Judge Delays Hunter Biden’s Tax Evasion Trial Until September — Right in the Middle of Election Season

Judge Mark Scarsi agreed that the defendant needs more time to prepare for his trial, given that he has another federal trial scheduled for June.

AP/Jose Luis Magana
Hunter Biden, accompanied by his attorney, Abbe Lowell, leaves a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. AP/Jose Luis Magana

Hunter Biden’s trial for failing to pay more than $1 million in taxes will take place in September following an order from a California judge who says the first son already has his plate full with a separate trial in Delaware coming up on June 3. 

In the California case, Mr. Biden is accused of  illegally claiming deductions, failing to file his taxes, not paying the money he owed and, when he did file returns, illegally claiming deductions on unsavory expenses such as prostitutes and six weeks at a French chateaux where he “learned to cook crack,” according to his addiction memoir, “Beautiful Things.”

Judge Mark Scarsi of the Central District of California agreed with Mr. Biden on Wednesday after the first son argued that having back-to-back federal criminal trials was too much for one defendant to handle. 

Mr. Biden goes on trial June 3rd in Delaware, charged with three felonies for lying about his drug use in order to buy a gun in 2018. His legal team has made numerous efforts to get the charges thrown out, all to no avail.

Judge Mark Scarsi has agreed to Hunter BIden’s request to delay his tax evasion trial until after Labor Day. LinkedIn

At Wednesday’s hearing in California, Judge Scarsi said that “the needs of a defendant outweigh the prejudice in moving it” after prosecutors representing Special Counsel David Weiss, who also brought the gun charges against Mr. Biden, argued that the tax trial should happen “now.”

The tax evasion trial was originally scheduled to begin on June 20. According to the indictment, Mr. Biden spent a total of $4.9 million on personal items and expenses between 2016 and 2019, including $1.6 million on “cash withdrawals.” He is also accused of spending large amounts of money on “adult entertainment,” and of claiming unlawful tax deductions for expenditures such as payments to sex workers and tuition to Columbia Law School for his eldest daughter, Naomi.

The first son has asked that the “salacious details,” as his lawyer put it, of his expenditures, including spending  on prostitutes and memberships at an exclusive Los Angeles sex club, be excluded from the trial as they are “irrelevant.”

While his tax evasion trial is now delayed three months, Mr. Biden is still expected to go to trial June 3 for the gun charges. In their unsuccessful efforts to get the case dismissed, Mr. Biden’s lawyers made several motions in the lead-up to the trial. They have argued that a plea agreement he negotiated with Mr. Weiss was actually still in effect; that he is the victim of vindictive prosecution because of his last name; and that Mr. Weiss is only bringing the charges due to pressure from congressional Republicans. The judge in the case was not convinced.

U.S. Attorney David Weiss speaks during a press conference on May 3, 2018, at his district office at Wilmington, Delaware.
Special Counsel David Weiss during a press conference on May 3, 2018, at Wilmington, Delaware. Suchat Pederson/The News Journal via AP, file

The new September 5 trial date for the tax charges falls just three days after Labor Day — the holiday that marks the unofficial spring to the finish for a presidential election. 

According to polling, the trial could cause problems for Mr. Biden’s father, whom a majority of Americans believe has helped enable his son’s foreign business dealings. A Harvard–Harris poll from April found that 58 percent of Americans believe the president was involved in his son’s “influence-peddling scheme,” including 36 percent of Democrats. 

Meanwhile, Politico and the Washington Post both report that White House aides are concerned about the emotional toll Hunter Biden’s legal ordeals are having on his father, who’s already lost two of his four children. It’s a concern Hunter Biden has, as well. In December, he told his friend, the techno artist Moby, that Republicans, by applying intense legal pressure,  are trying to goad him into a fatal drug relapse, so as to destabilize his father. 

“They’re trying to kill me knowing it would be a pain greater than my father could be able to handle and so therefore destroying a presidency in that way,” Mr. Biden said.

The New York Sun

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