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DJ Hunter Biden to Release Memoir in April

· 02/04/2021 16:13
By Ken Thomas and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

WASHINGTON -- Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden whose overseas business ties received intense scrutiny from Republicans during the 2020 campaign, plans to release a memoir this spring.

The book, "Beautiful Things," will be released April 6 and focus on his "descent into substance abuse and his tortuous path to sobriety," Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Thursday. The publisher didn't release financial terms of the book.

Hunter Biden kept a relatively low profile during the presidential campaign, then appeared prominently at his father's side when he declared victory and again on Inauguration Day. The release of his book is likely to return him further to the public spotlight.

The younger Mr. Biden, who turned 51 on Thursday, is an attorney and businessman. His service on the board of a Ukrainian energy during and after his father's tenure as vice president has drawn wide criticism and was a central issue in the first impeachment of President Donald Trump. He faces a federal criminal tax investigation, for which he has denied any wrongdoing, and has drawn scrutiny for his business dealings with European and Chinese tycoons, some of whom were eager to be associated with the Biden family name.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in Sept. 2019 that Mr. Trump had repeatedly pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Hunter Biden, saying that he was engaged in corrupt activities. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump and his allies argued that Joe Biden, while vice president, had sought the removal of Ukraine's top prosecutor to protect the gas company, Burisma Holdings, from investigation.

President Biden has said he was executing U.S. policy by pushing for the removal of the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, and his actions at the time had the support of the Obama administration, Republicans in Congress and U.S. allies.

Democrats, who held a majority in the House, impeached Mr. Trump; he was acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate.

Hunter Biden later said he used "poor judgment" when he decided to join the board of the Ukrainian firm but has said he did nothing improper.

Gallery Books said it acquired the rights to the memoir in the fall of 2019, months before the start of the presidential primaries.

In a statement issued Thursday, the president and first lady Jill Biden said: "We admire our son Hunter's strength and courage to talk openly about his addiction so that others might see themselves in his journey and find hope."

The federal criminal tax investigation of Hunter Biden became public in December after federal investigators served a subpoena on him seeking detailed financial information in connection with an investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hunter Biden said in December that he takes the matter "very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately."

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan had also been looking at his business and financial dealings, as part of a broader criminal investigation that two people familiar with the matter described as an international financial investigation that had been going on for at least a year.

Allies of President Trump sought during the presidential campaign to tie Joe Biden to his son's business activities in China and with a Chinese company. None of The Wall Street Journal's reporting has found that President Biden was involved in his son's business activities.

Hunter Biden is the oldest surviving child of the president, whose first wife, Neilia, and 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a 1972 car accident shortly after Joe Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate representing Delaware. Hunter Biden's brother, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015.

In a line released from the publisher, the younger Mr. Biden writes, "I come from a family forged by tragedies and bound by a remarkable, unbreakable love."

Gallery Books also circulated the book among best-selling authors Stephen King, Dave Eggers, Anne Lamott and Bill Clegg.

Mr. King wrote that Mr. Biden recounts his addiction "with a bravery that is both heartbreaking and quite gorgeous. He starts with a question: Where's Hunter? The answer is he's in this book, the good, the bad, and the beautiful."

Mark LaFramboise, chief buyer for the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., said he will likely buy 10 copies and feature the book at the front of the store.

"We'll give it a shot," he said. By means of comparison, he added, Politics and Prose took 100 copies or more of some of the major recent titles about Mr. Trump.

--Aruna Viswanatha contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 04, 2021 16:13 ET (21:13 GMT)

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