Politics

Mother of Hunter Biden's child testified in tax probe, lawyer handed over financial records

Key Points
  • The Arkansas woman who had a child by Hunter Biden out of wedlock recently testified to a federal grand jury in Delaware as part of a criminal tax probe of the son of President Joe Biden.
  • Clint Lancaster, the attorney representing the woman, Lunden Alexis Roberts, said he previously handed over "a significant amount of Hunter's financial records" to federal investigators under subpoena.
  • Lancaster said he and Roberts were interviewed by an assistant U.S. attorney, an FBI agent and an IRS agent more than a year ago about Biden's son.
  • "I expect him to be indicted," the lawyer added.
Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden speaks by video feed during the 4th and final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, as participants from across the country are hosted over video links from the originally planned site of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. August 20, 2020.
DNC | Reuters

The Arkansas woman who had a child by Hunter Biden out of wedlock recently testified to a federal grand jury in Delaware as part of a criminal tax probe of the son of President Joe Biden, her lawyer confirmed Thursday.

Clint Lancaster, the attorney for the mother, Lunden Alexis Roberts, also told CNBC that he previously handed over "a significant amount of Hunter's financial records" to federal investigators to comply with a subpoena for those files.

Lancaster said he and Roberts were interviewed by an assistant U.S. attorney, an FBI agent and an IRS agent — "one that carries a badge and gun" — more than a year ago about Biden in Little Rock, Ark., where Lancaster practices law.

"I expect him to be indicted," the lawyer said about Biden. "Just based on what I saw in his financial records, I would be surprised if he's not indicted."

Despite that expectation, Lancaster said that both he and his client Roberts "don't want Hunter to go to jail."

"It's not my goal, much to the unhappiness of many people in the Republican Party," said Lancaster, a supporter of former President Donald Trump who in late 2020 worked on a legal challenge to results that showed Biden had won the state of Wisconsin that year.

Hunter Biden announces his 'tax affairs' are under federal investigation
VIDEO0:4800:48
Hunter Biden announces his 'tax affairs' are under federal investigation

Asked if Hunter Biden had ever seen his daughter with Roberts or expressed an interest in doing so, Lancaster said, "No, he has not."

"It's sad, because the baby looks like him, with blond hair," the lawyer said.

Biden, 52, who has worked as a lawyer, business consultant, lobbyist, investor, and most recently as a fine art painter, has previously denied wrongdoing in his tax affairs.

CNBC has reached out for comment from his attorneys about Lancaster's comments.

The White House declined to comment on the case, or on Lancaster's statement that neither Hunter Biden nor President Biden or any other family member has ever seen the daughter Hunter had by Roberts.

A White House spokesman referred questions to the U.S. Department of Justice, which declined to comment, as did the U.S. Attorney's Office for Delaware, which is leading the investigation of Biden.

"Oh, hell, it was a bunch," said Lancaster when asked how many records there were related to Hunter Biden's finances. The documents were part of the case file for an Arkansas court child-support lawsuit that Roberts filed against Biden in 2019 in connection with their daughter.

"They're all in electronic form," Lancaster said. "I would estimate it was anywhere from 10 gigs of data."

"I saw a lot of information" that is "problematic" for Biden, he said.

But Lancaster also added, "I'm not making any statements about what was in the tax records, whether he paid taxes, or whether he didn't pay taxes."

Clint Lancaster, Little Rock, Ark. Lawyer for Lunden Alexis Robert
Courtesy: Clint Lancaster

The lawyer spoke on the heels of a New York Times article which reported that Hunter Biden in recent months told an associate he paid federal taxes of more than $1 million in connection with the tax liability that is at least one part of the investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for Delaware, the Biden family's home state.

The Times reported that although the probe initially was focused on a possible criminal violation of tax laws, it since has broadened to include questions of whether Hunter Biden violated laws related to foreign lobbying and money laundering.

