Updated: Jun 21
Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, will plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges, likely heading off prison time and what could have been a politically explosive prosecution while his father campaigns for re-election.
Biden’s deal with federal prosecutors marks the culmination of long investigation by the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Delaware, David Weiss, who has remained under the Biden administration to see through the criminal inquiry, reports the Wall Street Journal. Weiss said Biden is entering a pretrial diversion agreement on a separate firearms charge. Under such agreements, prosecutors generally forgo a charge if defendants submit to other training or treatment programs.
Weiss has agreed to recommend a sentence of probation as part of the plea agreement. A judge will ultimately decide the sentence. Weiss and Biden’s defense lawyer, Chris Clark, asked the court to schedule an initial appearance on the charges, which include two counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax.
According to a court document filed Tuesday, Biden had a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver in October 2018, even though he was addicted to drugs and barred from owning a gun.
Begun in 2018, the investigation first examined the younger Biden’s foreign business dealings but has come in more recent years to focus on his taxes and his false claim, on a form to purchase a gun, that he wasn’t using or addicted to drugs. In his 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things,” Hunter Biden detailed his long addiction with drugs and wrote that he smoked crack “every 15 minutes” for stretches in 2018.
As Attorney General Merrick Garland handled the Donald Trump indictment, he sought to distance himself from the investigation into Hunter Biden, saying in congressional testimony he had never discussed the matter with the president.
Trump immediately seized on Biden’s plea agreement, saying in his Truth Social platform that the Justice Department had handed the president’s son “a mere traffic ticket.”
Rep. James Comer (R-KY), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Biden’s plea deal revealed a “two-tiered system of justice.”
“Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling, and possibly bribery. These charges against Hunter Biden and sweetheart plea deal have no impact on the Oversight Committee’s investigation,” Comer said. “We will not rest until the full extent of President Biden’s involvement in the family’s schemes are revealed.”