Judge Orders Hunter Biden to Appear in Court Over Secret Financial Records
On Tuesday, an Arkansas judge ordered Hunter Biden, the youngest son of former Vice President Joe Biden, to appear in court and explain why he should not be held in contempt for violating numerous court orders to provide financial information in his Arkansas paternity case.
In the case, Lunden Alexis Roberts, a former Washington, D.C., stripper, has reportedly been awarded full custody and is seeking child support after a November DNA test confirmed that Roberts' son — born in August 2018 — was indeed Hunter Biden's child. Biden has refused to hand over financial records, despite a December 6 order to do so, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. He missed deadlines on December 12 and December 19, and most recently on January 16.
While questions about Hunter Biden's finances — particularly his employment history at the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas firm Burisma and his father's efforts to get the prosecutor investigating Burisma fired — feature in the Trump impeachment battle, Roberts' lawyer insisted that the paternity case has nothing to do with impeachment.
"My understanding is impeachment proceedings are ongoing," Lancaster told the Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas' newspaper of record. "I have not received any subpoena. I don't believe we have any stake in the impeachment proceedings. We don't have any stake in it whatsoever. We need his income so we can determine child support."
Lancaster filed his original "Motion for Contempt and for Order to Show Cause" On December 23 after Biden missed the two December deadlines. The lawyer attached a December 6 letter from Independence County Circuit Judge Don McSpadden addressed to Hunter Biden. That judge told the defendant that he must file an Affidavit of Financial Means, which would be under seal.
Brent Langdon, Biden's attorney, claimed that McSpadden's order was not enforceable as contempt.
He claimed the order for financial information was politically motivated. "Plaintiff's apparent motivation by attaching the court's correspondence to defendant can only be concluded as an intentional disclosure to the media and political adversaries associated with the 'Where's Hunter?' campaign of his address," Langdon argued. "Such intentional disclosure of the defendant's address has resulted in an onslaught of harassment of the defendant and his wife."
Lancaster told the Democrat-Gazette that Biden's street address was in an earlier court filing, so that kind of security concern was misplaced.
Langdon filed a motion to dismiss Lancaster's contempt motion, but the dismissal has not been granted.
Circuit Judge Holly Meyer took over the case after McSpadden recused himself on New Year's Eve. Lancaster notified Meyer that he would file the Second Motion for Contempt on Tuesday and asked her if she would sign an Order to Appear and Show Cause.
Lancaster told the Democrat-Gazette he does not understand why Biden would not just file the financial information, which will be kept under seal.
"You would think the No. 1 thing he would want to do is shut up that annoying lawyer in Arkansas who keeps filing legal proceedings against him," Roberts' lawyer said.
In the motion, Lancaster wrote that Biden's evasiveness was "another example of the defendant's unnecessary actions to frustrate prompt adjudication of this matter and increase the plaintiff's litigation costs."
The fact that Hunter Biden is the baby daddy has caused no little scandal in the family. His older brother, Beau, passed away in 2015. In 2017, the younger brother divorced his wife of more than 20 years, Kathleen Biden, and dated Hallie Biden, Beau's widow. Since he did not break up with his late brother's widow until April 2019, the paternity test showed that he cheated on her.
One month after the break-up with Hallie, he married Melissa Cohen in a surprise wedding.
Joe Biden's presidential campaign and the impeachment have drawn national attention to Hunter Biden. A Florida private-eye firm has claimed that Hunter Biden is the subject of many criminal investigations involving Burisma, and that a counterfeiting scheme links him with both Burisma and CrowdStrike. These filings may be suspect since the head investigator has pursued conspiracy theories. However, the Burisma involvement stinks and Americans deserve to know whether or not Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor in order to protect his son's company.
While the paternity case likely will not reveal the baby daddy's assets, it does draw attention to one of Joe Biden's political liabilities.
Tyler O'Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.