The federal inquiry into Hunter Biden’s business activities is rapidly approaching a key moment as investigators evaluate potential charges and prosecutors clash with Department of Justice standards to keep politically sensitive cases away from an election, according to sources briefed on the case.
Although no final decision has been made on whether to bring charges against President Joe Biden’s son, sources say the investigation has grown more intense in recent months as discussions among prosecutors based in Delaware, investigators leading the probe and officials at DOJ headquarters in Washington, D.C. have intensified.
The investigation, which dates back to 2018, has focused on Hunter Biden’s work for a Ukrainian gas company and his involvement in a Chinese private equity firm.
The case has been complicated by DOJ policies that generally prohibit the indictment of a candidate for federal office within 60 days of an election, as well as the department’s longstanding policy to avoid taking any major investigative or prosecutorial action that could reasonably be seen as influencing an election.
As a result, any decision to move forward with charges against Hunter Biden likely would need to be approved by high-ranking DOJ officials, including Attorney General William Barr.
Barr has recused himself from the case because of his close relationship with Joe Biden, but he has been briefed on the status of the investigation and is aware that a decision on whether to charge Hunter Biden could be made in the coming weeks, sources said.
The investigation is being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware, which has a long-standing relationship with Joe Biden and his family. Investigators have been looking into whether Hunter Biden used his influence to help the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, gain access to high-level U.S. officials and to secure favorable treatment from the Ukrainian government.
In addition, investigators have been looking into Hunter Biden’s involvement with a Chinese private equity firm, BHR Partners, which has close ties to the Chinese government.
The intensifying investigation comes as Joe Biden is facing increased scrutiny from Republicans over his son’s business dealings. GOP lawmakers have accused Biden of using his influence to help Hunter Biden’s businesses, and they have demanded that the president disclose any communications he had with his son about his work in Ukraine and China.
Biden has denied any wrongdoing and has said he never discussed his son’s business dealings with him.
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