Allies of Hunter Biden Consider Establishing Legal-Defense Fund

Hunter Biden’s allies are reportedly in the early stages of creating a legal-defense fund to pay for the mounting legal bills associated with a federal tax investigation and congressional inquiries. The former investment manager has no steady source of income and has sold only a few of his paintings for a fraction of the estimated price. The fund is a common way for prominent figures to raise money for legal fees, and there are few federal rules that explicitly regulate such funds. The Office of Government Ethics has begun crafting legal defense rules for government employees, but there are no rules under consideration for the children of elected officials. Former President Bill Clinton’s legal-defense fund raised millions of dollars for his representation in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, the Whitewater investigation, and the impeachment inquiry, while the American Conservative Union created the First Amendment Fund to support the legal defense of conservatives. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) has sent a letter to the owner of the SoHo gallery that has marketed paintings by Hunter Biden, demanding information on the identity of those who purchased the artwork, the prices of the paintings, and who attended the gallery openings. White House officials have sought to avoid ethical conflicts by crafting an agreement under which purchases of Hunter Biden’s artwork would be kept confidential. Hunter Biden has assembled a team of lawyers to confront the investigations, though internal disagreements have broken out about how aggressive to be. The creation of a legal-defense fund and the lack of federal rules around it has raised questions about who is donating and whether, in this case, they are doing so to curry favor with the White House.