Hunter Biden’s lawyer Kevin Morris told congressional investigators that it was the first impeachment of then-President Trump in February 2020 that made it an “emergency” for the president’s son to file his tax returns, according to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by Fox News Digital.
Morris testified behind closed doors at the House Oversight Committee last week as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden.
Congressional investigators had discovered an email from Morris in February 2020 citing “political risk” amid the election cycle, when then-former Vice President Joe Biden was a candidate in the Democratic primary.
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The email, which was shown to Morris during his interview, was dated Feb. 7, 2020, and said, “emergency is off for today. Still need to file Monday — we are under considerable risk personally and politically to get the [tax] returns in.”
When asked what the emergency was, Morris pointed to the Trump impeachment, in which Republicans had threatened to call Hunter Biden to testify.
“You know, I believe that, you know, remember that the Trump impeachment process was going on at this time,” Morris said. “And they were waiving around the possibility of calling Hunter…right until the very end. I believe that it wrapped up. I believe that was the…thing prompting us— you know, this is about preparing his tax returns.”
Morris explained that he had just started working with Hunter Biden, a client who was coming in “from addiction stuff.” Morris said “taxes are the most important thing,” adding that it is his “custom and practice to get the taxes straight.”
“It’s a part of— that’s part of recovery, making amends,” he said. “It’s critical.”
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When pressed on whether the “political” concerns were due to Biden’s candidacy for office, Morris pushed back, saying “there’s no cardinality between these two things.”
“Personally, he hadn’t filed his taxes. Okay? That’s his personal problem,” Morris said of Hunter Biden. “And then, politically…look, there was an impeachment proceeding going on. His name was and face was everywhere in the world.”
Morris, though, said the “political risk” had nothing to do with Joe Biden’s candidacy for the White House.
Morris testified that he loaned Hunter Biden at least $5 million and began paying his tax liability.
However, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer says that was a move to “insulate then-presidential candidate Joe Biden from political liability.”
Morris also admitted to the committee that the “loans” he provided to Hunter Biden do not have to be repaid until 2025, after the next presidential election, and could be forgiven, the committee said.
Trump was acquitted on Feb. 5, 2020 on both articles of impeachment against him — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — after being impeached by the House of Representatives in December 2019.
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Trump was impeached after a July 2019 phone call in which he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to launch investigations into the Biden family’s actions and business dealings in Ukraine — specifically Hunter Biden’s ventures with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and Joe Biden’s successful effort to have former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin ousted.
Hunter Biden was quietly under federal investigation, beginning in 2018, at the time of the call — a probe prompted by suspicious foreign transactions.
Trump’s request was regarded by Democrats as a quid pro quo because millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen. Democrats also claimed Trump was meddling in the 2020 presidential election by asking a foreign leader to look into a Democratic political opponent.
Republicans had been investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings, specifically with regard to Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings. House Republicans, who were in the minority at the time, made several requests to subpoena Hunter Biden for testimony and documents related to the impeachment of Trump and his business dealings that fell at the center of the proceedings.
Biden has acknowledged that when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, and at the time, Hunter had a highly-lucrative role on the board, receiving thousands of dollars per month. The then-vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion of critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden recollected the conversation during an event for the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018.
“Well, son of a b—-, he got fired,” Biden said during the event. “And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Biden allies maintain the then-vice president pushed for Shokin’s firing due to concerns the Ukrainian prosecutor went easy on corruption, and say that his firing, at the time, was the policy position of the U.S. and international community.
Now, as part of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans are investigating any involvement Biden had in his son’s business dealings.
Republicans obtained an FBI FD-1023 form with a confidential human source detailing allegations made by Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky alleged that he was “coerced” into paying Joe Biden and Hunter Biden millions of dollars to get Shokin fired, amid the investigation into his firm.
Meanwhile, Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation since 2018.
Special Counsel Weiss charged Biden with nine federal tax charges, which break down to three felonies and six misdemeanors concerning $1.4 million in owed taxes that have since been paid.
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Weiss charged Hunter in December, alleging a “four-year scheme” when the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports.
Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Weiss also indicted the first son on federal gun charges in Delaware last year. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to those charges as well. His attorneys are attempting to have that case dismissed altogether.