Hunter Biden hit with federal indictment

President Biden's son faces three gun-related charges

Hunter Biden
Julia Nikhinson / Sipa / Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Image credit: Julia Nikhinson / Sipa / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, was indicted on Thursday by a Delaware grand jury and faces three federal charges stemming from his 2018 purchase of a firearm while he was addicted to a controlled narcotic. 

The indictment comes less than two months after a planned plea deal between the younger Biden and federal prosecutors fell apart at the last minute, and coincides with an intensifying effort by Republican lawmakers to investigate — and potentially impeach — President Biden for allegedly profiting off his son's various business deals, despite no evidence to support those claims. 

Hunter Biden faces charges of making false statements, including in writing, as part of his 2018 firearm purchase, knowing that as a narcotics user he was federally barred from possessing a gun. If found guilty, Biden could face "up to 25 years in prison" and significant fines, according to Politico, which also noted that "sentences are often issued below" the maximum.

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The indictment is signed by David Weiss, the federal prosecutor who handled the botched plea deal, and was subsequently elevated by Attorney General Merrick Garland to serve as Special Counsel for the matter in mid-August. While the Biden plea deal had initially covered allegations of tax crimes as well, Thursday's indictment is focused solely on the firearms violations. Further charges may be forthcoming, however, as Weiss' team has indicated they are continuing to investigate "other elements of Mr. Biden’s business activities" according to The New York Times

The younger Biden's foreign business entanglements have been at the heart of a longstanding GOP effort to link the president with his son's potentially criminal activities, culminating this week in House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into the matter. Earlier this spring, the White House stood by Hunter, with the president saying "I trust him. I have faith in him."

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Rafi Schwartz

Rafi Schwartz is a Politics Writer with The Week, where he focuses on elections, Congress, and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic, a senior writer with Splinter News, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD, The Forward, and elsewhere.

Rafi currently lives in the Twin Cities, where he does not bike, run, or take part in any team sports. He does, however, have a variety of interests, hobbies, and passions.