16:16 GMT15 January 2021
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    The son of the Democratic candidate ended up in the spotlight just weeks ahead of the election after a trove of files was unearthed suggesting he had extensive ties to Chinese businesses possibly related to the government and allegedly involved Joe Biden in his business affairs, despite the latter denying it.

    A recently announced investigation into Hunter Biden, son of the projected US president, focuses not only on his taxes, as he himself confirmed in a statement, but also other aspects of his business affairs, Politico reported citing anonymous sources. According to the report, investigators are also scrutinizing Hunter's finances, foreign ties, and potential involvement in a money laundering scheme.

    The Southern District of New York is reportedly reviewing Hunter Biden's finances, while investigators from Delaware (who are also looking into his taxes) and Washington are purportedly probing his ties to foreign businesses and possible money laundering schemes. The younger Biden only reported about the tax probe in his address on 9 December in which he expressed confidence that no misconduct will be found as a result.

    "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 advisers", Biden said.

    One of Politico's sources claimed that Hunter Biden's financial ties to foreign businesses are the main focus of the probes. The money laundering probe was initially started by the Southern District of New York in connection with a securities fraud case against one of Biden's former business partners, Devon Archer, according to the report.

    This video grab made on August 20, 2020 from the online broadcast of the Democratic National Convention, being held virtually amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, shows former vice-president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden speaking during the last day of the convention.
    © AFP 2020 / -
    This video grab made on August 20, 2020 from the online broadcast of the Democratic National Convention, being held virtually amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, shows former vice-president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden speaking during the last day of the convention.

    Foreign payments to Hunter were unearthed as part of the Archer case and the SDNY was reportedly studying them for possible signs of money laundering, but after discussing the issue with Delaware investigators they purportedly dropped the probe in order to avoid running two similar ones on the same matter.

    Neither the investigating teams, nor the US Justice Department have commented on Politico's findings.

    'Laptop From Hell'

    Biden has already faced tax problems this year. He quickly agreed to pay his unpaid state taxes in July 2020. A far bigger scandal had put him in the limelight just weeks before the presidential election in November after a trove of damning files purportedly from Hunter Biden's computer, also dubbed the "laptop from hell", were uncovered by the New York Post.

    The notebook contained emails suggesting that Biden was asked by one of the top executives on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, in which he also held the seat, to utilise his connections for the benefit of the company. Another email, seemingly showed adviser to Burisma's board Vadym Pozharskyi thanking Hunter for organising a meeting with his father, then US Vice President Joe Biden. The email cast doubt on Joe Biden's claims of non-involvement in the overseas business affairs of his son.

    Another NYP story about the files from his alleged notebook suggested that Hunter Biden engaged in shady deals with businessman Ye Jianming, presumably related to the Chinese government, and his CEFC China Energy. The data, however, didn't show any direct link between Hunter Biden's alleged business with Ye and his father, Joe Biden. Despite enjoying coverage in numerous media outlets, the story about Hunter Biden was largely ignored by the mainstream media and broadcasters.

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    probe, tax evasion, money laundering, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, US
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