Facing imminent investigation by House Republicans, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, has hired a high-profile Washington lawyer who represented Jared Kushner in Congress, as well as during the investigation of Russian election interference and links between Donald Trump and Moscow.
“Hunter Biden has retained Abbe Lowell to help advise him and be part of his legal team to address the challenges he is facing,” another attorney for the president’s son, Kevin Morris, told news outlets on Wednesday.
“Lowell is a well-known Washington based attorney who has represented numerous public officials and high-profile people in Department of Justice investigations and trials as well as congressional investigations. [For Hunter Biden] Mr Lowell will handle congressional investigations and general strategic advice.”
Lowell has worked across the political divide, representing Democrats including Bob Menendez, a New Jersey senator, and the former senator and vice-presidential nominee John Edwards, both in corruption cases that ended in mistrials; and acting as chief minority counsel to House Democrats in the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
Recently, Lowell represented Tom Barrack, a Trump ally acquitted in a foreign lobbying case.
Lowell, 70, has said that to be a trial lawyer, “you have to have a desire to be a performer at some level. If I hadn’t done this, it would have been Broadway”.
But his work for Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser, brought an uncomfortable sort of spotlight. Writing in the American Lawyer in late 2020, Lowell suggested criticism of his work for another client was generated “primarily because I later represented … the president’s son-in-law.
“The resulting news coverage, and especially the more sensational headlines, triggered the all-too-common flurry of hate mail, threatening voice mails and anonymous criticisms for doing the very job that attorneys are supposed to do.”
Hunter Biden is the focus of considerable criticism and threat from Republicans who will take control of the House next month.
Biden has said he “handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisers”. He has not been charged with any crime.
Politically speaking – where Lowell comes in – Republicans allege the younger Biden exploited his father’s roles as a senator, vice-president and president for financial gain, allegations Hunter Biden also denies.
James Comer, the incoming chair of the House oversight committee, has said an investigation will seek to determine if Biden family business activities have “compromise[d] US national security and President Biden’s ability to lead with impartiality”.
Republican allegations focus on Hunter Biden’s work in China and Ukraine, claims that in the case of Ukraine attracted the attention of Donald Trump, resulting in the scandal which led to his first impeachment.
In November, Comer told reporters: “We want the bank records and that’s our focus. We’re trying to stay focused on: ‘Was Joe Biden directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals and is he compromised?’ That’s our investigation.”
The laptop and news and social media’s wariness of it and of Giuliani have recently emerged as a subject of the Twitter Files, a series of releases coordinated by the new owner of the platform, Elon Musk, as he has sought to demonstrate liberal bias.