WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden has been indicted by special counsel David Weiss on felony gun charges.
The charge bring renewed legal pressure on the younger Biden after a plea agreement he struck with prosecutors deteriorated in recent months.
The younger Biden has been charged with one count of False Statement in Purchase of a Firearm, one count of False Statement Related to Information Required to be Kept By Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer, and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Person who is an Unlawful User of or Addicted to a Controlled Substance.
Prosecutors have spent years scrutinizing Hunter Biden’s business endeavors and personal life — a probe that appeared to culminate in a plea agreement the two sides struck in June, which would have allowed him to plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanor tax offenses and enter into a pretrial diversion program to avoid prosecution on a felony gun charge.
But that deal fell apart during a court hearing in July after U.S. Judge Maryellen Noreika expressed concern over the structure of the agreement and questioned the breadth of an immunity deal, exposing fissures between the two parties.
Weeks later, on Aug. 11, Attorney General Merrick Garland elevated Weiss to special counsel, granting him broader authority to press charges against Hunter Biden in any district in the country.
Prosecutors subsequently informed the court that a new round of negotiations had reached “an impasse,” and attorneys for Hunter Biden accused Weiss’ office of “reneging” on their agreement.
Hunter Biden’s legal team maintains that the pretrial diversion agreement, which was signed by prosecutors, remains in effect. Weiss’ team said the probation officer never signed it, rendering it null and void.
Weiss filed court papers in early September signaling his intention to level the felony gun charge against the president’s son by the end of the month.
Thursday’s charge is unlikely to be the last. Weiss also withdrew the two misdemeanor tax charges in Delaware with the intention of bringing them California and Washington, D.C. — the venues where the alleged misconduct occurred. Prosecutors have not offered a timeline for those charges.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday said he would initiate an impeachment inquiry against President Biden over his alleged role in his son’s influence-peddling. The White House has called the move “extreme politics at its worst,” adding that “the president hasn’t done anything wrong.”