The federal investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter is more extensive than a statement from Hunter Biden indicates, Politico reports. On Wednesday, Hunter Biden said he had been told about a tax investigation in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware. The securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances. Investigators in Delaware and Washington, D.C., have probed potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties. Federal authorities in the Western District of Pennsylvania are conducting a criminal investigation of a hospital business in which Joe Biden’s brother James was involved. There is no indication Joe Biden is under investigation, but if the cases remain open, they could complicate his presidency, and shine an unflattering light on his relatives’ dealings, which seek to capitalize on the Biden family’s political connections. “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,” Hunter Biden said.
Biden has pledged that his relatives would avoid conflicts of interest. Still, the existence of probes involving the president-elect’s son and a business with ties to his brother present a new set of challenges for the incoming administration. Law Prof. Kathleen Clark of Washington University in St. Louis said that under longstanding post-Watergate norms, communications between the Justice Department and the White House on criminal investigations should be strictly limited. Clark said Attorney General William Barr has eroded those norms, and that any investigation of Biden’s relatives should prompt the next leader of the Justice Department to reaffirm them. The investigation of Hunter Biden has dealt primarily with his financial ties to foreign figures and businesses.