Hunter Biden has just arrived at the courthouse for his plea hearing
Hunter Biden appeared in a federal courthouse in Delaware, where a judge reviewed a plea agreement concerning tax crimes, following a five-year federal investigation into his finances. The agreement entails admitting to willful failure to pay income tax and pleading guilty to felony gun possession. The plea deal is likely to spare Hunter Biden from prison time, much to the dissatisfaction of Republicans. However, it is yet to be determined if sentencing will take place on the same day.
The agreement acknowledges drug use as a contributing factor to the gun possession charge. As part of the diversion plan, Hunter Biden must remain drug-free for two years and refrain from any additional criminal activities to have the gun count dismissed. It is important to note that this does not amount to a guilty plea.
The charges also include two misdemeanor tax violations related to Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes for 2017 and 2018. He earned over $1.5 million in income each year during that period and has since fully repaid back taxes and fines. The felony gun charge pertains to his possession of a handgun as a drug user in 2018.
The plea hearing attracted significant attention from Republican lawmakers, who raised concerns about the handling of the case and potential special treatment or leniency granted to Hunter Biden. House Republicans submitted a court filing before the hearing, requesting the judge to consider recent statements from IRS officials involved in the tax probe.
Despite the criticism, the White House and Justice Department have asserted that the investigation was conducted independently, free from political interference. The judge is expected to consider all relevant briefs but will likely not be influenced by external factors such as media coverage or politics.
The investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings faced various challenges from the beginning, with political attacks from the right and legal actions against his critics. President Biden has expressed pride in his son amidst the ongoing scrutiny.