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Turley: Hunter Biden’s lawyer has potential ethics problem

By Stew Davidson
|
January 21, 2024

Legal analyst and law professor Jonathan Turley raised concerns on Saturday about a "problem" in the intricate connection between Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, and his attorney, Kevin Morris.

This relationship has drawn attention amid a House impeachment inquiry focused on Biden, led by GOP members of the House Oversight Committee, as Newsweek reported.

These members allege that the president benefited from his son's foreign business ventures, a claim consistently denied by the White House.

The president has dismissed the inquiry as a politically motivated maneuver lacking any substantial basis.

The Inquiry Intensifies

On Thursday, James Comer, the Kentucky Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee and is leading the investigation into President Biden, released a statement after a recorded interview with Morris, a Hollywood entertainment lawyer, that took place earlier in the day.

Comer said, "Kevin Morris's massive financial support to Hunter Biden raises ethical and campaign finance concerns for President Joe Biden."

He continued, "Shortly after meeting Hunter Biden at a Joe Biden campaign event in 2019, Kevin Morris began paying Hunter Biden's tax liability to insulate then-presidential candidate Joe Biden from political liability."

Comer asserted that Morris acknowledged during the interview that he had extended a loan of a minimum of $5 million to Hunter.

Differing Perspectives

In response, Bryan Sullivan, Morris's attorney, criticized Comer's statement, suggesting it was misleading and taken out of context.

Arguing the other side was Turley, who penned an op-ed in The Hill, delving into the multifaceted nature of the Hunter-Morris relationship.

He highlighted a statement by Sullivan to CBS News, emphasizing Morris's role as both a friend and attorney to Hunter.

The ambiguity of Morris's role, according to Turley, is precisely the problem, blurring the lines between being a Democratic donor, a lawyer, and a friend.

Turley stated, "Morris insists that it was all standard 'loan' stuff. Except he is not a bank, and Hunter was routinely called his client."

Ethical Implications Explored

Turley, in a communication with Newsweek, elaborated on how this intricate relationship might impact the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

He raised questions about the nature of payments to Hunter, suggesting they could be seen as indirect campaign contributions. Turley stressed that Morris's overlapping roles could have significant legal ramifications, especially concerning legal ethics and the clarity of his relationship with Hunter.

Additional Legal Challenges

Further complicating matters, America First Legal (AFL), a conservative legal group led by Stephen Miller, a former senior adviser in the Trump administration, has filed a complaint against Morris with the California Bar.

The complaint argues that Morris's personal financial assistance to Hunter, who is also his client, potentially breaches the state's Rules of Professional Conduct.