Kent Nishimura Getty Images via Agence France-Presse This appearance in Los Angeles takes place the day after a parliamentary hearing which turned into a free-for-all in Washington, when Hunter Biden unexpectedly attended to protest against the attitude of the Republicans.
Romain Fonsegrives – Agence France-Presse in Los Angeles
- United States
The son of US President Joe Biden, Hunter, pleaded not guilty to tax fraud in Los Angeles on Thursday, in a case embarrassing for the White House tenant, who is preparing to face Donald again Trump.
Hunter Biden, 53, a businessman now converted to painting, who says he has overcome his drug and alcohol addictions, is one of the favorite targets of his father's Republican opponents, who consider him to be the Achilles heel of the Democratic president.
Indicted in December for “scheme” evading the obligation to pay $1.4 million in taxes owed for the 2016-2019 tax period, according to the prosecution, he pleaded not guilty to all nine counts during a brief hearing on Thursday, according to US media.
This appearance in Los Angeles takes place the day after a parliamentary hearing which turned into a free-for-all in Washington, when Hunter Biden unexpectedly attended to protest against the attitude of the Republicans, who launched an impeachment investigation against the president in September.
The latter accuse Joe Biden, without having so far provided proof, of corruption and of having benefited from his son's controversial affairs in Ukraine and China, when he was Barack Obama's vice-president (2009-2017). ).
“Let me say this as clearly as possible, my father was never financially involved in my affairs,” Hunter Biden assured Congress on December 13, in a serious tone.
On Wednesday, two parliamentary committees dominated by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives recommended that he be found guilty of obstructing Congress's investigative prerogatives for refusing to participate in a closed hearing closed on its financial interests abroad. He demands a public hearing.
During one of the hearings, one Republican elected official called Hunter Biden a “coward,” showing sleazy photos of him, while another called him “the embodiment of white privilege.”
“What they are doing to Hunter is cruel,” Jill Biden, the wife of the American president, reacted Thursday during an interview with MSNBC.
On the tax front, the justice accuses him of having “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle instead of paying his taxes”, according to the indictment, which mentions his drug use, as well as payments for the company of “escorts”, luxury cars and clothes.
Hunter Biden faces up to 17 years in prison in this case.
He is also charged in another case in Delaware (east), for illegal possession of a firearm. He could therefore potentially be tried twice in 2024, while his father is campaigning for re-election.
He reached a guilty plea agreement in June covering both charges of tax evasion and illegal acquisition of a firearm, which would likely have allowed him to avoid prison and an embarrassing trial for him and his father.
But this agreement was canceled following doubts expressed in July by a judge about its validity.