Hunter Biden says he is staying sober to help his father Joe fight corruption claims

Hunter Biden with parents Joe and Jill
Hunter Biden with parents Joe and Jill. Joe Biden is accused of benefiting from his son's businesses when he was vice-president - Alamy
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Hunter Biden says he is staying sober to help his father Joe Biden, the US president, in a “fight for democracy”.

The businessman said he was facing the “ultimate test for a recovering addict”, believing a relapse could hand Donald Trump the keys to the White House.

Hunter, 54, is at the centre of a Republican investigation into claims that when Mr Biden was vice-president he profited from his son’s business dealings.

“Most importantly, you have to believe that you’re worth the work or you’ll never be able to get sober. But I often do think of the profound consequences of failure here,” Hunter told the Axios news outlet.

“Maybe it’s the ultimate test for a recovering addict,” he added.

“I have always been in awe of people who have stayed clean and sober through tragedies and obstacles few people ever face. They are my heroes, my inspiration.”

Hunter, who has previously admitted to struggling with addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine, told a court in 2023 that he had been sober since June 2019 but warned he was tempted to return to his old habits.

“I don’t care whether you’re 10 years sober, two years sober, two months sober or 200 years sober, your brain at some level is always telling you there’s still one answer,” he said.

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden told a court in 2023 that he constantly struggled against the pull of addiction - Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Hunter has previously accused his father’s opponents of trying to kill him in order to destroy the US president’s re-election prospects.

His intervention came two days before he was expected to testify in a closed-door session before a Congressional committee investigating his father.

House Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry into the US president in September 2023, focused on whether he personally benefited from his son’s overseas business dealings.

Failed to uncover evidence of bribery

So far it has failed to uncover evidence finding that he acted corruptly or accepted bribes in his current or previous role.

Republicans leaned heavily on evidence from Alexander Smirnov, a former FBI informant, who claimed executives associated with Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid the pair $5 million (£4 million) each in 2015 and 2016.

Mr Smirnov, who allegedly has “extensive” contacts with Russian intelligence agencies, was in February 2024 charged with fabricating claims about the president and his son.

House Republicans released testimony in 2023 from two whistleblowers claiming the “Biden justice department” interfered with a tax investigation into his son – an allegation which it denied.

Hunter pleaded not guilty in February to evading $1.4 million (£1.1 million) in taxes between 2016-19.

According to the indictment, he spent enormous sums on drugs, escorts, and expensive cars. If convicted he faces up to 17 years in prison.

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