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Joe Biden’s son Hunter reaches plea deal on gun, tax charges

Another historic US trial, this time of Biden's son Hunter
Source: Video Screenshot

US President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter has reached a plea deal on minor tax and gun charges, concluding a five-year probe that involved persistent Republican allegations that major crimes were being covered up.

Hunter Biden, 53, has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of failure to pay federal income tax and admitted to illegally possessing a gun despite being a drug user, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The plea agreement between Hunter Biden and the US Attorney’s Office in his home state of Delaware will need to be approved by a federal judge.

The president’s son is unlikely to face any prison time. According to The Washington Post, prosecutors will seek probation on the tax and gun charges.

President Biden and his wife, Jill, issued a brief statement following the announcement.

“The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams said. “We will have no further comment.”

US Attorney David Weiss, an appointee of former president Donald Trump, said Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to “two counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax.”

According to the charges, Biden, a lawyer and lobbyist, failed to file his tax returns on time on earnings of more than $1.5 million for 2017 and 2018. In both years he owed more than $100,000 in taxes on those earnings.

Each count brings up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 or double what he stood to gain by breaking the law.

Weiss said Hunter Biden was also facing one count of “possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.”

Hunter Biden has admitted to struggles with crack cocaine and other drugs in the past.

He will not be prosecuted on the gun charge but will enter what is known as “pretrial diversion,” which often involves counseling or rehabilitation.

In a statement, Christopher Clark, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, said “Hunter will take responsibility for two instances of misdemeanor failure to file tax payments when due.

“I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life,” Clark said. “He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”

– ‘Traffic ticket’ –

Trump, who is facing felony charges in Florida of mishandling government secrets and charges in New York for paying hush money to a porn star, slammed the agreement as a mere “traffic ticket” for Hunter Biden.

“Our system is BROKEN!” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social platform.

Trump is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and may face Democratic incumbent Joe Biden next year in a rematch of the 2020 White House race.

Representative James Comer, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, which has opened an investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, denounced the plea agreement as a “slap on the wrist.”

“These charges against Hunter Biden and sweetheart plea deal have no impact on the Oversight Committee’s investigation,” Comer said in a statement.

Hunter Biden became a regular focus of Trump’s attacks ahead of the November 2020 election for his work in Ukraine and China.

In his memoir, “Beautiful Things,” Hunter Biden insists he did “nothing unethical” and dismisses allegations that he displayed a lack of judgment by sitting on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was vice president.

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December 2019 for seeking political dirt on the Bidens ahead of the 2020 election from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He was acquitted by the Senate.

In his memoir, Hunter Biden also discussed his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

“I’ve bought crack cocaine on the streets of Washington DC, and cooked up my own inside a hotel bungalow in Los Angeles,” he wrote.

Hunter Biden, who was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2014 after a positive test for cocaine, describes how he started drinking heavily in his 20s, went to rehab and relapsed after his elder brother Beau died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46.

Hunter and Beau survived a car crash that killed their mother and sister in December 1972, just weeks after their father was first elected a US senator from Delaware.

About the author

AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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