(NEW YORK) — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is scheduled to make his initial appearance in a California courtroom on federal tax charges Thursday — a day after making a surprise appearance at a Capitol Hill hearing on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The younger Biden will appear before Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar at the Edward R. Roybal courthouse in Los Angeles and be arraigned on nine tax-related charges accusing him of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes from 2016 to 2020.
The indictment from December alleges that the president’s son earned millions of dollars from foreign entities in Ukraine, Romania and China, and “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle at the same time he chose not to pay his taxes.”
The back taxes were eventually paid in 2020 by a third party, identified by ABC News as Hunter Biden’s attorney and confidant Kevin Morris.
The charges came after an initial plea deal fell apart in dramatic fashion in a Delaware federal courtroom last July, after the judge expressed concerns over the terms of the agreement.
Hunter Biden subsequently pleaded not guilty in October to three felony gun charges as part of a separate indictment in Delaware that came after a diversion agreement on one of the gun charges fell apart alongside the initial plea deal. He has since moved to have those charges dismissed.
The indictment was brought by special counsel David Weiss, a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Delaware who had been investigating Hunter Biden and was named special counsel over the summer.
In response to the tax charges, Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, claimed the December indictment included “no new evidence” and said, “Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought.”
Hunter Biden’s court appearance in California on Thursday comes a day after he surprised lawmakers in Washington by showing up in person to a House Oversight committee hearing on whether to hold him in contempt after he refused a subpoena to testify in a closed-door session as part of a GOP-led probe into his family’s business affairs.
The younger Biden, whose appearance caught Republicans on the committee completely by surprise, said that he would be willing to testify in a public forum.
Lowell, speaking to reporters after leaving the hearing room Wednesday, accused Republicans of caring “little about the truth” and trying to “hold someone in contempt, who has offered to publicly answer all their proper questions.”
“Hunter Biden was and is a private citizen,” Lowell said. “Despite this, Republicans have sought to use him as a surrogate to attack his father.”
A White House spokesperson has said that President Joe Biden “was never in business with his son.”
In 2019, as a presidential candidate, Biden said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
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