The newspaper, citing a person familiar with the issue, reported that investigators questioned the 30-year-old Roberts a year ago in Arkansas about whether a corporate entity used by Biden to pay her when she lived in Washington, D.C., had received payments from Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board he once sat.

Burisma paid Biden about $50,000 per month from April 2014 until April 2019. He stepped down from the company's board that year as his father's presidential candidacy gained steam.

Roberts' child-support action against Biden noted that she "received money from a company" owned or controlled by him from May to November 2018.

"She never received tax documents for those payments," a court record states.

Biden settled the case in January 2020 after agreeing to pay an undisclosed amount of monthly child support to Roberts. It was retroactive to November 2018, three months after their daughter was born.

Lancaster on Thursday said that Roberts traveled to Wilmington, Del., in mid-February to testify to a grand jury in the U.S. courthouse there to comply with a subpoena.

The DailyMail.com previously reported Roberts' appearance for that closed-door testimony.

Her lawyer told CNBC that Roberts did not receive immunity from prosecution before she gave her testimony.

"She committed no crime, so she didn't have any reason to be immunized," Lancaster said.

He said he did not know what a prosecutor asked Roberts about during her appearance at the grand jury.

Lancaster added that Roberts had not authorized him to give details to the media about her questioning more than a year ago by federal investigators in Little Rock.

Lancaster would not give details of the records he gave investigators. He did say, "I had his Burisma pay records. I had records of ultimately what Burisma paid into the United States."

The attorney said he first became aware of the federal criminal investigation into Biden in December 2020. Joe Biden had won the popular presidential election vote weeks earlier, but then-President Trump and supporters were still contesting the results on multiple legal fronts.

Lancaster said he received a federal subpoena for the case file of Roberts' child-support action "when I was in Wisconsin" working on such a legal challenge.

The subpoena included demands for financial records that had been ordered sealed from public view by the judge in the Arkansas case, Lancaster said.

The lawyer said he notified Biden's attorney in the paternity case, Brent Langdon, shortly after receiving the subpoena.

Lancaster said that within hours of when he contacted Langdon on Dec. 9, 2020, Hunter Biden issued a statement publicly disclosing for the first time that he was under criminal investigation for his "tax affairs."

"I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors," Biden said in that statement.

Biden in that statement said he had learned about the probe the day before from his own attorney, who had been notified by the U.S. Attorney's office.

The statement came five days before the Electoral College confirmed his father's election as president.

Roberts had sued Biden a year earlier in 2019, claiming that she had his daughter in August 2018. At the time, he was still involved in a romantic relationship with Hallie Biden, the widow of his late brother Beau Biden. The elder brother, a former Delaware attorney general, died from brain cancer in 2015.

Roberts' paternity action was filed days after Biden married another woman, South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen, after knowing Cohen for just six days. The couple had a son, named Beau, in March 2020.

Hunter Biden in court papers initially denied ever having sex with Roberts.

In his 2021 memoir entitled "Beautiful Things," Biden detailed his serious addictions to cocaine and alcohol, and said that he "had no recollection of" his encounter with Roberts that led to the birth of her daughter.

But he stopped contesting his paternity of their daughter after Roberts said in court papers that a test confirmed he was the father.

Court records showed that Biden missed an appearance in the case. They also indicated that Biden and his lawyers were criticized by the judge for providing limited financial information as Robert pressed claims for support of their daughter in the face of his argument that he did not have any funds to spare.

The judge threatened to hold Biden in contempt in January 2020 for failing to disclose financial information. The case was settled shortly afterward.

At the time, Trump had been impeached by the House of Representatives for having withheld almost $400 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine while asking its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden in connection with Hunter's role at Burisma, the energy company.

When Trump made that request in 2019, Joe Biden had emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Trump was acquitted at his impeachment trial in the Senate in early 2020.

Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago. President Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. would send a wide array of weaponry to Ukraine as part of a $800 million aid package.