Hunter Biden’s trial on felony tax charges delayed until September

Hunter Biden’s trial on a string of tax charges has now been delayed until September – just two months before his father goes head-to-head with Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

The president’s son was indicted on nine tax-related criminal charges in December, three of which are felony counts.

Prosecutors allege that the 54-year-old made millions from 2016 to 2020 and engaged in a lavish lifestyle while skipping out on more than $1.4m in taxes. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial was originally slated to begin 20 June.

But, Mr Biden’s legal team advocated for a delay arguing that they were struggling to prepare for both this trial in California and his second criminal trial which is slated to begin in Delaware in June.

The attorneys also cited the “uniquely challenging and high-profile nature” of the cases.

Prosecutors pushed back on the delay, arguing it was a straightforward case, but US District Judge Mark Scarsi ultimately sided with the defense.

At a hearing on 22 May, the judge ruled that – due to the “needs of the defendant” – the trial will now begin on 5 September in California.

The change in trial date comes after Mr Biden filed to dismiss the charges – a request which Judge Scarsi denied last month.

Hunter Biden, pictured, will now go on trial in September to face nine tax charges (Getty Images)
Hunter Biden, pictured, will now go on trial in September to face nine tax charges (Getty Images)

“Defendant provides no facts indicating that the Government undertook charging decisions in any respect because of public statements by politicians, let alone based on Defendant’s familial and political affiliations,” Mr Scarsi said.

Instead of paying his taxes, the prosecution alleges that Mr Biden spent money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature.”

According to the indictment, the president’s son “engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020.”

He faces up to 17 years in prison on the charges.

While this trial was pushed back, Mr Biden is still scheduled to go to trial on 3 June in a separate case regarding federal gun charges in Delaware. In that case, prosecutors allege he lied about his history of drug abuse in order to buy a gun that he possessed for eleven days.

He was indicted on three felony gun charges, including falsifying a firearms application, lying to a federally licensed gun dealer and possession of an illegally obtained gun, in September. Mr Biden has also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

His attorneys have argued that he struggled with drug addiction but did not break the law when filling out the form. He faces 25 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000 if convicted in that case.