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Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, will plead guilty to three federal charges. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Hunter Biden to plead guilty

June 20, 2023

By Kara Scannell, Evan Perez and Paula Reid, CNN

(CNN) — Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, will plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and struck a deal with federal prosecutors regarding a felony gun charge, the Justice Department said Tuesday in court filings.

The plea deal will have immediate reverberations in the 2024 presidential election.

The charges were detailed in a criminal filing in US District Court in Delaware, where the US Attorney David Weiss, a Donald Trump appointee, has been conducting the investigation that at one time explored allegations of money laundering, foreign lobbying and other potential charges.

Hunter Biden’s attorney said in a statement that the deal with federal prosecutors will “resolve” the Justice Department’s long-running criminal probe into the president’s son.

“Hunter will take responsibility for two instances of misdemeanor failure to file tax payments when due pursuant to a plea agreement,” said Christopher Clark. “A firearm charge, which will be subject to a pretrial diversion agreement and will not be the subject of the plea agreement, will also be filed by the Government. I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life. He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”

In a brief statement, the White House said the Bidens “love their son.”

“The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment,” said White House spokesman Ian Sams.

Trump criticized the Hunter Biden plea deal on Truth Social.

‘Wow! The corrupt Biden DOJ just cleared up hundreds of years of criminal liability by giving Hunter Biden a mere “traffic ticket.” Our system is BROKEN!’

Negotiations to reach a plea deal intensified in recent weeks. Hunter Biden’s legal team sought a meeting with the Justice Department in April, which Weiss attended, and where Hunter Biden’s lawyers gave a presentation detailing why they believe Hunter Biden shouldn’t be charged. Part of their argument included that Hunter Biden paid back taxes owed, including penalties.

Firearms investigation and tax charges

Prosecutors had been examining a 2018 incident in which a firearm owned by Hunter Biden ended up tossed by his then-girlfriend into a dumpster in Wilmington, a person briefed on the matter said. Hunter Biden described in media interviews in 2021 that he was addicted to drugs, which raised the possibility he broke federal law when he bought the firearm.

Federal law prohibits firearms purchases by anyone who uses or is addicted to illegal drugs and CNN previously reported that federal prosecutors were weighing possible charges connected to making a false statement related to the gun purchase.

Hunter Biden previously told associates he has paid outstanding tax bills and, according to public records, more than $450,000 in state liens in Washington, DC, were lifted in 2020 – an indication that those liabilities were likely paid off.

Investigators, however, continued to scrutinize the source of the funds that Hunter Biden used to pay his tax bills. Emails to Hunter Biden that were authenticated by a forensic expert for CNN show that in 2018 and 2019, Biden’s debts piled up, even as he received repeated warnings from his bank, his accountant and others.

He was repeatedly warned about his tax obligations, according to the emails, but his attorney told CNN in July 2022 that those years were difficult times for Hunter Biden, given his addiction issues. Clark has said that his client has now “fully paid” his IRS tax debts.

Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled House has been scrutinizing Hunter Biden’s financial dealings and exploring the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation as well as any involvement by other Biden family members in overseas deals.

Lawyers for an IRS whistleblower who claims that interference exists in the investigation met with Democratic and Republican congressional investigators to lay the groundwork for what their client hopes to share with Congress, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The IRS whistleblower claimed to have information that “contradicts sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee,” according to a letter from the whistleblower’s attorney. That senior political appointee was Garland, people familiar with the matter told CNN.

One whistleblower who worked for the FBI also has complained to Republican lawmakers that the Justice Department wouldn’t allow agents to take more aggressive investigative steps in the Hunter Biden probe.

Republicans in the House threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress until he agreed to let them to review a document that summarized claims from an informant who alleged that Joe Biden traded policy actions in exchange for millions of dollars in payments to his family. The informant’s claims were not corroborated by investigators.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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