The conversation was in relation to Hunter’s tenure on the board of Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.
“So you think that everything that happened was kosher?” Allen asked the then-candidate, to which Biden stated, “You know, there’s not a single bit of evidence. Not one little tiny bit to suggest anything done was wrong.”
Biden also claimed that he did not look into his son’s business deals saying, “And that was it. … I trust my son.” This interview was resurfaced by Steve Guest, a conservative commentator, on Dec. 8.
The claim that there is “no evidence” that Hunter Biden did anything wrong is inaccurate. Though the claim was made in 2019, Hunter Biden was recently charged with nine tax related crimes in California in December 2023.
The Associated Press reported that special council David Weiss, tasked with investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealing with foreign business, filed tax charges against Hunter Biden. These three felonies and six misdemeanors are in addition to federal firearms charges in Delaware.
CNN reported that Weiss has claimed Hunter was “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million” between the years 2016 and 2019. He is accused of making false business deductions in order to avoid payments. The indictment further accused Hunter of using the money to purchase drugs, escorts, luxury hotels, exotic cars and other personal expenses.
The indictment, which is publicly available on the Department of Justice website, indicated that Hunter did not pay taxes on all of his income, “including income earned in Ukraine from his service on Burisnma’s Board, feed generated by deal-making with the Chinese private equity fund,” and other means.
According to legal documents, Hunter Biden did not report his Burisma income in 2014, but did so in 2015. The indictment reads,”All the money the Defendant received from Burisma in 2014 went to a company, hereafter ‘ABC’, and was deposited into its bank account. ABC and its bank account were owned and controlled by a business partner of the Defendant’s, Business Associate 5.”
Hunter Biden’s lawyers have recently moved to have the gun charges dismissed. The son of the president has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm in 2018. Prosecutors claim that Hunter lied on a federal form about his drug use in order to obtain a Colt Cobra 38PL, ABC reported.
When asked about possible firearms charges against his son, Biden said in Oct. 2022 that he was “proud” of his son’s straightforward approach to discussing his past struggles with drugs. (RELATED: Did RFK Jr. Meet With Then-President Trump To Lead A Vaccine Safety Commission?)
Hunter Biden recently claimed that the investigation and charges against him are an effort from Republican lawmakers to “destroy a presidency.” According to Reuters, he further stated on a podcast that they are “trying to kill me.”
Check Your Fact previously reported on a claim by the Associated Press stating that there was “no evidence” the president was directly involved from his son’s business affairs. There was, however, circumstantial evidence suggesting the president was at least aware of his son’s business activity.
A copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop drive surfaced in May 2022, suggesting Hunter had brought in $11 million from his work as an attorney, Burisma and a Chinese businessman who was accused of fraud, according to NBC News at the time. Additionally, Check Your Fact reported on testimony from former business associate Devon Archer in August 2023, stating that Hunter had his father present, via phone, during meetings with Hunter’s business partners, though does not allege that business was discussed.
Check Your Fact contacted the White House for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.