The Justice Department Decided to Help the Bidens Evade Taxes

An IRS whistleblower recently alleged that Hunter Biden’s plea agreement with federal prosecutors allows him to avoid paying more than $1 million in unpaid taxes on income he gained in connection with his family’s cash-for-influence operations.  

“The true number is $580,000 of failure to pay for 2017. It’s under $620,000 for 2018. Yet this document puts it close to $100,000,” IRS Supervisory Agent Gary Shapley said in a June 28 interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier. He went on to say Hunter the plea also allows Hunter to escape taxes on $400,000 of unreported income he received in 2014 from the Ukrainian energy exploration company Burisma Holdings.

If the Justice Department is going to hand out tax indulgences by declining to prosecute connected political allies, then the entire tax system is in jeopardy. This is why IRS whistleblowers like Shapley feel compelled to speak out. Everyone knows that the IRS depends on fear to deter tax evasion. There aren’t enough agents in the IRS to catch every tax cheat, so when cheats are caught, they must be dealt with in a sufficiently harsh manner to deter other potential tax cheats. In the case of Hunter Biden, he appears to have made out like a bandit—a politically connected one.

Defenders of the Biden administration have attempted to argue that the president has no connection with his son Hunter’s tax problems. But that’s not how Hunter sees the situation. It’s worth remembering the early reporting on messages recovered from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, in which Hunter complained bitterly about being forced to share his income with his father and to pay for some of his father’s expenses, including phone bills and home repairs. As the New York Post reported, the laptop included this text to Hunter’s daughter Naomi, “I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years . . . It’s really hard. But don’t worry, unlike Pop [Joe], I won’t make you give me half your salary.” The UK’s Daily Mail corroborated Hunter’s payments to Joe with a laundry list of direct payments Hunter made to pay the expenses of his father.

The president’s connection with Hunter’s shady income stream is clear, and the Justice Department has covered itself in shame by obstructing and delaying the investigation into the Bidens’ unpaid taxes. As the House Ways and Means Committee recently reported, the Justice Department repeatedly slow-walked the investigation. It discouraged or denied the investigators’ access to routine investigative tools such as searching the likely location of key records and interviewing clearly relevant witnesses, and it denied special counsel status to the U.S. attorney overseeing the investigation. Worse yet, a prosecutor reportedly tipped off the Bidens that a particular storage unit controlled by the family might be subject to a search. Prosecutors also reportedly obstructed investigative interviews of multiple subjects by tipping them off in advance.

To distract us, Biden defenders claim the criticism of the first family is just an exploitation of Hunter’s tragic drug and sex addictions. And it is true that if the laptop had only contained videos documenting Hunter’s personal struggles, the Bidens might have been able to make a convincing plea for privacy. So, let’s set aside the Russian hookers and drugs and weird sex tapes. And, set aside the Justice Department’s indulgence of Hunter’s potential FARA violations and the gun charges. As scandalous as these things are, they are small potatoes when it comes to messing with the IRS. It is still a big deal that the Justice Department’s plea deal with Hunter doesn’t fully collect unpaid taxes.

Nobody likes to pay their taxes. For a typical middle-class family, taxes are their biggest expense. In many ways, President Biden and other Democrats capitalize on this by redirecting taxpayer resentment towards the rich, who they accuse of not paying their fair share. Indeed, two days before the press reported Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal, Joe Biden repeated this theme at his first official 2024 campaign rally, saying, “Now is the time for the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes.” The Bidens are wealthy. Are they paying their fair share?

By letting Hunter off the hook for unpaid taxes, the Justice Department has made his tax evasion profitable and rational. This is how nations fall and empires unravel. The moment tax evasion becomes worth the risk, a contagion will spread to every shady taxpayer who thinks he has political cover with the Justice Department.

Hunter will appear before the court overseeing the plea agreement on July 26. It’s not clear whether the text of the proposed plea agreement will be revealed at that time. But Hunter’s lawyers aren’t waiting to counter the claims by the IRS whistleblowers, who they characterize as “disgruntled agents who believed they knew better than the federal prosecutors who had all the evidence as they conducted their five-year investigation of Mr. Biden.”  

It’s easy for somebody to call for higher taxes when he has no fear of paying the higher rates. Indeed, Biden recently called for an increase to 39.6 percent of the top marginal income tax rate—at least for taxpayers not named “Hunter Biden.”

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