Hunter Biden’s Hollywood celebrity lawyer has been hit with an ethics complaint over the unusual “sugar brother” relationship he has with the Democrat president’s son.
The complaint was filed by America First Legal (AFL) with California’s bar and alleges that attorney Patrick Kevin Morris may have violated California’s bar rules with his lavish spending on Hunter Biden.
The AFL, a conservative legal group founded by former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, filed the complaint Tuesday with the State Bar of California alleging Morris violated California’s rule that prohibits a lawyer from funding the lifestyle of a client or potential client.
The complaint came ahead of Morris’ closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee Thursday.
Morris reportedly spent $4.9 million financially supporting the president’s son.
Included in the sum was a $2 million loan for Hunter to pay off his back taxes, and $875,000 was a purchase of Hunter Biden’s art.
It has been reported that Morris was paying the rent for Hunter’s lavish Los Angeles mansion which cost an estimated $20,000 per month.
A Los Angeles Times story characterized Morris’s relationship with Hunter Biden as, “foremost as his lawyer, but also his friend, confidant and bankroller.”
And, when Hunter Biden made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill, last week, he was flanked by Morris and his attorney Abbe Lowell.
“However, if Mr. Morris has provided personal funds to an individual who has now been confirmed to be a client – or who would reasonably believe himself to be Mr. Morris’s client – Mr. Morris would have violated both the text of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the well-established norms of the legal profession,” the America First Legal complaint says.
Morris was reportedly scheduled to do a transcribed interview with the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and the House Judiciary Committee this week, as part of the formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden for potential actions or benefitting from alleged influence peddling by family members, including his son.
Specifically, State Bar of California Rule 1.8.5(a), states that “[a] lawyer shall not directly or indirectly pay or agree to pay, guarantee, or represent that the lawyer or lawyer’s law firm will pay the personal or business expenses of a prospective or existing client.”
The complaint states:
“If Hunter Biden or a similarly situated person would reasonably anticipate that Mr. Morris was obligated to provide legal services, the alleged funding of the lifestyle of a client or potential client justifies the immediate opening of a misconduct investigation under Rule 1.8.5.”
On Capitol Hill and other occasions, Lowell has been the lawyer who spoke as Hunter Biden’s representative.
However, the same Times story said:
“Morris strode shoulder to shoulder with the president’s son as they made a surprise appearance at a congressional contempt hearing on Capitol Hill.
“On Thursday, he is expected to be seated behind him in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom as Hunter Biden is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on criminal tax charges, much as he did in a Delaware courtroom.”
The State Bar of California has not confirmed or denied if an investigation is underway.
“By law, disciplinary investigations are confidential, unless confidentiality is waived pursuant to the provisions of Business and Professions Code section 6086.1(b) or (c),” a state bar spokesman said in a statement.