Hunter Biden, the president’s son, had his attorneys present a dismissal motion for his indictment on firearm-related charges in federal court in Delaware earlier this week. Biden’s attorneys contend that the indictment goes against a previously agreed upon plea deal, which, they argue, is still in effect.
David Weiss, Special Counsel, charged Hunter Biden with false statements in a firearm transaction, fraudulent statements required by a licensed firearms dealer, and possession of a firearm by someone unlawfully using or addicted to controlled substances.
Hunter Biden largely denied all allegations as of October last year. The underlying plea deal, which incorporated a deferment agreement, had fallen through by late July.
As part of the forfeited agreement, Biden was slated to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges pertaining to the willful non-payment of federal income taxes, originally sparing him the potential incarceration that might be associated with a felony gun conviction. This arrangement unraveled during his recent court appearance.
The argument from Biden’s attorneys, led by Lowell, is that the indictment of their client is in violation of the deferral agreement standing between Hunter Biden and the prosecutorial team. Lowell draws attention to the prime agreement, criticized by some as overly generous. He points out that the prosecution had stated as early as July that they would not file firearms charges ‘based on the firearm specified in the factual narrative to the deferment agreement.’
The prosecution, however, later acted contrary to this statement, which Lowell argues is manifest in the three felony firearm indictments pressing down upon Mr. Biden, all of which, quite tellingly, refer to the firearm pin-pointed in the factual narrative of the deferment agreement. Lowell goes on to assert that the indictment should be dropped, seeing as Hunter Biden forfeited crucial rights with the expectation of non-prosecution, a promise that, in their view, should be upheld.
Lowell writes in the legal document that, as part of the agreement, Hunter Biden relinquished crucial rights, all in return for a commitment from the prosecution to not press charges of the nature in question here. He further accentuates the matter by emphasizing that political pressures and public criticism should not be equated with legal cause to backtrack on an agreement duly noted by the court. He is of the opinion that it’s incumbent upon the court to require the prosecution to follow through with the pledges it made.
Calling on the court to enforce its agreement and hence dismiss the indictment was the crux of Lowell’s statement. The potential penalties, if convicted on all counts, could see Hunter Biden face up to a maximum of 25 years in prison. Each of the counts carries a potential fine of up to $250,000 and comes with a three-year supervised release.
The presiding Magistrate Judge, Christopher Burke, released Hunter Biden under a set of provisions. These included actively seeking employment and notifying authorities about any plans for international travel. The conditions also carried a clause barring the possession of firearms. The president’s son is also bound to avoid alcohol and drugs, participate in random drug tests, and enrol in a counseling program for substance abuse.
A source familiar with the issue shared details from an October 23, 2018, police report with Fox News. The report suggests that Hunter Biden’s gun was disposed of in a dumpster near a school by Hallie Biden, who was in a romantic relationship with him at the time and also the widow of the President’s late son, Beau. This occurred a few years after Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy due to a positive cocaine test in 2014.
These federal gun-related charges are the first legal actions taken against Hunter Biden by Special Counsel David Weiss since his appointment in August. However, these charges are separate from additional proceedings Hunter Biden is facing in California, which also originate from Weiss’s investigation.
Late last week, Weiss went on to raise charges against Biden, citing a ‘four-year plot’ whereby the president’s son allegedly neglected to pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020. Furthermore, he also alleged filing of false tax reports. The charges were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
On breaking down, the charges amount to three felonies and six misdemeanors, with a focal point of roughly $1.4 million in tax arrears, which have already been settled. Given the ongoing nature of this case, further updates are to be expected.