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There has been a lot of justified anger in the conservative commentariat about the DoJ losing a lot of the counts in possible indictments against Hunter and Dementia Joe. In general, the federal statute of limitations is five years for felonies and six years for tax offenses, although there are exceptions such as for capital crimes, terrorism, etc. Thus, it would seem tax crimes committed before 2017 and other felonies committed before 2018 could not be charged. Since this is when the worst of the Biden crimes allegedly occurred, it would seem that little can be done to them legally.
However, I’m not so sure this is correct. If there were a vigorous prosecution, perhaps a lot could still be done. In particular, there are circumstances that suspend, or toll, the statute of limitations; and some of these might be applicable to the Biden situation. Here are examples:
If the US has requested but not received evidence from a foreign government about the case, the statute of limitations is suspended until the foreign government provides the evidence up to a maximum of five years. I don’t know if the US has requested evidence from foreign governments, but it seems likely that they would have.
Foreign Agent Registration Act violations continue until filed, even if the person is no longer a foreign agent. So, the statute of limitations only starts to run when you have made the filing. I don’t know whether Hunter has made all his FARA filings or not.
The statute of limitations for all the crimes committed in a conspiracy only starts to run when the final act of the conspiracy is committed. So, if the government could charge a continuing conspiracy that involved the 2013 tax frauds and also later acts, they might still be able to include the 2013 crimes. For example, if failing to make a FARA registration was part of the conspiracy, you might be able to get him on the 2013 tax frauds because the last crime of the conspiracy was not committed until he filed the FARA registration.
Unpaid taxes due to a fraudulent return, failure to file, or an attempt to evade tax may be assessed at any time, even if the statute of limitations on the crime has run. Hunter had a Democratic donor pay a lot of his taxes, but given his complicated tax situation and all the concealment that has gone on, there must still be unpaid taxes that could be assessed.
Equitable estoppel bars the defendant from asserting that the statute of limitations has run if he has interfered in the prosecution. I imagine this would be difficult to prove because you would have to show, not just strongly suspect, that Dementia Joe committed crimes and that he directed the DoJ not to charge him or his son; but it seems as though it fits this case perfectly. The case law on equitable estoppel is really complicated, so it might not apply here.
If we get a vigorous president in 2025, there might still be hope to send the Bidens to the Big House for a long time.
Caveat – I am not a lawyer, just an internet researcher.Published in