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Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, entered a not-guilty plea to nine felony and misdemeanor tax charges during his initial appearance in a California courtroom on Thursday. The high-profile arraignment unfolded in federal court in downtown Los Angeles, with Hunter Biden himself submitting the plea.

The plea follows a sudden appearance by the younger Biden at a Capitol Hill hearing on the previous day, where lawmakers deliberated on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress.

Hunter Biden faced Judge Mark Scarsi at the First Street U.S. Courthouse, arraigned on charges accusing him of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes from 2016 to 2019.

A June 20 trial date was set by the judge. However, Hunter’s legal team expressed uncertainty, referencing a separate indictment in Delaware on felony gun charges.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 27, with motions due on Feb. 20. Hunter Biden was released on the same conditions as the Delaware case, including restrictions on firearms and alcohol.

Tax charges

The tax charges, stemming from a December indictment, allege that Hunter Biden earned millions from foreign entities and failed to pay taxes while leading an extravagant lifestyle.

The back taxes were reportedly paid in 2020 by a third party, identified as Hunter Biden’s attorney and confidant Kevin Morris.

Hunter Biden expressed a willingness to testify in a public forum during the hearing, while his attorney, Abbe Lowell, accused Republicans of caring “little about the truth.”

Lowell argued that Republicans were attempting to “hold someone in contempt who has offered to publicly answer all their proper questions.”

Father and son business?

The White House has reiterated that President Biden was never in business with his son, and that he had never spoken to his son about overseas business dealings.

The legal saga surrounding Hunter Biden continues to captivate public attention, adding another layer of complexity to the already contentious landscape.

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