Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is facing intensified scrutiny as he has been indicted on nine tax charges in California. This development comes amid a special counsel investigation into his business dealings, just as the 2024 election looms.
The charges against Hunter Biden include three felonies and six misdemeanors. In addition to these, he also faces federal firearms charges in Delaware for allegedly breaking a law that prohibits drug users from having guns, dating back to 2018.
Initially, it was believed that Hunter would plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges as part of a plea deal. These charges accused him of failing to pay taxes on $4 million of personal income between 2017 and 2018. However, his defense attorneys now plan to contest any new charges brought against him.
The plea deal fell apart in July when a judge raised concerns about its validity. Critics, including Republicans investigating Hunter Biden's business dealings and the Justice Department's handling of the case, had already labeled it a "sweetheart deal."
Despite ongoing questions surrounding the ethics of the Biden family's international business, there is currently no evidence to suggest that Joe Biden, either in his present or past positions, misused his power or accepted bribes.
Hunter Biden's Legal Woes: An Overview
The criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, led by Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, has been ongoing since 2018. The investigation was expected to conclude with a plea deal that Hunter Biden had intended to strike with prosecutors over the summer. Under this deal, he would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax evasion charges and made a separate agreement regarding the gun charge. Instead of facing jail time, he would have served two years of probation.
However, the plea deal fell through, leading to a dispute over the validity of certain provisions. Defense attorneys argue that the immunity provisions outlined in the agreement should still hold, as they were signed by a prosecutor before the deal was abandoned. Prosecutors, on the other hand, contend that these provisions are invalid since they were not signed by a judge.
In response to the collapsed deal, prosecutors filed three federal gun charges against Hunter Biden. These charges allege that he lied about his drug use in order to purchase and possess a gun for 11 days in 2018. It is worth noting that gun possession by "habitual drug users" is prohibited by federal law. However, the standalone use of this charge has been questioned by a federal appeals court.
According to a draft plea agreement filed in Delaware court, Hunter Biden's struggle with substance abuse had intensified following the death of his brother, Beau Biden, in 2015. During the years 2017 and 2018, he earned a substantial income amounting to $2.6 million from business and consulting fees associated with a company he co-founded with the CEOs of a Chinese business conglomerate and the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. However, he failed to fulfill his tax obligations during that period.
While he eventually filed his taxes in 2020, it was not until the following year that the outstanding taxes were paid by a third party, according to prosecutors.
Hunter Biden's legal situation continues to unfold, leaving many questions unanswered. As the investigation progresses, the outcome and resolution of these charges remain uncertain.