Hunter Biden should be held in contempt for continuing to defy a court order to turn over his financial information, flaunting his lack of "respect" for the legal process and undermining the interests of the child he has previously refused to support or even acknowledge, according to a blistering new filing from the mother of Biden's child in an ongoing paternity case.
The motion comes as Joe Biden has surged to front-runner status in the Democrats' presidential primary amid new questions over whether his son may have corruptly benefited from his father's position as vice president. The case threatens to surface new information about the younger Biden's overseas dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere during the Obama administration -- and his father's apparent knowledge of those arrangements.
"After months of hiding, one has to wonder if the reason Hunter Biden continues to defy the court is because there are financial documents that could shed light on his father’s massive conflicts of interest as vice president," Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesman Steve Guest told Fox News on Sunday.
The filing from 28-year-old Lunden Alexis Roberts' legal team wastes little time in charging that Hunter Biden "continues to act as though he has no respect for this Court, its orders, the legal process in this state, or the needs of his child for support." It argues that the court "should take some action that will make the defendant follow court orders and a believer in the rule of law."
Specifically, Biden has not turned over information concerning his address, financial institutions he or his businesses use, a list of all the companies he "currently owns or in which he has an ownership interest and the state in which those companies are incorporated," or a list of "all sources of income for the past five years."
Additionally, Biden has failed to produce a list of all "employers for the past five years," an unredacted copy of his tax returns, deeds for properties he owns, and tax documents for companies in which he has any ownership interest.
The previous judge in the case, Don McSpadden, said in December that Biden was "going to have to provide at least the last three years of tax returns." A Dec. 4 court order required Biden to turn over at a minimum "five most recent paystubs or five previous years" of tax returns; and a later order mandated both sides provide "their personal tax returns for the past five years; and ... any and all financial documents and information showing money or monies they received in the past five years."
Independence County Circuit Court Judge Holly Meyer, who now oversees the case, has said those orders are still in effect. Biden's conduct is "willful and contemptuous," according to Roberts' lawyers, and he should be ordered to appear in person at a March 13 hearing to explain why he should not be held in contempt.
Meyer had previously ordered Biden to appear in person for the same reason, but Biden temporarily avoided being held in contempt when he agreed to pay an undisclosed monthly child support amount. At the time, Meyer noted she "lacks sufficient information" about Biden's finances to determine the appropriate child support totals, and delayed contempt proceedings until March 1.
Those proceedings now appeared likely to resume this week. The younger Biden is also slated to appear at a deposition on March 11, despite his efforts to quash the deposition and obtain a protective order (“He needs to make himself available unless his hair is on fire,” Meyer said during a conference call with the attorneys on the case last month, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.)
"After months of hiding, one has to wonder if the reason Hunter Biden continues to defy the court is because there are financial documents that could shed light on his father’s massive conflicts of interest as vice president."
The New York Times reported last week that the 50-year-old Hunter Biden is spending his time attempting to pass himself off as a painter in a rented $12,000-per-month hideout in Hollywood Hills while driving a Porsche.
The paternity case established that Hunter Biden was the father of Roberts' baby after a DNA test. Roberts had argued that Biden was essentially an absent father, and the younger Biden had repeatedly denied paternity until the DNA test.
Republicans, and even some left-of-center commentators and career State Department employees, have said Biden appeared to be trading on his access to his father as part of a career of illicit dealings -- raising the prospect that the financial documents could shed additional light on their accusations.
Top Republican senators recently requested travel records from the Secret Service that might shed light on Hunter Biden's dealings in China, which President Trump has long said merit a state investigation.
The paternity dispute has presented headaches for the elder Biden ever since a court filing showed that DNA results indicated he was now a grandfather. Joe Biden tangled with a Fox News reporter on camera when asked about that development last November.
"I'm wondering if you have a comment on this report, and court filing, out of Arkansas, that your son Hunter just made you a grandfather again," Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked.
"No, that’s a private matter and I have no comment," Biden fired back before attacking the reporter.
"Only you would ask that," Biden said. "You're a good man. You're a good man. Classy."
Campaigning late last year, Biden has also lashed out at voters -- even appearing to call one man "fat" for bringing up issues with his son's possible corruption and questioning his fitness for office.
“You’re a damn liar, man," Biden said. “Let’s do push-ups together here, man. Let’s run. Let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s take an IQ test. ... No one has said my son has done anything wrong."