Washington, Jun 20 (EFE).- Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, has been charged with a felony firearm offense and with two misdemeanor tax counts, the Department of Justice said Tuesday in court filings.
The papers were filed in Delaware federal court by US Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss, an appointee of former President Donald Trump.
The filings said the 53-year-old Hunter Biden will plead guilty to failing to pay his 2017 and 2018 federal income taxes on time (he later paid all of the back taxes he owed). In turn, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of probation that will likely allow him to avoid prison time.
On the felony weapons charge – lying about his drug use when purchasing a handgun – Weiss’ office said Hunter Biden has agreed to enter a so-called “pretrial diversion agreement,” a mechanism that typically allows defendants to avoid prosecution by agreeing to undergo a drug treatment program.
If approved by a federal judge, the deal with the Justice Department could signify the end of a years-long investigation of Hunter Biden.
Republicans have tried to pounce on that probe to shed doubts on the business dealings of the president’s son and to paint the Biden family as corrupt.
After the plea agreement was announced Tuesday, top Republicans seized on the news to slam alleged bias in the Justice Department.
Rep. James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky and chairman of the US House of Representatives committee that is investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings abroad, said the president’s son is “getting away with a slap on the wrist.”
He added that “growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling and possibly bribery.”
“We will not rest until the full extent of President Biden’s involvement in the family’s schemes are revealed.”
The Hunter Biden plea deal comes as the 2024 presidential race is starting to heat up and as the 77-year-old Trump – the frontrunner for the GOP nomination – faces a 37-count federal criminal indictment, unsealed earlier this month, for the alleged mishandling of highly sensitive classified documents.
Those charges include 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Trump also railed against the Hunter Biden plea deal on his Truth Social messaging platform.
“The corrupt Biden DOJ just cleared up hundreds of years of criminal liability by giving Hunter Biden a mere ‘traffic ticket.’ Our system is BROKEN!” he wrote.
The White House, meanwhile, issued a brief statement saying the president and first lady “love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life.” EFE