Attorney General William Barr has known about a set of investigations involving Hunter Biden’s business and financial dealings since at least this spring and worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign, says the Wall Street Journal. Republicans and President Donald Trump have pressed Barr for months to pursue Biden as his father, Joe Biden, gained momentum in his bid for president. Barr has staved off pressure from Republicans in Congress for information into the investigations. One investigation became public this week after federal investigators served a subpoena on Hunter Biden. The subpoena sought detailed financial information in connection with a criminal tax investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Delaware.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have been looking at Hunter Biden’s business and financial dealings as part of an international financial investigation going on for at least a year. Hunter Biden is implicated in that investigation but was never a specific target for criminal prosecution. The federal scrutiny dates back to 2018. Neither investigation implicates President-elect Biden. While the investigations in Delaware and Manhattan proceeded, investigators tried to keep the cases out of public view by taking few visible steps soon before the November election, recognizing the impact their work could have. On Thursday night, President Donald Trump tweeted his frustration about the Justice Department’s failure to disclose the Hunter Biden investigation earlier. “Why didn’t the Fake News Media, the FBI and the DOJ report the Biden matter BEFORE the Election,” he wrote. DOJ guidelines advise investigators against taking overt actions in a run-up to an election so as not to be seen as affecting the outcome. The tax investigation into Hunter Biden was prompted in part by reports of suspicious activity filed by a bank that handled foreign transactions related to him.