Recent reports indicated that a Justice Department investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings had intensified and was probing whether Biden and associates violated money laundering, tax, and foreign lobbying laws.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that a federal tax investigation into President Joe Biden's son was gaining momentum. CNN reported additional details Wednesday.
The probe, led by the U.S. attorney in Wilmington, Delaware, began as early as 2018, CNN reported.
Besides Hunter Biden's financial and business activities in foreign countries, investigators were examining whether the president's son violated firearm and other regulations, sources told the network.
"Right now, prosecutors in Delaware are focusing on a number of things, including whether Hunter Biden and some of his business associates violated laws including tax and money laundering laws and foreign lobbying laws," CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez said on air Wednesday.
The DOJ investigation involves Biden's time working with Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma.
"He was getting paid as much as $50,000 a month for that company during the time that Joe Biden, his father, was vice president, and in charge of handling Ukraine issues for the Obama administration, and that of course raised questions of a conflict," said Perez, who added that "not a lot was going on [with the probe] until recently."
"We know witnesses who are going in to [speak with] investigators in the next few weeks," Perez said. "This is a political mess for the sitting president to have his son being investigated by the Justice Department, his own Justice Department."
Discussions among Justice Department, FBI, and IRS Criminal Investigation agency officials about the case's strength and whether more work was needed before deciding on possible charges have picked up in recent months, CNN reported.
Some officials have debated whether Hunter Biden having admitted substance abuse struggles potentially could weaken their efforts.
In October 2020, The New York Post reported that a laptop Hunter Biden left at a repair shop included emails, text messages, photos, and financial documents between Hunter, his family, and business connections that would indicate the first son was peddling his father's political influence.
CNN reported that law enforcement had gathered information from Hunter Biden's business partners, lobbyists connected to the first son, and other people who have observed his financial engagements, including a woman with whom he had a child.
Prosecutors also have examined a 2018 incident in which a firearm owned by Hunter Biden ended up tossed by his then-girlfriend into a dumpster in Wilmington, Delaware, CNN reported.
Hunter Biden has not been charged with any crimes and has denied any wrongdoing.
CNN reported that President Biden was not being investigated as part of the probe of his son's business activities.
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