In normal times, most politicians might seek to distance themselves from someone in as much legal trouble as the scandal-ridden Hunter Biden.
But not former Florida Democrat Bill Nelson, who represented the Sunshine State for 32 years in Congress and now serves as NASA’s administrator.
A photo circulated from C-SPAN of Nelson grinning broadly and standing alongside Hunter as they shake hands with delegates of the Indian government while entering a black-tie state dinner for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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That was the same day that House Republicans released damaging testimony about both Hunter and President Joe Biden.
The most widely covered allegations included that IRS whistleblowers asserted the Justice Department squelched their efforts to prosecute Hunter for tax evasion and that Joe Biden had intimate knowledge of his son’s dubious business dealings with foreign interests, including in China and Ukraine. That included a reference to 10% of a supposed deal being “held for the big guy,” which investigators believe is code for Joe Biden.
GOP lawmakers also released a WhatsApp post in which Hunter told a Chinese businessman that his father was sitting beside him as they awaited to be compensated for a payment.
The elder Biden had long denied being involved in or knowing about what Hunter was up to as he received millions of dollars in cash from those foreign operators.
The conservative media on Thursday also picked up on the whistleblowers’ details about Hunter seeking to avoid paying income taxes.
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According to the whistleblowers, Hunter underreported his 2018 income by at least $267,000 in order to not pay an additional $106,000 in taxes. That year he claimed as “business expenses” tens of thousands of dollars to prostitutes and an elite sex club in Los Angeles.
Investigators learned about that from an FBI probe that revealed Hunter was involved in an overseas amateur porn ring operating a website.
Nelson served in the U.S. Senate alongside fellow Democrat Joe Biden for eight years.
Yet the two were close enough that Biden chose Nelson to be NASA’s leader. Nelson assumed that role in May 2021.
But Nelson also had the reputation for being part of a dying breed among Democrats: a true moderate.
The website FiveThirtyEight.com reported in 2018 that the Florida Democrat had voted with President Donald Trump 43% of the time during Trump’s first 18 months in office.
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