Hunter Biden mounts legal offensive against tax prosecution

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Hunter Biden’s lawyers launched a wide-ranging legal assault Tuesday on the federal tax charges he faces, accusing prosecutors of caving to political pressure, IRS investigators of illegally leaking his records and the Justice Department of improperly empowering a special counsel to pursue the case against him.

The president’s son filed nine motions on Tuesday seeking to gut or dismiss the case outright, describing a campaign of “outrageous” and “vindictive” government forces arrayed against him.

Biden is facing federal charges in California for allegedly failing to file tax returns, understating his income and inflating his business expenses over a three-year period. The charges followed a failed attempt to finalize a plea deal in Delaware on a federal charge of being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

Biden’s attorneys filed the fusillade of motions to dismiss some or all of the charges brought by special counsel David Weiss in Los Angeles federal court last December. Attorney General Merrick Garland elevated Weiss — who was appointed as U.S. attorney by then-President Donald Trump — to special counsel status last year.

The motions argue that the case against Hunter Biden is defective for a variety of reasons, including that he is being targeted for “selective and vindictive prosecution” driven by politically-motivated pressure applied by “extremist Republicans.”

“Politics have tainted this prosecution, and there is no constitutional option but to dismiss this case,” Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, wrote. Lowell pointed to what he said were several instances in which Weiss allegedly caved to GOP pressure, including when prosecutors “vaulted from two tax misdemeanors to nine misdemeanors and felonies.”

Weiss has replied to similar motions in Delaware, denying that political concerns affected the prosecution. “The charges in this case are not trumped up or because of former President Trump —they are instead a result of the defendant’s own choices and were brought in spite of, not because of, any outside noise made by politicians,” Weiss wrote.

In the new filings, Lowell said the failed plea agreement on the gun charge, which he says was intended to preclude any other criminal charges against the younger Biden, should be treated as binding.

But most notably, Biden and his lawyers take aim at Weiss himself and contend he was illegally appointed as special counsel because DOJ policies require special counsels to come from “outside of government.” Trump and his allies have made similar claims about the legitimacy of special counsels that have probed their conduct in recent years.

Trump, in fact, is expected to file a similar motion later this week as he seeks to dismantle a federal case against him in Florida brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

Earlier this month, Biden’s attorneys asked the judge in the tax case filed in Los Angeles, Marc Scarsi, to postpone the deadlines for motions in that case and allow the judge in the Delaware gun case, Maryellen Noreika, to rule first on a parallel set of motions filed there last year.

Scarsi denied Biden’s request without comment. Both judges are Trump appointees.