Hunter Biden remains a member of the District of Columbia Bar in “good standing,” though he appears to have violated the rules of professional conduct in multiple ways.
During the Wednesday hearing on his plea deal for two misdemeanor tax crimes and diversion agreement for a felony gun charge, Hunter Biden told the judge he was a member of the D.C. and Connecticut bars. The D.C. Bar’s website confirms Biden is an active member, though the rules of professional conduct state in Rule 8.4(b) that it is misconduct for a lawyer to “commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”
“Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return,” the rules explain.
Under Rule XI on disciplinary proceedings, attorneys who display an addiction “to drugs or intoxicants” risk the “possibility of probationary conditions.” As the written plea deal obtained by Politico states, the president’s son “has a well-documented and long-standing struggle with substance abuse.”
“Following the death of his brother in 2015, Biden relapsed and over time progressed from alcohol to abusing illegal drugs, including crack cocaine in 2016,” it states. “Nonetheless, in 2017, despite his addiction, Biden successfully entered into business ventures and landed legal clients, earning millions of dollars.”
Hunter Biden appears to be in violation of Rule 8.4(e), which explains it is misconduct to “state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official.”
The president’s son threatened a Chinese business associate over text in 2017 by saying Joe Biden was sitting next to him, according to IRS agent Gary Shapley’s testimony to the House Oversight and Government Accountability Committee.
Hunter Biden also remains a member of the Connecticut Bar, though he has been on an administrative suspension for “failure to pay the Client Security Fund fee” since 2021, according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website. The fee is asked of every attorney admitted to the Connecticut bar to reimburse individuals who lost property or money as a result of any dishonest attorney practicing in the state.
Hunter Biden graduated from Yale Law School in 1996. Former President Bill Clinton called Yale law school dean Guido Calabresi in 1993 asking him to allow Hunter Biden to attend; the admissions office nevertheless rejected Biden, though Calabresi encouraged him to reapply to Yale as a transfer student the following year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The DC Bar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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