The saga of presidential son Hunter Biden’s legal battle continues, with Hunter and his lawyers entering a plea of not guilty on recent gun charges.
Hunter Biden’s hearing is the first time that one of the children of a sitting president appeared in court to fight off criminal charges.
The hearing, held at the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, was relatively low-key and quiet, and lasted for less than 30 minutes.
The charges, brought forward by Special Counsel David Weiss, who has been investigating the younger Biden since the tail end of the Trump administration, are also connected to the ongoing impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives, where GOP congressmen allege that not only Hunter committed criminal acts when he looped in his father into his business deals, but also that the president directly benefited from those business arrangements. However, the congressional committees investigating the president have yet to present evidence directly linking Biden to his son’s business deals and any profits from them.
Hunter is being charged with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a 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. If found guilty, he faces a prison sentence that could stretch up to 25 years, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
For now, the younger Biden has been allowed a release by Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke, provided that he seek employment and report all international trips beforehand. Hunter is also not allowed to own or possess a firearm and is prohibited from consuming alcohol and drugs, on top of participating in a counseling program for substance abuse. The president’s son will also be subjected to random drug testing.
Lawyers for Hunter, while agreeing to the judge’s conditions, said that they will still file a motion to dismiss the case, citing a diversion agreement with the Special Counsel that they believe is still in effect, despite the fact that talks on the agreement between the defense and the prosecution collapsed in July. The deal stipulated that the president’s son would plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax in exchange for avoiding a prison sentence for a felony gun charge. But due to the failure of the talks, Hunter earlier pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge. Hunter’s legal team has until early November to file the motion to dismiss.
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.
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