US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was criminally charged yesterday with deceiving a gun dealer into selling him a firearm, in the first-ever prosecution of a sitting president’s child.
The indictment filed in US District Court in Delaware charged Hunter Biden with three criminal counts related to lying about the fact that he was using illegal drugs at that time, which would have banned him under the law from owning a firearm.
The charges ensure that courtroom drama will play an outsized role in the 2024 US presidential campaign as Joe Biden, 80, seeks re-election in a likely rematch with his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, 77, who faces four upcoming criminal trials.
The new charges against Hunter Biden brought by recently elevated US Special Counsel David Weiss say nothing about any violations of US tax law. A prior deal under which Hunter Biden, 53, would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanour tax charges and enrol in a programme to avoid prosecution on a gun-related charge collapsed in a stunning turn in a July hearing.
Prosecutors accused the younger Biden of lying about his use of narcotics when he purchased a Colt Cobra handgun in October 2018.
It comes two days after House of Representatives Republicans moved to open an impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden related to Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
An attorney for Hunter Biden could not be immediately reached for comment.
Weiss was elevated to special counsel status in August after investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings for years as the US attorney in the Democratic president’s home state of Delaware. Weiss was originally nominated by Trump.
The younger Biden for years has been the focus of unrelenting attacks by Trump and his Republican allies who have accused him of wrongdoing relating to Ukraine and China, among other matters. Hunter Biden has worked as a lobbyist, lawyer, investment banker and artist and has publicly detailed his struggles with substance abuse. Hunter Biden never held a position in the White House.