Justice Department Erred In Allowing Hunter Biden to Forgo Foreign Agent Registration, Lawsuit Alleges

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July 18, 2023

The Department of Justice failed to follow the law when it allowed Hunter Biden to work as a foreign agent without registering as such, America First Legal alleges in a new lawsuit.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, alleges that Hunter Biden worked during the Obama administration as a foreign agent for "Ukrainian and Chinese principals and therefore was legally obligated to register as such." The Justice Department never "required Mr. Biden" to register as a foreign agent, even though the FBI took custody of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which contained evidence of his overseas business dealings, in November 2019, the lawsuit states.

American First Legal argues that Hunter Biden worked as a foreign agent during his time as a board member for Burisma Holdings Limited, a Ukrainian gas company that paid him $1 million a year. Emails obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration "confirm," according to America First Legal, that Hunter Biden "directly represented Burisma in its dealings with the Obama White House."

The lawsuit, which demands that Hunter Biden be required to register as a foreign agent, is the latest in a series of allegations that Hunter Biden received special treatment from the Department of Justice. Republicans have long contended that Hunter Biden violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act during his work with Burisma and CEFC China Energy, a Chinese energy conglomerate, but only received two misdemeanor tax-related charges and a gun charge that is expected to be expunged from his criminal record.

"The Attorney General has a non-discretionary duty to ensure that Hunter Biden registers as a foreign agent under FARA and provides the American people with transparency into his activities on behalf of foreign principals," America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel Gene Hamilton said in a statement.

The emails released by the National Archives and Records Administration show Hunter Biden communicating with one of his father’s senior staffers in May 2014 about his work at Burisma. Hunter Biden wrote that he is "of counsel … on matters pertaining to corporate governance, transparency, and expansion."

Just over two years later, a separate senior staffer in the Office of the Vice President sent an email to Hunter Biden indicating that both he and his father were on a phone call with then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. The contents of that conversation are unknown.

The Department of Justice earlier this month unsealed charges against former Biden business associate Gal Luft for, among other things, failing to register as a foreign agent for his work with CEFC China Energy. Luft said after his arrest earlier this year that the Justice Department was retaliating against him because he provided information about the Bidens to the Justice Department in 2019.

"Any other American would have been criminally prosecuted for failing to register as a foreign agent for this conduct—but not under Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, which continues to go out of its way to help President Biden, his family, and his radical liberal allies," Hamilton said.