From The Washington Post,
President Biden’s son Hunter was indicted Thursday for allegedly making false statements and illegal gun possession — setting the stage for a possible criminal trial for the younger Biden in 2024 while his father campaigns for re-election.
The charges follow the collapse in July of a plea deal that lawyers for Hunter Biden had negotiated with U.S. Attorney and special counsel David Weiss, in which Biden would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax violations while admitting to illegal possession of a gun but not actually pleading guilty to that felony offense.
The original deal would have deferred the charge of illegal possession and falsifying statements on the Form 4473, both federal felony gun crimes, while still technically pleading guilty to them. The agreement would have omitted the conviction and felon title, and the resulting prohibitions, if Hunter Biden had completed the terms of the agreement and deferment to satisfaction.
Allegedly, the court reviewed the agreement and found it wanting for details while granting clemency to Hunter blanketly, again without detail, and it was rejected. This has brought us to today’s formal announcement.
A representative for Biden’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Previously his lawyers and defenders have argued that prosecutors very rarely indict people on such gun violations unless the charge can be tied to more serious crimes. To do so in Biden’s case, his lawyers have said, would be an unfair application of federal charging practices.
They are correct, the charge of falsifying is rarely used as a standalone charge and is one of those add-ons prosecutors can leverage to get something to stick or to add time to a sentence. It is, however, a federal crime to lie on the 4473.