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“Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges Amid Lingering Investigation Following Failed Plea Deal”

September 14, 2023

In a significant development, Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, found himself indicted on federal firearms charges, marking a pivotal moment in a protracted investigation into the presidential scion. The indictment, filed by a special counsel in federal court in Delaware, alleges that Biden falsely portrayed his drug use when purchasing a firearm back in October 2018. This purchase coincided with a period when he openly acknowledged grappling with addiction to crack cocaine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The legal scrutiny surrounding Hunter Biden has not been limited to firearms; he has also been under investigation for his business dealings. The special counsel overseeing the case has hinted at the potential for charges related to tax evasion in either Washington or California, where he resides.

This firearms indictment follows the collapse of a plea deal aimed at averting a criminal trial, a development that casts a shadow over the impending 2024 election. Meanwhile, the House initiated a formal impeachment inquiry into the Democratic president, attempting to draw connections between the elder Biden and his son’s business dealings while diverting attention from former President Donald Trump’s legal entanglements.

Throughout this lengthy investigation, federal prosecutors have not implicated Joe Biden, and Republicans have yet to unearth substantial evidence of wrongdoing by the elder Biden, who, as vice president, occasionally interacted with his son’s associates but maintains he was not involved in their business affairs.

The lead prosecutor overseeing the Hunter Biden case, Trump-appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, was recently elevated to special counsel status, granting him broad authority to investigate and disclose his findings.

The three-count indictment alleges that Hunter Biden provided false information on a required firearms purchase form when he acquired a Colt Cobra Special at a Wilmington, Delaware, gun shop. He faces two counts of making false statements by incorrectly claiming he was neither a drug user nor addicted to drugs, along with a third count for possessing the firearm as a drug user. Conviction on two counts could result in up to 10 years in prison, while the third count carries a maximum of five years upon conviction.

Reacting to the indictment, Rep. James Comer, the leading Republican in an impeachment inquiry against the president, labeled it “a very small start.” Comer emphasized the need for the Justice Department to address claims surrounding the president’s involvement in his son’s business activities, suggesting that failure to do so would imply protection of Hunter Biden.

Previously, a felony gun charge against Hunter Biden had been part of a plea agreement that included guilty pleas to misdemeanor tax charges. However, this arrangement unraveled during a July court hearing when a judge raised concerns about its unconventional provisions.

Hunter Biden’s legal team contends that some aspects of the plea deal remain in effect, including immunity provisions against additional potential charges. Nevertheless, prosecutors assert that the agreement never came into force and is now void. They had foreshadowed new gun-related charges in a court filing earlier in the month.

Charges related to gun possession by drug users are relatively rare, especially when not linked to other criminal activities. In 2021, only about 5% of individuals sentenced for illegal gun possession were charged due to drug use, according to U.S. Sentencing Commission data. These cases typically involve other crimes or unique circumstances.

It’s worth noting that a federal appeals court recently questioned the longstanding ban on firearm possession by drug users in light of new standards set by the Supreme Court.

Republicans had previously criticized the plea agreement as a “sweetheart deal,” which would have allowed Hunter Biden to serve probation instead of jail time after admitting to failing to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018. His income during those two years, totaling approximately $4 million, encompassed business and consulting fees from a company he co-founded with the CEO of a Chinese business conglomerate and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Congressional Republicans have conducted their own investigations into the Justice Department’s handling of the case and various aspects of Hunter Biden’s business affairs. They have sought to establish a direct connection between his financial dealings and his father, but tangible evidence of wrongdoing by the president remains elusive.

Credit: AP

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