Hunter Biden Indicted on Felony Gun Charges

Hunter Biden has been indicted on felony firearm charges in a federal court in Delaware.
Hunter Biden Indicted on Felony Gun Charges
Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, attends an event at the White House in Washington on April 18, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek
Updated:
0:00

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden has been indicted in a federal court in Delaware on felony gun charges.

Court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Sept. 14 show that Mr. Biden was indicted on three counts in connection with allegations that he made false statements to a gun dealer and possessed a firearm while using drugs.

Two of the counts relate to allegations that Mr. Biden “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive” a gun dealer when he sought to buy a firearm in October 2018.

He “provided a written statement on Form 4473 certifying he wasn’t 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 indictment reads.

The third count relates to his possession of a Colt Cobra 38PL revolver while using and being addicted to drugs which, like the other two counts, is in violation of sections of Title 18 of the U.S. Code.

The most serious of the charges—counts one and three—carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.

Hunter Biden walks to a waiting SUV after arriving with President Joe Biden on Marine One at Fort McNair in Washington on July 4, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Hunter Biden walks to a waiting SUV after arriving with President Joe Biden on Marine One at Fort McNair in Washington on July 4, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The indictment was signed by special counsel David Weiss, who was appointed to lead the investigation by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

According to a defendant information sheet (pdf), instructions were filed on Sept. 14 for a summons to be issued for Mr. Biden to make an initial court appearance, although no further details about a court date were provided.

There was no immediate response by his legal team to the indictment.

Mr. Biden’s attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

An earlier deal under which Mr. Biden would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and agreed to take part in a program to avoid prosecution on gun-related charges collapsed at a July hearing in what was a stunning turn of events.

The indictment comes just days after House Republicans moved to open an impeachment inquiry of President Biden that relates to his son’s foreign business dealings.

The House Oversight Committee has released more than 20 examples of evidence tying President Biden to his son’s business affairs.

‘Drop in the Bucket’

Reactions to the indictment were swift on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), who’s heading a corruption investigation into the Biden family, told Epoch Times reporter Jackson Richman that the indictment is a minor development against the bigger backdrop of the committee’s probe.

“This is the least of all the crimes [Hunter Biden has] committed and the one crime that you can’t tie his father into,” he said, adding that his committee’s investigation is focused on President Biden.

“What about tax evasion? What about money laundering? What about violation of the Foreign Registration Act? And the list goes on,” Mr. Comer continued, listing other allegations against the president’s son.

A lawsuit filed recently against the Justice Department and Mr. Garland alleges that they failed in an obligation to require Mr. Biden to register as a foreign agent when he sat on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.

“We'll see what Weiss is going to do with those, but I don’t think anyone that’s keeping up with this investigation that wants to see the truth come out is real impressed with this indictment,” Mr. Comer said.

Chairman of the Full Committee on Oversight and Accountability Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) speaks during a hearing with IRS whistleblowers about the Biden family criminal investigation at the U.S. Congress in Washington on July 19, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Chairman of the Full Committee on Oversight and Accountability Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) speaks during a hearing with IRS whistleblowers about the Biden family criminal investigation at the U.S. Congress in Washington on July 19, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

He also criticized the plea deal that fell apart in July, saying that prosecutors were going to give Mr. Biden “blanket immunity” and that the investigative work of House Republicans in the Biden family probe may have played a role in the plea deal being rejected by the judge.

“But again, this is a drop in the bucket when you consider the crimes that this man has committed,” Mr. Comer said, referring to the gun charges.

Reacting to the indictment, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) told The Epoch Times that “a lot of us suspected that was going to happen.” In reference to the failed plea agreement, she said, “There’s no doubt that the sweetheart deal that they were trying to cut was inappropriate.”

“Perhaps everything that Republicans are doing to expose Hunter Biden in the mind and family is leading to them to take a closer look at some of these crimes that he committed,” Ms. Malliotakis said, raising the same argument as Mr. Comer that Republican scrutiny of the Biden family was having a wide-ranging impact.

‘Hurts the President Politically’

Democrats lamented that the indictment would likely be damaging politically to President Biden.

“I think it hurts the president politically that his son is now going through something like this,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told Epoch Times reporters on Capitol Hill.

Still, Mr. Schiff said that he hopes that voters will “distinguish between the president and his son” and judge President Biden on his record rather than be swayed by the scandals engulfing Mr. Biden.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Capitol Hill that the indictment shows that the judicial system is working as it should.

“I think we have a justice system that is working” and delivering “accountability,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.

“I think that this shows that we have a judicial system that is treating people equally.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) speaks during John Durham’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington on June 21, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) speaks during John Durham’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington on June 21, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a former prosecutor, said that he hadn’t examined the details of the indictment but that, based on prior reports, the charges seem “meritorious.”

Reacting to reports of the indictment, Gun Owners of America Senior Vice President Erich Pratt told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that he thinks the president’s son should be treated the same as everyone else before the law.

“Gun Owners of America opposes all gun control, but so long as this President continues to use every tool at his disposal to harass and criminalize guns, gun owners and gun dealers, his son should be receiving the same treatment and scrutiny as all of us,” he wrote.

Plea Deal

Initially, prosecutors agreed to allow Mr. Biden to enter a pretrial diversion agreement that likely would have seen him avoid any jail time, but that deal fell apart.
His attorneys provided a copy of the diversion agreement that their client was going to be subjected to. The agreement stipulates that Mr. Biden comply with certain conditions, including not purchasing or possessing a gun for 24 months.

In a statement accompanying the agreement, Mr. Biden admitted to using crack and powder cocaine starting in 2016 and becoming “a habitual user” the following year. He used the drugs “frequently and regularly” through May 2019.

In October 2018, Mr. Biden admitted to purchasing a firearm after checking a box on a federal form that falsely said he wasn’t a user of or addicted to illegal drugs.

He possessed the gun from Oct. 12 to Oct. 23, 2018, before it was discarded in a trashcan outside a supermarket in Delaware, according to the statement.

Earlier, the White House issued a statement indicating that President Biden stands by his son as he faces legal woes.

“The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams told The Epoch Times in an email. “We will have no further comment.”

In an earlier statement to media outlets, Christopher Clark, a former lawyer for Mr. Biden, said his then-client wants to move forward with his life.

“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,” Mr. Clark said. “He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”

Jackson Richman, Joseph Lord, and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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