Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, has pleaded guilty to violating tax and gun laws. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Hunter Biden admitted to two counts of tax evasion, according to a court document. The agreement reportedly includes a probationary sentence for the 53-year-old. In a separate case, he admitted to possessing a firearm while being a drug user, a violation of federal law. However, he could avoid prosecution in this case if he meets certain conditions, such as staying drug-free for two years and never possessing a firearm again.
The plea deal was reached to avoid a trial that could have politically damaged his father. Hunter Biden still needs to appear before a judge to have the agreement approved. His lawyer, Christopher Clark, said that his client wants to take responsibility for the mistakes he made during a difficult phase in his life.
It is not uncommon for plea agreements to be made in criminal cases, where prosecutors give a defendant certain concessions in exchange for a confession of guilt.
President Biden expressed support for his son, whose previous drug problems have long been known. The White House said that the president and first lady love their son and are supporting him as he rebuilds his life.
Former President Donald Trump immediately attacked the plea agreement, accusing the "corrupt Biden Justice Department" of sparing Hunter Biden from criminal liability.
This case has political implications as Hunter Biden has been a target of attacks from Republicans for years. They have raised corruption allegations related to his foreign business dealings in Ukraine and China. Joe Biden has dismissed attacks on his son as a smear campaign.