Administration

Barr knew about federal probes into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings in spring: WSJ

Attorney General William Barr was aware of federal investigations into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden before the presidential election, and took pains to ensure they were not made public, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

A person familiar with the matter told the newspaper that Barr has avoided providing information on the probes to congressional Republicans, but did not offer further details.

The report comes the same week that Hunter Biden announced that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware is investigating his tax affairs. The former vice president’s son said that the was informed of the probes when his lawyer was advised of the investigation by federal prosecutors.

Two people familiar with the matter also told the newspaper that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are also investigating his business and finances.

The president-elect is not suspected of wrongdoing and has not been implicated in either investigation, according to the newspaper. Barr was aware of both probes before spring of this year, according to the Journal.

In the lead-up to the election, President Trump and his congressional allies repeatedly pressed Barr to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hunter Biden, with Trump saying Barr has “got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election.”

In his July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump allegedly requested that Ukrainian officials investigate the Bidens. The president said that he would put both Barr and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in touch with the foreign leader. Trump was later impeached over the conversation.

Biden’s transition team issued a statement shortly before the subpoena saying the former vice president was “deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger.”

In a statement of his own, Hunter Biden said “I take this matter very seriously but I am 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.”

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Rudy Giuliani William Barr

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