Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is expected to face federal gun charges by the end of September, according to Special Counsel David Weiss’ team, as conveyed to U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika on Wednesday.
Judge Noreika had set a deadline for both sides to address the diversion agreement, which was designed to spare Hunter Biden jail time for a felony charge related to a false statement made on a federal firearm purchase form in 2018.
This anticipated indictment follows the collapse of an initial plea agreement in July. Hunter Biden was slated to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, while avoiding incarceration for the felony gun charge.
What Happens Now?
During Hunter Biden’s first court appearance on these charges, Judge Noreika of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware declined to accept the plea and pretrial diversion agreements. She deemed the Department of Justice’s proposed deal as “unconstitutional,” “not standard,” and “different from what I normally see.”
Consequently, Hunter Biden was compelled to plead not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge. Attorney General Merrick Garland then appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and any related issues.
The initial incident regarding Hunter Biden’s gun occurred in 2018 when a firearm he owned was discarded in a Delaware market’s trash can.
A source familiar with a police report from October 23, 2018, revealed that Hallie Biden, Hunter’s then-girlfriend and the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, disposed of the gun. A review of a firearm transaction report indicated that Hunter Biden had purchased the weapon earlier that month.
On the transaction report, when asked if he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance,” Hunter Biden answered in the negative. It’s worth noting that he was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.
David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, has been leading the investigation into Hunter Biden for an extended period.
His appointment as special counsel comes amid allegations of political influence affecting prosecutorial decisions in the ongoing investigation into the president’s son.
Collapse of ‘Sweetheart Deal’
This controversy comes amidst a backdrop of scrutiny over Hunter Biden’s so-called “sweetheart” plea deal with the Justice Department, which recently fell apart under examination by a Delaware judge.
Prosecutors now expect the case to proceed to trial, possibly in Delaware or California, where Hunter Biden faces charges related to unpaid taxes and a felony gun violation.
The plea deal, if upheld, would have allowed Hunter Biden to plead guilty to failing to pay taxes on substantial income, potentially avoiding jail time and enjoying immunity from future charges.
As the investigation and legal proceedings continue, the controversy surrounding the DOJ’s involvement in responding to congressional inquiries continues to add further complexity to this landmark case.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.
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