Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles federal court to nine federal tax charges, unrelated to his recent appearance at a committee meeting in Capitol Hill. The charges, stemming from an indictment returned on Dec. 7, allege that Biden, residing in Malibu, spent millions on a lavish lifestyle instead of paying taxes. The indictment claims that between 2016 and Oct. 15, 2020, Biden used the money on drugs, escorts, luxury hotels, rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and personal items, evading tax payments.
Appearing in a downtown Los Angeles federal courtroom, Hunter Biden, 53, acknowledged the criminal charges and pleaded not guilty. U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi presided over the arraignment, setting release conditions similar to those discussed in a previous case in Delaware. Biden is prohibited from possessing a firearm, consuming alcohol, or using drugs. He must undergo random drug testing, participate in substance abuse therapy, and seek employment.
The motions hearing is scheduled for March 27, with a pretrial hearing on June 3 and a trial date of June 20. The media presence was significant, with TV cameras outside the courthouse and reporters observing the arraignment. The timing coincided with the House Oversight Committee’s consideration of holding Hunter Biden in contempt for not complying with a subpoena related to the panel’s impeachment inquiry into the president.
The federal tax charges carry a potential prison sentence of up to 17 years if Hunter Biden is convicted on all counts. The charges include tax evasion and failure to pay taxes misdemeanors. Additionally, he faces federal gun charges in Delaware related to violating laws against drug users having guns in 2018. A previously agreed-upon plea deal collapsed, leading to the current charges. Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, argued that the charges wouldn’t have been brought if his last name weren’t Biden, emphasizing the lack of new evidence after years of investigation. The indictment portrays Hunter Biden as a Georgetown- and Yale-educated individual involved in various business and legal ventures during the period of the alleged tax offenses.