Chris Tigani, a Delaware businessman who served two years in prison for illegal campaign donations to Joe Biden, is speaking out to ensure Hunter Biden is held to the same legal standard that landed himself and other Americans who committed similar offenses behind bars.
“They were protecting the Bidens then, they’re protecting the Bidens now, and I think the evidence is overwhelming,” Tigani said on “The Story” Tuesday.
In 2007, Tigani, a prominent Delaware liquor distributor, said he was approached by Hunter Biden and his late brother Beau, who requested $75,000 to cover the cost of billboards in Iowa for Joe Biden’s unsuccessful presidential bid.
When Tigani agreed to raise the necessary funds, Dennis Toner, Biden’s campaign finance director at the time, allegedly encouraged him to bundle the money using donations from his employees that he would later reimburse from his company to circumvent the technical limits on how much an individual can donate to one candidate.
“Dennis came over and said, how many employees do you have that you can trust? I said all of them,” Tigani told “The Story.” “He said have them write a check and reimburse them.”
Tigani told the New York Post that he was unaware at the time that it was illegal to solicit his employees for campaign donations and then reimburse them from company funds.
“I raised the money for them and then two years later, the government looked at an interview in the local newspaper. They investigated the contributions and found out that they were made through my company through my employees, through the company. And that was a violation of the law,” Tigani told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
When the FBI informed him of the violation, Tigani immediately called Toner, who allegedly couldn’t recall having a conversation about bundling campaign contributions, he said. He pleaded guilty and fully cooperated with their investigation, offering to wear a wire to record conversations with the Biden family. The bureau immediately declined his offer, he said.
“When the FBI came knocking, I, being a law-abiding citizen, sat down and talked to them and was happy to do so. I cooperated with them,” he said. “The mitigating factor in my case is that I cooperated with the government. When Dennis Toner and I spoke and he said he didn’t know what I was talking about, the very next day they unsealed the indictment, they wouldn’t let me go talk to the Bidens.”
Asked whether Hunter and Beau had knowledge of his initial conversation with Toner, Tigani said, “They know what’s going on. They knew what was going on then. That’s why they have people like me that were who were considered bundlers or people who could raise money. So, yeah.”
With his business and personal records under scrutiny, prosecutors added two tax charges to Tigani’s election bundling offense, alleging that he had underreported his income and thus owed the IRS $192,000, the New York Post reported.
In 2012, Tigani, who was 53 at the time, was sentenced to two years in prison. His case was prosecuted by then-First Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the same individual who is accused of signing a “sweetheart” plea deal with Hunter Biden to avoid jail time on two tax violations and a gun-possession felony.
Tigani, who has remained relatively out of the public spotlight since his release from prison, said he felt compelled to speak out publicly after he was informed of Hunter’s plea deal, citing his own experience to highlight what he described as an unequal application of the law for the president’s son.
“If you want to know why I went to jail and Hunter didn’t, it’s because my name is Tigani, not Biden,” Tigani told the New York Post last month. “It’s pretty simple. If your name is Biden, then investigations last as long as they need to and end [in your favor].
Tigani said he plans to file an amicus brief asking the court to consider the impact a lenient sentence for Hunter will have on those who spent years behind bars for committing similar offenses.
“I hope the court will consider my brief and what impact that [will have on] people who have been through the process,” he said, adding that he hopes the court will ensure Hunter is not afforded a sentence “that’s much lower than other people got” for committing less significant crimes.
“Hunter’s tax loss is in the millions of dollars. It’s the highest that Delaware has ever had aside from a drug dealer or someone charged with other multiple crimes, this is a misdemeanor with a tax loss of over $1 million. My tax loss was $361,000 and I was in jail two years,” Tigani told “Story” anchor Martha MacCallum.
“The evidence is overwhelming. When Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he treats like cases alike, that’s really what upset me because I can tell you that no, sir, you do not. You do not treat like cases alike,” he added.
Hunter Biden was expected to plead guilty last week to two misdemeanor tax counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax, as part of the plea deal to avoid jail time on a felony gun charge. But Judge Maryellen Noreika did not accept the plea agreement, questioning the constitutionality — specifically the diversion clause and the immunity Hunter Biden would receive. She described the DOJ’s deal as “not standard” and “different from what I normally see.”
Meanwhile. House Republicans on Monday launched an investigation into the Justice Department’s decision to sign off on Hunter’s “sweetheart” plea deal, saying that multiple provisions highlighted by the judge raise “serious concerns about how the Department has handled this matter.”
Hunter has pleaded “not guilty.”
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