Issues

Hunter Biden Reaches Settlement in Child Support Case After Court Denies Latest Delay Attempt

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden / Getty Images

Lawyers for Hunter Biden reached a final child support settlement with the Arkansas mother of his child late Tuesday night after a judge blasted the former vice president's son for his repeated attempts to delay the case, likely avoiding the release of financial documents that could expose his business dealings abroad.

Biden’s lawyers on Tuesday argued he would be unable to attend scheduled hearings this week, citing the approaching due date of his pregnant wife, "intense media scrutiny" caused by his father Joe Biden's presidential bid, and travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus. The claims were rejected by Arkansas circuit judge Holly Meyer, who admonished Biden, the defendant in the case, for his repeated attempts to delay the case.

"For context in ruling on this Motion the Court has reviewed the history of this litigation and finds that the Defendant has been given considerable leniency regarding continuances and delay," the order states. "The defendant’s attempts to delay this case are mounting such that one begins to see a pattern of delay."

On Wednesday morning, lawyers for plaintiff Lunden Alexis Roberts alerted the judge that they had reached a final settlement with Biden that, pending court approval, will end the nearly 10-month-long legal battle.

"Late last night, after the court entered the order, we reached a global, final settlement of all issues," Roberts's lawyer wrote in an email to Judge Meyer.

The agreement comes after months of delays from Biden, who is now on his second legal team for the child support case. Lawyers for Roberts last Friday called for Biden to be held in contempt for his continued failure to submit financial documents, which would likely shed light on just how much he earned through connections to foreign companies, including his lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

The judge on Tuesday afternoon rejected his calls to further delay the case, saying none of the reasons stated by his lawyers were satisfactory excuses to grant the requested continuance. Judge Meyer said Biden was aware his wife's due date would be approaching when he initially scheduled this week's deposition. Meyer also made clear that Biden's wife's presence at the Arkansas proceeding "is not required nor even suggested."

Meyer also rejected Biden’s claim that "intense media scrutiny" caused by political connections was an excuse to avoid appearances, noting that Biden will continue to be a public figure.

"The defense second cites ongoing publicity surrounding the 2020 primary and presidential elections, as well as media attention as good cause to continue this case," Meyer's order stated. "The Court cannot foresee this subsiding as Mr. Biden is a public figure and interest in his person will continue."

Finally, Meyer repulsed Biden's claim that he cannot travel to Arkansas due to the coronavirus. "The defendant can come by plane, train, or automobile but life and work will and should continue in our communities and courts. No health threat specific to the defendant has been identified, reasonable precautions are appropriate."

Roberts's lawyers told the judge that they reached the settlement late Tuesday night after her order was received by the parties.

The settlement has not yet been submitted to the court and is expected to be sent by Roberts’s attorneys "later today or tomorrow." The terms of the agreement have not been stated, and Biden's appearance in court will still be required if the court fails to approve the settlement.