(AP) — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter will plead guilty to federal tax offences and avoid prosecution on a separate gun charge in a deal with the Justice Department that likely spares him time behind bars.
Hunter Biden, 52, will plead guilty to the misdemeanour tax offences as part of an agreement made public Tuesday.
The agreement will also spare him prosecution on a charge of illegally possessing a firearm as a drug user, as long as adheres to conditions set by prosecutors.
It’s somewhat unusual to resolve a federal criminal case at the same time charges are filed in court, but it’s not totally unheard of.
The deal ends a long-running Justice Department investigation into Biden’s second son, who has acknowledged struggling with addiction following the 2015 death of his brother Beau Biden.
It also averts a trial that would have generated days or weeks of distracting headlines for a White House that has strenuously sought to keep its distance from the Justice Department.
While it requires the younger Biden to admit guilt, the deal is narrowly focused on tax and weapons violations rather than anything broader or tied to the Democratic president.
Nonetheless, former President Donald Trump and other Republicans are likely to continue to try to use the case to shine an unflattering spotlight on Joe Biden and his family business dealings and to raise questions about the independence of the Biden Justice Department.
Trump, in a post on his social media platform, likened the Hunter Biden deal to a “mere traffic ticket,” adding, “Our system is BROKEN!”
The White House counsel’s office said in a statement that the president and first lady Jill Biden “love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life.”