Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has agreed to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and has struck a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve a felony gun charge, according to recent reports from CNN and CBS News. The case will be overseen by Federal District Judge Maryellen Noreika, a former patent lawyer in Delaware, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump and had the support of both Democratic senators from Delaware during her nomination.
The Justice Department has agreed to recommend a sentence of probation for the two counts of failing to pay taxes in a timely manner for the years 2017 and 2018. Hunter Biden reportedly owed at least $100,000 in federal taxes for each of these years but did not meet the Internal Revenue Service deadlines. The final decision on the sentence will be made by the judge.
The plea deal is expected to have significant political implications, particularly in the context of the 2024 presidential race. It has already sparked criticism from Republicans of the Biden administration and the Justice Department. This comes in the wake of a 37-count federal criminal indictment filed against Donald Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, to which Trump pleaded not guilty.
The charges against Hunter Biden were detailed in a criminal filing in US District Court in Delaware. The US Attorney David Weiss, a Trump appointee, has been conducting the investigation, which at one time explored allegations of money laundering, foreign lobbying, and other potential charges. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Justice Department.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Christopher Clark, stated that the deal with federal prosecutors will “resolve” the Justice Department’s long-running criminal probe into the president’s son. He added that his client believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes, which were made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life.
The White House issued a brief statement expressing the Bidens’ love and support for their son. President Joe Biden has previously stated that he is proud of the strides his son has made to deal with addiction and has vowed to stay out of the Justice Department’s prosecutorial decision-making.
The case also involves a 2018 incident in which a firearm owned by Hunter Biden ended up tossed by his then-girlfriend into a dumpster in Wilmington. Federal law prohibits firearms purchases by anyone who uses or is addicted to illegal drugs, raising the possibility that Hunter Biden broke federal law when he bought the firearm.
The Republican-controlled House has been scrutinizing Hunter Biden’s financial dealings and exploring the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation. This includes any involvement by other Biden family members in overseas deals, such as Hunter Biden’s efforts to secure a deal with CEFC China Energy to invest in US energy projects after his father left the vice presidency in 2017. The deal ultimately fell through, and the company’s executive was later detained by Chinese authorities amid allegations of corruption.