Hunter Biden accused of lying about drug addiction while buying guns

WASHINGTON – First son Hunter Biden was charged Thursday in Delaware by special prosecutor David Weiss on three counts related to lying about being a crack addict when he bought a gun nearly five years ago, two days after House Republicans House of Representatives will begin an impeachment investigation into President Biden. role in Hunter’s foreign businesses.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and Hunter, now 53, could face additional criminal cases in D.C. and Los Angeles for tax fraud and illegal foreign lobbying, among other possible charges.

The first son is accused of lying about his drug use on a gun purchase form in 2018, when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver during a period in which he admitted in his 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things” that he was abusing narcotics.

“Hunter Biden knowingly made a false written statement on Form 4473, with the intent and likely to deceive the merchant,” Weiss’ office said, and then “during an 11-day period between October 12 and October 23, 2018, Hunter Biden possessed a firearm knowing he was an illegal user or addict [drugs], in violation of federal law.” The gun was discarded in a trash can behind a grocery store late in the day by his first daughter-in-law, Hallie Biden, who was married to Hunter’s brother, Beau, until her death in 2015 and later dated Hunter. .

Charges against Hunter Biden

COUNT 1: False statement in the purchase of a firearm

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; a fine of $250,000; 3 years of supervised release; a special assessment of $100.

COUNT 2: False statement relating to information required to be maintained by a federally licensed firearms dealer

He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison; a fine of $250,000; 3 years of supervised release; a special assessment of $100.

COURT 3: Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal User or Addict of a Controlled Substance

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; a fine of $250,000; 3 years of supervised release; a special assessment of $100.

“That’s one of about a dozen crimes that Hunter Biden committed, and ironically, that’s the only crime he committed that Joe Biden can’t be linked to,” said House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), to reporters outside the Capitol.

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“So, we’ll see what happens with the other 11 crimes that the president’s son committed.”

Comer added that the case would “absolutely” cause House Republicans to change course in their impeachment inquiry and urged Weiss to file charges “for money laundering, violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.” . [FARA]tax evasion, the list goes on and on.”

Hunter Biden, naked and with a gun at his side.Hunter Biden allegedly lied about the fact that he was addicted to crack cocaine when he bought a gun in 2018.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), who is leading the impeachment inquiry into the president, told reporters outside the Capitol that gun charges should be followed of other accusations.

“That’s one of about a dozen crimes that Hunter Biden committed and, ironically, that’s the only crime he committed that Joe Biden can’t be linked to,” Comer said.

“So we’ll see what happens with the other 11 crimes that the president’s son committed.”

Comer said the case “would not change the course of the impeachment process at all” and urged Weiss to now file charges “for money laundering, violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, tax evasion, and the list goes on and on.” ”.

Another Republican, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, told CNN that “having Hunter charged with carrying weapons is like accusing Jeffery Dahmer of littering.”

Hunter abandoned a plea deal in July that would have given him two years of probation for failing to pay more than $2 million in taxes on foreign income from countries including China and Ukraine. As part of that deal, Hunter would have admitted to the weapons offense, but would have been expunged after completing probation.

The investigation announced by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will focus on President Biden’s involvement in his family’s overseas businesses, which centered on Hunter and his first brother, James Biden. .

The impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) focuses on President Biden’s alleged involvement in Hunter and his first brother James Biden’s overseas businesses.

Comer said Tuesday that the panel would subpoena the bank records of Hunter and James Biden, including to determine whether any foreign funds flowed to the president.

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White House spokesman Ian Sams declined to comment on the allegation, saying, “We will refer it to Hunter’s personal representatives or the Department of Justice.”

Hunter’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, said in an interview with CNN that if the case were to go to trial, he is prepared to dispute the facts of the case.

“At the time he bought his gun, I don’t think there was any evidence that that was when he was suffering,” Lowell said, referring to Hunter’s crack and cocaine addiction.

The attorney also said he would argue in court that the diversion agreement remains in effect for gun crimes, and said the indictment “violates the agreement the government made with Hunter Biden,” which he called “a standalone agreement.”

“The constitutionality of these charges is very much in question,” Lowell said, calling them “unique and unwarranted.”

“Hunter had an unloaded gun for 11 days. He has never faced a charge like this in the United States,” he said.

hunter bidenA plea deal with Hunter’s lawyers publicly collapsed during a court hearing in July.REUTERS

Hunter Biden abandoned the previous plea deal after his legal team demanded that federal prosecutors assert in a July 26 court hearing that he had blanket immunity for all past conduct, including alleged FARA violations that were not charged in the case. initial agreement.

Randy Zelin, a law professor at Cornell University who specializes in white-collar criminal defense, told The Post that he expects Biden’s lawyers to file a “Santebello motion” arguing that the plea deal should be enforced.

“By all indications, Hunter Biden’s lawyers have been holding up their end of the deal. He has been complying with the terms of the diversion agreement, he has been behaving well. His position, I think, is that they will file a motion to enforce that prior plea agreement,” he said.

Critics of Weiss’s initial handling of weapons and tax charges denounced the earlier agreement as a sign of preferential treatment.

Rapper Kodak Black’s attorney noted at the time that his client was sentenced in 2019 to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to providing an incorrect Social Security number on a federal gun purchase form to purchase three guns in one. Miami area store.

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“Two levels of justice?” wrote the rapper’s attorney, Bradford Cohen. “Kodak was accused of the same crime. I have more than 3 years. Mr. Biden will not serve a day. Is he feeling good?”

Weiss was nominated as US attorney by former President Donald Trump in 2017. He was recommended for the position by two Democratic senators from Delaware, who are close allies of Biden, and previously served as acting US attorney under President Barack Obama.

The New York Times reported last month that Weiss said earlier this year that he did not want to bring any charges against Hunter Biden after Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys allegedly blocked him from bringing tax charges in the nation’s capital and in southern California.

Weiss reportedly decided he would charge Hunter Biden only after IRS agent Gary Shapley alleged a cover-up in the case in April, resulting in the announcement of the probation plea deal, which since then it was aborted, in June.

Shapley and another whistleblower, IRS case agent Joseph Ziegler, said prosecutors in Weiss’ office prevented them from investigating President Biden’s alleged role in his son’s foreign ventures, despite communications directly implicating him. , such as a threatening WhatsApp message from July 30, 2017 in which Hunter Biden wrote to a business partner linked to the Chinese government that he was “sitting here with my father” and warned of the consequences if a deal was canceled, immediately before the flow of $5.1 million to accounts linked to Biden.

Shapley and Ziegler say prosecutors tipped off Hunter Biden about a planned search of a storage unit and an interview approach and were denied full access to Hunter Biden’s laptop records and were not informed about a file of an FBI informant describing a $10 million bribery allegation in Ukraine, which was forwarded in 2020 to Weiss’ office.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who twice testified before Congress that Weiss had the power to bring charges against Hunter Biden outside of Delaware, granted Weiss special counsel powers on Aug. 11 so he could bring tax charges in other jurisdictions.

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