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Federal prosecutors are asking about Hunter Biden's drug abuse, Burisma income in advancing criminal probe

Federal prosecutors are asking about Hunter Biden's drug abuse, Burisma income in advancing criminal probe

Federal prosecutors are advancing their investigation into Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings and are now gathering information related to his foreign income, including from Ukraine.

Investigators with the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware are scrutinizing the money Biden made from his association with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings Ltd. and how Biden spent that money to pay off debt, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Prosecutors are reportedly also asking questions about Biden's drug and alcohol abuse, his spending habits, and his state of mind in 2018 to determine what kind of defense he will make in a potential criminal tax case.

The investigation into Biden's financial dealings began in 2018 and has expanded to include potential violations of foreign lobbying and money laundering laws. Prosecutors called on Biden's associates and other witnesses to testify before a grand jury in February on whether Biden broke the law through his business relationships in Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between 2014 and 2019, Biden held a seat on Burisma's board and received payments of about $50,000 per month. Prosecutors are interested in those payments, which were funneled through a company called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC before going to Biden and may not have been disclosed for tax purposes.

Hunter Biden's relationship with Burisma, and whether he used his father Joe Biden as leverage in business deals with foreign entities, became a public controversy after emails from Biden's laptop were reported by the New York Post in October 2020. The emails were an "October surprise" before the presidential election that raised questions about the extent of then-candidate Joe Biden's involvement with his son's business affairs after he had previously denied any involvement at all.

Documents obtained from Biden's laptop were initially dismissed as "Russian disinformation" during the election, only for the Post's reporting to be vindicated more than a year later in a New York Times report that verified the content of the laptop.

The Biden family's Burisma ties were the reason former President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate the Biden family during an infamous July 2019 phone call. House Democrats impeached Trump over that request, but the GOP-controlled Senate acquitted the president.

In December 2020, after his father won the White House, Hunter Biden revealed the existence of the federal probe into his tax matters by the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware. At the time, he said he was "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."

Prosecutors are seeking to ascertain whether Biden laundered his foreign income to avoid paying taxes on it. The Wall Street Journal was unable to report how close investigators are to completing their investigation or whether they will ultimately bring charges against Biden.

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