An Arkansas judge demanded at least three years of tax returns from former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in a child support case that’s progressed rapidly in recent months.
Biden, 49, agreed to take a DNA test last month and the results showed Biden was the father of Lunden Robert’s child. Roberts, 28, filed a lawsuit earlier this year for child support.
Judge Don McSpadden said on Dec. 2 that he would need to see at least three years of Biden’s tax returns before making a decision on child support, the Daily Mail reported.
Biden missed the hearing.
McSpadden said that Biden’s team needed to provide Roberts with an address and phone number so that Biden could be formally served in the case. He also warned both sides that they shouldn’t discuss the case, ordering all financial information kept under seal.
Neither the child’s name, nor their gender, has been reported.
“This child is more important than anyone else in this case,” McSpadden said, the Mail reported.
The next hearing is slated for Jan. 7, 2020.
Roberts and her father were in the courtroom but did not speak to reporters.
The legal team representing Biden—former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Bart Calhoun, and Jessica Johnston—said in a motion filed Monday that they were withdrawing from the case because of an unspecified “irreconcilable conflict” and because Biden’s personal attorney said they were being discharged, reported the Arkansas Times.
The hearing took place after Biden requested a protective order for his financial records, arguing that his financial information would be used “maliciously” by media outlets if it was made public.
“The likelihood that [Biden’s] private records will be used in an inappropriate or malicious manner for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with these proceedings is exceedingly high and should not be tolerated by the court,” the filing stated. Disclosures of financial info would cause Biden “undue prejudice, annoyance, embarrassment, and/or oppression.”
“Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the parties involved in this matter, it is in the interest of justice and necessary for a Protective Order to be in place,” McDaniel wrote in the filing.
Biden told the court in the filing that he wasn’t able to complete a financial affidavit as of yet because he hasn’t had a job since May. He said he went into debt partly because of an expensive 2017 divorce from Kathleen Biden, his brother Beau’s widow.