In a statement released by the president-elect’s transition office, the young Biden said he learned of the investigation on Tuesday. He did not reveal details of the matter.
“I take this matter very seriously, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will show that I handled my affairs legally and properly, including with the benefit of professional tax advisers,” he said in a statement.
Hunter Biden has long been a target of President Donald Trump and his allies, who accused him of profiting from his political connections. Trump and his supporters also raised unfounded corruption charges related to Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine when his father was vice president and ran the Obama administration’s dealings with the Eastern European nation.
The disclosure of the federal investigation led by the US attorney’s office in Delaware comes at an awkward time for the incoming president, who is assembling his cabinet. His election to attorney general could oversee the investigation into the new president’s son if it is still ongoing when Biden is sworn in on January 20.
The transition team said in a statement: “President-elect Biden is deeply proud of his son, who has overcome difficult challenges, including fierce personal attacks in recent months, only to emerge stronger.”
Hunter Biden’s attorneys did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.
Biden’s youngest son has been embroiled in controversy for years. While his father was vice president, Hunter joined the Naval Reserve only to be discharged after testing positive for cocaine in his system, which later revealed a years-long struggle with addiction.
He also joined the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma in 2014, raising concerns about perceptions of a conflict of interest given that the elder Biden was deeply involved in US policy toward Ukraine.
A Republican-led Senate investigation did not identify any policies that were directly affected by Hunter Biden’s work.