Federal prosecutors in charge of the Hunter Biden criminal investigation intend to indict the first son by the end of this month.
The Path for Hunter Biden to End Up in Prison
Special Counsel David Weiss filed court documents on Wednesday afternoon confirming the Department of Justice’s intention to seek a grand jury indictment of the president’s son before September 29, the last working day of the month. If indicted, Hunter would be the first son to be criminally charged while their father was sitting in-office as president.
“The Speedy Trial Act requires that the Government obtain the return of an indictment by a grand jury by Friday, September 29, 2023, at the earliest. The Government intends to seek the return of an indictment in this case before that date,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
The filing is in relation to a charge over Hunter’s alleged possession of a handgun while a known drug user. Court papers have revealed that Hunter bought the gun in a Delaware store in October 2018, despite an addiction to crack cocaine at the time. He would not sober up until May 2019.
Weiss Since Elevation
Delaware Attorney Weiss was elevated to special counsel status by Attorney General Marrick Garland on August 11.
“Mr. Weiss advised me that in his judgment, his investigation has reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a Special Counsel, and he asked to be so appointed,” said Attorney General Garland at the time. “Upon considering his request, as well as the extraordinary circumstances relating to this matter, I have concluded it is in the public interest to appoint him as Special Counsel.”
Weiss was first appointed by then-President Donald Trump in 2017 as a U.S. Attorney for Delaware, which was later confirmed by the Senate the following year.
Almost simultaneously as Garland’s announcement, federal prosecutors submitted court filings expressing that further negotiations – brought on after the presiding judge threw out a “sweetheart” plea deal – between the government and the defense had reached an impasse. The filing all-but confirmed a future court date for Hunter – the first time a first son will have faced criminal trial.
Grand Juries and The Speedy Trial Act
Grand juries comprise around 20 members of the public who discuss and vote on whether to charge an individual with a crime. They have most notably been used in recent months to indict former president Trump over hush money payments to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels.
The Speedy Trial Act of 1974 provides a reasonable timeframe for prosecutors to formally charge a defendant if they are believed to have committed a crime. Its purpose is to ensure defendants are not held in custody for a prolonged period of time only to be found innocent.
A trial date for Hunter will only be announced after the grand jury verdict.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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