WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed a complaint with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board of Professional Responsibility against Hunter Biden. AFL previously filed a bar complaint with the State of California against Mr. Biden’s Attorney, Kevin Morris, alleging a violation of California’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
AFL alleges that there is significant evidence Mr. Biden has engaged in a pattern and practice of professional misconduct in clear violation of the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4, thereby raising substantial questions as to his honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a lawyer.
Rule 8.4 provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, or to state or imply an ability to “influence improperly” a government agency or official. Notably, comment 1 to this Rule provides that “Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return.”
The Delaware Indictment and Diversion Agreement
In September 2023, Mr. Biden was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware on two counts related to knowingly making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm while addicted to drugs. In December 2023, he signed a diversion agreement admitting that he knowingly made those false statements so he could purchase a firearm.
Based on bank records, discussions with Mr. Biden’s former business associates, interviews with investigators from Mr. Biden’s criminal investigation, government records, and records abandoned by Mr. Biden in his laptop, congressional investigators have accumulated significant evidence that Mr. Biden has sold access to his father’s official government position, influence on United States policy, and protection from investigations or prosecution.
In one case, he sent a WhatsApp message to a Chinese corporation official stating:
“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman [Ye Jianming], I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”
In fact, Mr. Biden suggested setting up a “separate entity” to avoid the burden of having to “register as foreign agents.”
In a joint investigative report, the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Committee on Finance found Hunter Biden’s appointment to Burisma’s board was “problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of [U.S.] policy with respect to Ukraine.” Hunter Biden, while a director of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, and through his lobbying firm Rosemont Seneca, was personally involved in at least one phone call between the Vice President and then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko.
Failure to Register as a Foreign Agent
Mr. Biden has failed to register as the agent of a foreign principal in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Records obtained by AFL from the National Archives and Records Administration reveal that the Obama administration and the Office of Vice President Biden received substantial press inquiries concerning Hunter Biden’s appointment at Burisma.
Burisma is a “foreign principal” under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). Mr. Biden was Burisma’s agent and subject to FARA registration because he was an officer of Burisma and represented Burisma’s interests to the Office of the Vice President in addition to advising on a public relations matter. As an officer, Mr. Biden acted “at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal.”
Bar Counsel Should Investigate Mr. Biden
Mr. Biden’s admission in the Delaware diversion agreement conclusively establishes violations of Rule 8.4(b) and (c). Also, facts uncovered through multiple Congressional and AFL investigations, and from the emails from his own laptop demonstrate that Mr. Biden repeatedly stated and implied that he had the ability to influence government agencies and officials improperly, conclusively establishing violations of Rule 8.4(d). Accordingly, and particularly in light of Bar Counsel’s conduct in other cases, the Office of Professional Responsibility should promptly investigate Mr. Biden’s alleged violations.
Statement from Reed D. Rubinstein, Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight and Investigations:
“There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Biden has engaged in professional misconduct contrary to Rule 8.4. Public faith in the integrity of the Bar demands that the Rules of Professional Conduct be applied consistently and fairly. When it comes to attorney discipline, there should be one standard, and one standard only, for all bar members.“ said Reed D. Rubinstein.
Read the complaint here.
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