While congressional and federal investigations into the first son’s financial troubles continue, Hunter Biden’s advisors and the White House of Vice President Joe Biden are at variance over his legal defense strategy.
The most recent controversy surrounds Hunter’s proposal to establish a legal defense fund to help pay for the 53-year-old’s costly attorneys, including longtime Democratic fixer Abbe Lowell.
According to Axios, the fund could make it more difficult for Hunter to thwart Republicans on the House Oversight Committee who are investigating the Biden family’s influence trafficking abroad, particularly if contributions originate from foreign organizations.
“For this fund to work, it must be extraordinarily transparent and even restrictive by prohibiting foreign citizens and registered lobbyists from contributing,” a former senior adviser to Attorney General Merrick Garland told the outlet.
“Without these type of guardrails, the fund will be a legitimate headache for the White House.”
According to Axios, Richard Painter, the former White House ethics counsel under former President George W. Bush, is among those who have already been offered positions at the fund. When asked by Axios if he had been approached for a position, Painter responded, “I get a lot of calls from lots of people.”
Although the seasoned attorney later met privately with Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney; his wife Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to the president; and White House special counsel Dick Sauber, it has been reported that Hunter hired Lowell for his legal team in December without consulting with President Biden’s top aides.
Lowell, who served as the principal House minority counsel during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings in the 1990s, prevented the federal corruption convictions of Democrats John Edwards (2012) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) (2017).
The president’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were clients of Lowell in 2017.
White House press representatives have largely avoided questions about the troublesome first son.
However, a recent IRS whistleblower complaint regarding the handling of the Hunter criminal investigation increased the pressure on Biden administration officials.
Hunter appeared in court in Arkansas on Monday for a child support case that could provide additional information about his financial situation, as he has claimed to be in millions of dollars of debt and unable to pay Lunden Roberts, with whom he had his 4-year-old daughter Navy Joan Roberts.
According to Lowell’s testimony in Batesville, Arkansas, the president’s son has already paid over $750,000 to Roberts in child support.
Chris Clark, another Hunter attorney, met with the Delaware US attorney’s investigators last week to discuss their investigation into potential tax and firearms violations by the president’s son, despite the absence of an indictment.