After a five-year inquiry, US Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is anticipated to enter two misdemeanor tax pleas and admit to illegally carrying a gun while abusing drugs.
Documents submitted by the US Attorney in Delaware indicate that a plea bargain has been reached.
He must consent to drug testing and treatment.
He will probably avoid jail time thanks to the provisions of the agreement.
He still has a theoretical maximum sentence of one year in jail for each tax accusation and ten years in jail for the weapons charge, according to a statement from the justice department. The judge in the case, who will also choose the punishment, must approve the proposed agreement.
When Hunter Biden will show up in court to admit guilt to the tax charges is unknown.
According to a “pre-trial diversion agreement” that is separate from the plea bargain, he will acknowledge to having a firearm while in a felony, according to his attorney Chris Clark.
“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,” continued Mr. Clark. “He looks forward to advancing and continuing his recovery.”
Hunter Biden, 53, has worked as a lobbyist and a lawyer in the past, including in China and the Ukraine. After testing positive for cocaine in 2014, he was released from the US Navy.
The guilty agreement closes a protracted inquiry by the justice department into whether he accurately declared his income and made fraudulent claims on documents used to buy a gun in 2018.
The failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes in both 2017 and 2018 led to the two misdemeanor tax charges.
The gun charge is related to a possession of a handgun by a drug user in 2018 incident.
The younger Mr. Biden acknowledged using crack cocaine heavily at the time in a book published in 2021.
He apparently responded “no” when asked if he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance” on a federal form.
The agreement comes after Joe Biden was accused by several Republican lawmakers and presidential contenders of “weaponizing” the justice department against political rivals.
Conservatives have long criticized Hunter Biden, claiming that his business dealings abroad reveal a pattern of corruption.
Senior congressional Republicans as well as Donald Trump and his team immediately and harshly criticized the plea agreement.
Make America Great Again Inc. supporter Karoline Leavitt referred to the pact as a “sweetheart deal” that enables the justice department to “turn a blind eye” to corruption. For his part, Mr. Trump referred to the agreement as a “mere traffic ticket”.
The bargain, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is proof of a “two-tier” system of justice. He also promised that the case will “enhance” a separate Republican inquiry into Hunter Biden.
Leading Democrats have mainly avoided commenting on the situation. The case should now be regarded as closed, according to David Brock, a former right-wing investigative journalist who is now a pro-Democratic operative, who said in a statement that Hunter “will not be charged with any of the unfounded and outlandish issues Republicans and right-wing media have used to smear him with for years.”
The White House said in a brief statement that Joe and Jill Biden “love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life.” We won’t be commenting further.
The younger Mr. Biden has spoken about his difficult upbringing and “massive drug addiction,” but he has consistently denied engaging in criminal activities.
In December 2020, he first acknowledged being aware of an investigation into him.
He stated that he was “confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, with the benefit of professional tax advisers” in a statement at the time.
According to the statement from the justice department, the inquiry is “ongoing”.
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