The most recent and significant development in the lengthy investigation into the president’s son involves the indictment of Hunter Biden on federal gun charges on Thursday.
According to the indictment submitted in federal court in Delaware, Biden is accused of lying about his drug use when he purchased a weapon in October 2018, a time when he had previously acknowledged having a crack cocaine addiction.
The son of Vice President Joe Biden is also being investigated for his business dealings. Charges of failing to pay taxes on time may be brought in California, where he resides, or in Washington, according to the special counsel overseeing the matter.
The indictment comes at a time when congressional Republicans are working to impeach the Democratic president, largely due to allegations about Hunter Biden’s financial transactions.
Republicans have testified about how Hunter marketed the “Biden brand” to attract jobs abroad, but they haven’t offered any concrete proof of the president’s malfeasance.
Hunter Biden, 53, had earlier agreed to a plea bargain that included guilty pleas to misdemeanor tax crimes as well as a charge of gun possession, but the arrangement collapsed in court in July when a judge questioned some of its peculiar clauses.
Defense lawyers claim that a provision of the agreement that spares Hunter Biden prosecution on the gun charge provided he stays out of trouble is still in effect. It has clauses that grant immunity from other possible charges. The attorneys said they would contest any new allegations brought against him.
However, the prosecution claims that because the agreement never went into effect, it is now invalid.
A recent appeals court decision that concluded the legislation doesn’t hold up under new Supreme Court criteria for gun regulations may put the gun charge brought against Hunter Biden on Thursday on even shakier legal footing.
Gun charges are rarely brought against individuals alone. Hunter Biden would have been sentenced to probation rather than jail time after pleading guilty to failing to pay taxes in both 2017 and 2018. Republicans had criticized the plea bargain as a “sweetheart deal.”
Including business and consulting payments from a company he founded with the CEO of a Chinese business conglomerate and the Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, his personal income over those two years came to over $4 million.
In an effort to link Hunter Biden’s financial concerns to those of his father, congressional Republicans have continued their own investigations into the Justice Department’s handling of the case as well as practically every facet of his commercial transactions.
Despite occasionally having meals with his son’s customers or greeting them on calls, they have been unable to provide proof of the president’s direct involvement in his son’s job.