Hunter Biden faces tax investigation from U.S. authorities

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter said Wednesday that he has learned from federal prosecutors that his tax affairs are under investigation, putting a renewed spotlight on the questions about his financial dealings that dogged his father’s campaign.

In a statement released by the U.S. president-elect’s transition office, the younger Biden said he learned about the investigation on Tuesday. He did not disclose details of the matter.

“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.

Hunter Biden has long been a target of U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies, who have accused him of profiting off his political connections.

Trump and his supporters also raised unsubstantiated charges of corruption related to Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine at the time his father was vice-president and leading the Obama administration’s dealings with the Eastern European nation.

Awkward timing for president-elect

The disclosure of the federal investigation led by the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware comes at an awkward moment for the incoming president, who is assembling his cabinet.

His pick for attorney general could have oversight of the investigation into the new president’s son if it is still ongoing when Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.

The transition team said in a statement: “President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger.”

Joe Biden, right, points to some faces in the crowd with his son, Hunter, as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue following the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2009. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Hunter Biden’s attorneys did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Biden’s younger son has been caught up in controversies for years.

While his father was vice-president, Hunter joined the Naval Reserve only to be discharged after testing positive for cocaine in his system, later revealing a yearslong struggle with addiction.

He also joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma in 2014, sparking concerns about the perceptions of a conflict of interest given the elder Biden was deeply involved in U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

A Republican-led Senate investigation did not identify any policies that were directly affected by Hunter Biden’s work.

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