Byron York, One of the mysteries of the Hunter Biden matter is how the president’s son, with no obvious sources of income, manages to maintain a grand lifestyle.
For the last year or so, he has been living in a $20,000-a-month rental house in Malibu, California. (The taxpayers are footing the bill for the Secret Service to pay even more, $30,000 a month, to rent the house next door while protecting Hunter.) The younger Biden also likes nice cars; a 2020 photo showed him arriving for lunch at the Waldorf Astoria in a Porsche Panamera GTS, which costs six figures. Federal prosecutors are also said to be looking into his purchase of another six-figure auto, a Fisker electric sports car.
Where is all that money coming from? Does Biden, who by his own description has in the past been a notorious drug addict who threw away money right and left, have great investments that keep him in such a life, even as he hires expensive lawyers to represent him in a federal tax and influence probe? Are his corrupt benefactors in Ukraine or China or elsewhere still helping him? Has he sold so many paintings — in confidential transactions, of course — that he is rolling in dough? What is the story?
Now we have some new clues. New reports from the New York Post and CBS News said that a “high-powered Hollywood attorney,” a man named Kevin Morris, has been paying Biden’s back taxes and monthly bills. Morris, according to the Post, “earned a fortune representing the co-creators of ‘South Park’ and won a Tony Award as the co-producer of ‘The Book of Mormon.'”
That’s a lot of money. The Post reports the back taxes that Morris has paid for Biden amount to $2 million, “more than twice what was previously reported.” Morris, who is known to Biden’s friends as Hunter’s “sugar brother,” reportedly also pays Biden’s “rent and living expenses [and] has also been advising the president’s son on how to structure his art sales.”
If any Biden allies choose to defend him, look for them to attack the New York Post. Remember that they denounced the Post when it published the original story of Biden’s laptop. It turned out the defenders were wrong and the Post was right. Now, another news organization, CBS, is also reporting on the Morris connection. The network led its story this way: “Hunter Biden has garnered quiet support and financial backing from a high-powered Hollywood attorney while awaiting the outcome of a long-running federal investigation into his taxes and finances being conducted by the U.S. attorney in Delaware, multiple sources told CBS News.”
CBS reported that Morris has “paid Hunter Biden’s past-due tax debts.” And it said that Morris “has been operating behind the scenes and has turned his attention in recent weeks to conducting a forensic analysis and investigation into what happened to Hunter Biden’s laptop — including how the device became public, sources familiar with his efforts say.”
That’s a fascinating tidbit, because it indicates Biden might be preparing some sort of public relations campaign challenging the legitimacy of the laptop — just as his defenders did before the 2020 election. It was successful back then, when some major news organizations downplayed the news, social media giants suppressed it and national security “experts” denounced it as “Russian disinformation.” But in the years since, both the New York Times and Washington Post have authenticated information that came from the laptop. It will be hard to play the Russian disinformation card again.
Anybody reading the new stories about Morris paying Biden’s back taxes and expenses will have to wonder: Is that legal? It’s unclear. CBS reported that Morris is “working on a documentary chronicling Hunter Biden’s life since he has been the focus of conservative television commentators and investigated by congressional Republicans.” Perhaps the financial arrangement between Morris and Biden has something to do with that. Perhaps Biden has sold the rights to his life story to Morris, and the deal includes Morris keeping Biden afloat — yet another way for him to cash in on his family’s name. In any event, whatever is being done is being done under the noses of federal prosecutors, who are investigating whether Biden properly paid taxes on the millions he received through trading on the family name with shady foreign businesspeople.
But always remember this. The big story — the biggest story — behind the laptop is President Joe Biden. Yes, Hunter Biden used his family connections and collected millions of dollars from disreputable overseas operators. But there is still the more important question of the president. What did he know about his son’s business dealings? And did he benefit?
President Biden has repeatedly claimed he knew nothing about his son’s operation, even as evidence accumulates that suggests he must have known. And what about the references in communications on the laptop that indicate Hunter Biden, when he was pulling in big overseas payments, covered some of his father’s expenses? And then what about reports that Joe Biden, in return, paid up to $800,000 of Hunter Biden’s expenses during the presidential campaign?
Clearly there is more to learn. At some point, the U.S. attorney in Delaware will decide to charge or not to charge Hunter Biden. When that happens, we will learn more, but not all, of the story. We might learn more still if Republicans win either the House or the Senate, or both, in this year’s midterm elections. If they do, you can bet there will be GOP Hunter Biden investigations galore. But whoever is doing them, the point remains: The public needs to know more about Joe Biden’s and his son’s financial dealings, however that can be accomplished.
This content originally appeared on the Washington Examiner at washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/hunter-bidens-2m-sugar-brother.
(Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.)