Donald Trump Jr. criticized the timing of the nine criminal charges brought against Hunter Biden on Thursday night, suggesting that it was “planned” to avoid Biden’s scheduled deposition next week.
The Justice Department filed a nine-count indictment against Biden, including three felonies, for failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes. Facing up to 17 years in prison if convicted, Trump Jr. called it a strategy to prevent Biden from testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
“Mark my words, this was planned, and they’re going to use this as the excuse to not testify before Congress… he’ll end up with nothing or a slap on the wrist, but it’ll make sure he evades the thousands of things (Oversight Committee) is looking at. Bookmark it!” Trump Jr. posted after the charges were announced.
Before the indictment, Oversight Chair James Comer, R-Ky., and Republican colleagues were in a back-and-forth with Biden and his attorney over the conditions for his appearance before the committee.
It remains unclear how the charges will affect Biden’s scheduled deposition. Some speculate that Biden may plead the fifth. Brett Tollman, a former U.S. attorney, agreed with Trump Jr., stating that the DOJ’s timing appears to be an attempt to protect the Bidens.
“They could have brought these charges much earlier,” Tollman told Fox News. “They didn’t because they wanted to try to slip one past the American public. This is an effort to also protect Joe Biden.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., also noted the timing, saying, “Timely given Hunter is supposed to show up to our committee this week to be deposed. Of course, the DOJ would have never charged him without the IRS whistleblower’s courageous testimonies, but the DOJ left off FARA charges. The income came from foreign countries and we have proof.”
IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who provided testimony months ago, celebrated their vindication. Their whistleblowing was the catalyst for the tax investigation into Biden.
“We did something ordinary people don’t do: we risked our careers and reputations to bring the truth out,” the pair said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Today’s indictment is a complete vindication of our thorough investigation and underscores the wide agreement by investigators and prosecutors that the evidence supported charges against Hunter Biden.”
Comer acknowledged the whistleblowers for their contributions and emphasized that Thursday’s charges were only part of the larger picture, connecting Hunter Biden’s actions to benefiting his father, President Joe Biden.
“In fact, Hunter Biden’s corporate entities implicated by today’s indictments funneled foreign cash that landed in Joe Biden’s bank account. Unless U.S. Attorney (David) Weiss investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden’s DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy,” Comer said.
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith, R-Mo., echoed these sentiments, stating, “This is far from over. … Now that Hunter Biden is being charged for felony criminal activity related to the family business in which Joe Biden himself was aware and from which he benefited, Americans deserve more answers. These charges further confirm the need for Congress to move forward with an impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden to uncover all the facts for the American people to judge.”