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Jen Psaki dodges question when Hunter Biden story is brought up on MSNBC

Federal officials reportedly weighing tax charges against president’s son

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 12 October 2022 06:00 BST
Jen Psaki dodges question about Hunter Biden

During a Sunday appearance on NBC News, former Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to brush off a question about the federal investigation into the president’s son Hunter Biden.

Meet the Press host Kristen Welker discussed news earlier this month that federal agents believe they have enough evidence to potentially bring charges for tax issues and a false statement related to a gun purchase against Hunter Biden, asking Ms Psaki, now an MSNBC analyst, “How large is this looming over the president and Democrats broadly?”

The former Biden administration official barely acknowledged the potential charges in her response.

“It was a big week here in Washington. So much news,” she said. “I don’t even know how you decided what to talk about Kristen.”

Ms Psaki went on to imply that the coming midterm elections were a bigger story that matter to voters.

“The truth is, I looked at a bunch of local front pages this morning and if you look at the front page in Nevada, they’re talking about Trump’s rally there and what it means for candidates and turning out the vote. If you look at the front pages in Pennsylvania, they’re talking about [Doug] Mastriano, does he have a grassroots campaign or movement going on? Obviously Georgia is quite focused on every latest development in Herschel Walker.

“The truth is,” she concluded, “as much as there was so much news happening in Washington this week, it doesn’t always translate, and often doesn’t translate, to what voters are talking about in states.”

Federal investigators began probing Hunter Biden in 2018, exploring his overseas business work in Ukraine while his father was vice-president, as well as ties to China and questions about his income records.

Last week, citing anonymous sources, the Washington Post reported that federal agents believe they have enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden with tax crimes and making a false statement related to a gun purchase.

It’s unclear whether such charges will be brought, a decision that rests in the hands of the federal US Attorney for Delaware.

In April, Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress that US Attorney David C Weiss, a Trump nominee, will make the decision independently without any interference.

“There will not be interference of any political or improper kind,” Mr Garland said. “We put the investigation in the hands of a Trump appointee from the previous administration.”

Hunter Biden has denied any wrongdoing.

“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,” he said in 2020 in a statement.

Responding to the Post story about the potential charges, Chris Clark, an attorney for Mr Biden, said so far his client “had no contact whatsoever with any federal investigative agent. Therefore, a rendition of the case from such an ‘agent’ is inherently biased, one-sided, and inaccurate. It is regrettable that law enforcement agents appear to be violating the law to prejudice a case against a person who is a target simply because of his family name.

“As is proper and legally required, we believe the prosecutors in this case are diligently and thoroughly weighing not just evidence provided by agents, but also all the other witnesses in this case, including witnesses for the defense. That is the job of the prosecutors,” he added.

They should not be pressured, rushed, or criticized for doing their job.”

Earlier this year, White House chief of staff Ron Klain described the president as “confident that his son didn’t break the law.”

Criticisms and conspiracies about Hunter Biden have been a key part of Donald Trump’s attacks on Joe Biden and the Democrats.

During his infamous 2018 phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump urged the leader to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.

The exchange came during the conversation which led to Mr Trump’s first impeachment.

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