Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted Thursday on federal gun charges less than two months after a plea agreement fell apart over tax and gun charges.
The indictment charges Hunter Biden with knowingly deceiving a firearms dealer when buying a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver on Oct. 12, 2018. He is charged with falsely filling out a federal firearms form denying he was addicted to any narcotics. And he is charged with knowingly possessing the revolver despite the restrictions against drug addicts owning firearms.
Hunter Biden has acknowledged he was a drug addict at the time.
The charges revive the prospect that Hunter Biden could be jailed if convicted and rekindle his role as a lightning rod for political criticism as his father runs for reelection in 2024. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted − five years for the false statement to the dealer, 10 years for the false statement on the federal form and 10 years for possession of the firearm − but actual sentences typically are shorter than the maximum, according to the Justice Department.
Republicans had criticized the plea agreement:
Which could have carried no jail time, as a “sweetheart deal” and called for a new investigation.
Instead, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware who had investigated Hunter Biden for five years before reaching the plea agreement, to be a special counsel to continue his investigation.
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, speaks to guests during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 18, 2022, in Washington.
What happened with Hunter Biden’s plea deal?
Biden was set to plead guilty in July to two misdemeanor charges for not paying his taxes in 2017 and 2018, which he has since paid. He was also set to enter a pretrial program for a gun charge, which would have resulted in the charge being dropped if he complied with program’s requirements.