The charges against Hunter Biden, explained

He's a Republican obsession. But the feds may have the goods.

Hunter Biden
(Image credit: Illustrated / AP Images, Getty Images)

The Department of Justice's investigation into Hunter Biden appears to have reached its conclusion after years of probing into President Biden's son's personal and professional history. On June 20, U.S. Attorney David Weiss announced that Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two counts of tax evasion, and would likely avoid prosecution for having illegally purchased a firearm while addicted to crack cocaine. The disclosure by Weiss, a Trump administration appointee, came eight months after The Washington Post first reported that Justice Department officials believed they had enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden on several related counts.

Because of his father's position, any move against Hunter Biden could have political consequences, especially as the elder Biden has recently launched his campaign for reelection. The president, though, has been steadfast in his support of his son, saying in a brief statement after the agreement was disclosed that he loves his son and will "support him as he continues to rebuild his life." Republicans, who have made investigating disparate allegations of Hunter Biden's foreign corruption a feature of their legislative agenda, have nevertheless vowed to continue probing the Biden family in spite of the Justice Department agreement. Politico notes that the White House has been "bracing for the political fallout" after being convinced "that Republicans will attack them over it whether President Biden's son is criminally indicted or not."

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Joel Mathis, The Week US

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who has spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His work also regularly appears in National Geographic, The Kansas City Star and Heatmap News. His awards include best online commentary at the Online News Association and (twice) at the City and Regional Magazine Association.