US Justice Charges President's Son Hunter Biden with Multiple Offenses
The US Justice Department has charged Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, with multiple offenses. The Delaware State Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday that the 53-year-old is facing two counts of tax-related offenses and a violation of firearms regulations. Hunter Biden has agreed to plead guilty to the tax charges and has reached an agreement regarding the firearms offense to avoid a trial. He is required to appear in court, where a judge would need to approve the deal.
Investigations against Hunter Biden have been ongoing for several years. According to the prosecutor's office, his taxable income exceeded $1.5 million (approximately €1.37 million) in both 2017 and 2018. He failed to timely pay the federal income tax due, which amounted to over $100,000 in each of the two years. Additionally, the prosecution alleges that he unlawfully possessed a firearm in 2018. When purchasing the weapon, he concealed his drug addiction. As a drug user, he should not have been able to acquire a firearm.
The "New York Times" and other US media outlets reported that through an agreement with the prosecution, Hunter Biden could avoid imprisonment and be sentenced to probation. In relation to the firearms offense, the deal would reportedly be conditional on him remaining drug-free for two years and committing to never own a firearm again. Hunter Biden has publicly disclosed his long-standing drug addiction in a book.
It is not uncommon for plea agreements to occur in criminal cases, where the prosecution offers certain concessions in exchange for a guilty plea. However, Hunter Biden has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the past.
The situation is politically sensitive as well. Joe Biden intends to run for a second term in the 2024 election. Hunter Biden has been the target of political attacks from Republicans, particularly former President Donald Trump, for years. Trump accused Hunter Biden of corruption related to business dealings in Ukraine and China. Meanwhile, Trump himself has faced charges in New York and Florida in recent months for various allegations. Trump is set to face trials in both cases. Several Republicans have now complained that there is a two-tier justice system in the United States, with Hunter Biden being treated leniently.
With their majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans have initiated investigations into Hunter Biden's financial dealings. The Republican committee chairman, James Comer, announced that these investigations would continue regardless of the new developments. Joe Biden has consistently dismissed attacks against his son as defamation. The White House responded to the recent charges, stating, "The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he rebuilds his life. We will not provide further comment."