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Tags: hunter biden | federal | charges | income tax | weapon

Hunter Biden Agrees to Plead Guilty to Federal Charges

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 11:02 AM EDT

President Joe Biden's son Hunter has been charged with failing to pay federal income tax and illegally possessing a weapon and has reached an agreement with the Justice Department, according to a letter filed in U.S. district court in Delaware.

As part of the agreement, made public Tuesday, Hunter Biden will plead guilty to misdemeanor tax offenses and is expected to reach an agreement with prosecutors on the felony charge of illegally possessing a firearm as a drug user. It is somewhat unusual to resolve a federal criminal case at the same time the charges are filed in court, though it is not totally unheard of.

"The president and first lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life; we will have no further comment," the White House's Ian Sams said in a statement.

The deal ends a long-running Justice Department investigation into Biden's second son, who has acknowledged struggling with addiction following the 2015 death of his brother Beau Biden. It also averts a trial that would have generated days or weeks or distracting headlines for a White House that has strenuously sought to keep its distance from the Justice Department.

A person familiar with the investigation said the Justice Department would recommend probation for the tax charges, meaning Hunter Biden will not face time behind bars. But the decision to go along with any deal is up to the judge. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Christopher Clark, a lawyer for the younger Biden, said in a statement it was his understanding the five-year investigation had now been resolved.

"I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life," Clark said. "He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward."

The news comes as congressional Republicans pursue their own investigations into nearly every facet of Hunter Biden's business dealings, including examining foreign payments and other aspects of his finances.

It also comes days after a 37-count indictment came down against former President Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents on his Florida estate, another case with even more dramatic political implications.

"It's no coincidence that less than a week after President Trump is arraigned, Hunter Biden is pleading guilty to a sweetheart deal with no jail time," Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote in a statement, denouncing Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland. "The DOJ is going for the low-hanging fruit by charging Hunter Biden with a gun felony and two tax misdemeanors, after years of slow walking their investigation.

"For AG Garland to maintain his mantra that there is one standard of justice is pathetic. If the DOJ thinks this dismisses the $5 million alleged bribery scheme or the years of reported Biden family corruption, they are mistaken. We will not allow full accountability to fall by the wayside."

Joe Biden has also faced questions about his son's business dealings and drug addiction.

The gun charge states Hunter Biden possessed a handgun, a Colt Cobra .38 Special, despite knowing he was a drug user for 11 days in October 2018. The count carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but the Justice Department says Hunter Biden has reached a pretrial agreement on that charge. Full details were not immediately available.

The federal charges against Hunter Biden arose from an investigation by David Weiss, the U.S. attorney in the Democrat president's home state of Delaware who was appointed by Trump.

Hunter Biden, 53, for years has been the focus of unrelenting attacks by Trump and his Republican allies who have accused him of wrongdoing relating to Ukraine and China, among other matters. Hunter Biden has worked as a lobbyist, lawyer, investment banker, and artist, and has publicly detailed his struggles with substance abuse.

Hunter Biden disclosed in December 2020 that Weiss' office was investigating his tax affairs. He denied wrongdoing.

Hunter Biden described in a 2021 memoir dealing with substance abuse issues in his life including crack cocaine use and alcoholism. He was discharged from the U.S. Navy reserve in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine, sources said at the time.

The Weiss inquiry initially examined potential violations of tax and money-laundering laws in foreign business dealings, principally in China, sources told Reuters. The investigation headed by Weiss began as early as 2018, according to U.S. media reports.

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., in 2022 accused the U.S. Treasury Department of withholding financial "suspicious activity reports" to shield Hunter Biden's business dealings.

"Let's be clear: The Department of Justice's charges against President Biden's son Hunter revealed a two-tier system of justice," Comer wrote in a statement Tuesday. "Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidenced 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 House Oversight Committee's investigation. We will not rest until the full extent of President Biden's involvement in the family's schemes are revealed."

The president has two surviving children, Hunter Biden and daughter Ashley Biden. His son Beau Biden died in 2015 of cancer and his daughter Naomi Biden died as an infant after a car accident that also killed Joe Biden's first wife.

Hunter Biden appears to be the first child of a sitting president to be indicted, according to Aaron Crawford, who specializes in presidential history at the University of Tennessee.

Crawford said the family of several presidents were ensnared in scandals, including George H.W. Bush's son Neil, who directed a failed savings and loan, and Richard Nixon's brother Don, who was rescued from business failures by wealthy businessman Howard Hughes.

"Wow! The corrupt Biden DOJ just cleared up hundreds of years of criminal liability by giving Hunter Biden a mere 'traffic ticket,'" Trump wrote in a Truth Social post. "Our system is broken!"

Trump added a post about the furor, too.

"People are going wild over the Hunter Biden Scam with the DOJ!" Trump posted on Truth Social.

The Trump campaign also hailed Trump for calling the shot long ago, including once again earlier this month.

"They'll hit Hunter with something small to make their strike on me look 'fair,' Trump wrote June 6. "Nothing about these fascists is fair or honest."

Newsmax writer Eric Mack and information from Reuters contributed to this report.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two charges of willfully failing to pay income taxes in a deal with the Justice Department, according to court documents Tuesday.
hunter biden, federal, charges, income tax, weapon
Tuesday, 20 June 2023 11:02 AM
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