Hunter Biden indicted on firearms charges

Hunter Biden indicted on firearms charges

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was indicted Thursday on three criminal counts related to his possession of a firearm, a court filing showed.

The charges in U.S. District Court in Delaware came weeks after the unexpected collapse of a deal with federal prosecutors.

Hunter Biden, who has been open about his substance abuse struggles, is charged in two of the counts with lying about his illegal drug use in connection with his purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver. The third count charges him with possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful drug user.

The two most serious counts carry maximum sentences of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fines.

The White House and an attorney for Hunter Biden did not respond to an initial request for comment.

Hunter Biden arrives at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base after disembarking from Air Force One with his father, U.S. President Joe Biden, in Syracuse, New York, Feb. 4, 2023.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

The 53-year-old son of the sitting president had appeared in federal court in July with the intention of pleading guilty to misdemeanor criminal tax charges.

His attorneys had reached a separate pretrial diversion agreement with prosecutors on an unrelated firearms charge.

But the plan fell apart after the presiding judge probed the prosecutor and Biden’s attorney about the details of the agreement.

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Biden pleaded not guilty in that hearing on the charges of failing to pay federal taxes on more than $1.5 million annually in 2017 and 2018. That tax bill has since been repaid.

U.S. Attorney David Weiss and Biden’s lawyers have since argued in dueling court filings over whether their prior agreement to let Hunter escape prosecution on the felony weapons charge is in effect.

“We believe the signed and filed diversion agreement [on the gun charge] remains valid and prevents any additional charges from being filed against Mr. Biden,” Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell said this month. The attorney stressed that Biden “has been abiding by the conditions of release under that agreement for the last several weeks, including regular visits by the probation office.”

Earlier in September, Weiss, who had been appointed special counsel in Hunter Biden’s case by Attorney General Merrick Garland, signaled that prosecutors would file an indictment by the end of the month.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

CNBC’s Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.

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