Special counsel David Weiss indicted Hunter Biden on three drug-related gun charges Thursday, just two days after the House opened a formal impeachment inquiry targeting his father, President Joe Biden.
The three-count indictment accuses Hunter Biden of lying on a form to purchase a Colt Cobra revolver by not revealing his addiction to crack cocaine. Conviction on the three charges could bring Biden up to 25 years in prison.
The three federal charges come after an initial plea deal for misdemeanor charges over tax and gun charges fell apart.
The younger Biden was set to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges over the summer, but U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in July asked several questions about the scope of the deal. Defense lawyers and prosecutors disagreed on whether it shielded the president’s son from future prosecution. After that, the deal collapsed and Biden pleaded not guilty.
Two of the charges are related to allegations that the president’s son lied on the gun-purchase form by claiming to be drug free. The third charge alleges that he possessed the gun while using narcotics.
According to the indictment, the younger Biden on Oct. 12, 2018, “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that [firearms] dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm.”
The indictments says that “the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, provided a written statement on Form 4473 certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.”
The federal investigation of Biden, now 53, has been going on since 2018.
The indictment comes after Attorney General Merrick Garland last month appointed Weiss as special counsel. Weiss previously was conducting the probe as U.S. attorney for Delaware, a position to which he was appointed by then-President Donald Trump with the endorsement of the state’s two Democratic senators.
Garland is scheduled to appear next week before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee to answer questions, which could shed more light on the investigation.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., wrote: “Today’s charges against Hunter Biden are a very small start, but unless U.S. Attorney Weiss investigates everyone involved in the fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden’s DOJ [Department of Justice] is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy.”
The indictment alleges that from Oct. 12 through Oct. 23, 2018, the president’s son, “knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance … did knowingly possess a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver with serial number RA 551363, said firearm having been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.”
It’s not clear whether Weiss will move forward on indicting the younger Biden on any of the tax charges that surfaced in the failed plea deal.
But the House’s impeachment inquiry into the president revolves largely around his son’s financial and business activities, including in China and Ukraine, and their potential links to the president. The senior Biden was President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2009 to 2017.
The New York Times reported that the Weiss team would continue to investigate financial activity, particularly whether the younger Biden may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The special counsel has continued to investigate his failure to file tax returns in 2017 and 2018, according to the Times.
When Biden bought the handgun in 2018, he replied “no” to a question asking whether he has been using drugs. Lying on the federal gun form is a felony.
The gun drama involved Hallie Biden, widow of Hunter Biden’s older brother, Beau Biden, who was in a relationship with him at the time. Hallie Biden reportedly dropped the handgun in a public trash can outside a market in Delaware that was close to a school.
The White House press office referred questions on the matter to Ian Sams, senior adviser to the White House counsel’s office. Sams did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s inquiries for this report.
Ken McIntyre contributed to this report, which was corrected shortly after publication to say that conviction on all three charges could bring up to 25 years in prison.
The caption was also corrected to reflect a potential prison term of up to 25 years.
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