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Hunter Biden to Plead Guilty to Tax, Gun Charges


FILE - Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, speaks to guests during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 18, 2022.
FILE - Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, speaks to guests during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 18, 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden has reached an agreement with the Justice Department to plead guilty on three federal tax and firearm charges in a deal in which he is unlikely to be imprisoned.

According to a court filing on Tuesday, the 53-year-old son of the president, long troubled by crack cocaine addiction and the focus of investigations of his overseas business transactions, will plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges for failing to pay his 2017 and 2018 taxes on time, and agree to probation.

In addition, the court filing said the Justice Department would charge Biden but agree not to prosecute him in connection with his purchase of a handgun in 2018 when he was using drugs, even though he claimed on a purchase document that he was drug-free. The deal calls for Biden to remain drug-free for two years and agree to never again own a firearm.

The agreement was hashed out over several months between lawyers for Hunter Biden and David Weiss, the chief U.S. prosecutor for the eastern state of Delaware, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump but was retained after Trump’s reelection defeat to the elder Biden in 2020 to continue to handle the politically sensitive case.

In a statement, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Christopher Clark, said, “With the announcement of two agreements between my client, Hunter Biden, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, it is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved.”

Weiss later said the investigation was “ongoing.”

“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.”

The agreement must still be approved by a federal judge. Hunter Biden is expected to appear soon in a federal court in Delaware, where the Biden family lives when they are not in Washington, and plead guilty to the misdemeanor tax charges. If there are no last-minute complications, he is unlikely to be sentenced to prison.

"The president and first lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment," White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement.

Trump and Republicans in the House of Representatives have long sought to tie Hunter Biden's overseas business deals in Ukraine and China to alleged Biden family financial wrongdoing.

Representative James Comer, who has been leading an investigation of Biden family finances, assailed the plea deal.

"Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling, and possibly bribery," he said.

Republicans have alleged that Hunter Biden was only able to secure lucrative overseas business deals by trading on the importance of his father's vice presidency and then being elected president.

Hunter Biden’s work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma from 2014 to 2019, for which U.S. media outlets say he was paid tens of thousands of dollars a month, played a role in the first impeachment case against then-President Trump.

In July 2019, with Biden looming as a possible Democratic presidential opponent, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “look into” the business and political activities of both Bidens in Ukraine. A week before the call, Trump had withheld millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump over the phone call, but the Senate acquitted him.

On Tuesday, after the Hunter Biden plea deal became known, Trump complained that the Justice Department had given him a mere “traffic ticket.”