In a significant development, Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, is now officially facing legal consequences. He has been indicted over a 2018 gun purchase, marking a historic moment as this is the first time a sitting president’s child has been charged by the Justice Department. This incident could potentially bring an intense trial amidst President Biden’s 2024 reelection bid. Originally, it was believed that Hunter Biden’s legal issues would conclude by summer’s end. However, complications arose after a plea deal that had been initially agreed upon with special counsel David Weiss fell through due to examination by a federal judge.
This development comes at a time when House Republicans have also initiated an impeachment inquiry concerning Hunter Biden’s overseas business ventures. Although a summons has been handed out for Hunter Biden to present himself in court, the specifics regarding the date and venue of his initial appearance remain uncertain. Currently, he resides in California. Details about whether he will voluntarily surrender or where his preliminary court appearance will be held are still being decided. Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, has openly voiced his perspective on the matter, stating that the indictment has come as a result of political interference.
He told CNN that certain Republican politicians had been applying pressure on the U.S. attorney to act in a way that would support their political standpoint. Further defending his client, Lowell stated that Hunter Biden’s possession of an unloaded gun for a mere 11 days did not pose any threat to public safety. He contrasted this with the serious implications of a prosecutor yielding to political influences. At the center of the legal case is a firearm that Hunter Biden acquired in October 2018. Allegedly, he falsely declared on a federal form that he was neither using nor addicted to any illegal drugs. This was despite his ongoing struggle with crack cocaine addiction. According to the indictment, he falsely certified on Form 4473 that he wasn’t unlawfully using or addicted to any controlled substance.
If found guilty on all accounts, Hunter Biden could be looking at a potential prison sentence of up to 25 years and may face fines amounting to $750,000. It’s crucial to note that maximum penalties are rarely given, particularly in cases involving non-violent offenses by first-time alleged offenders. The three counts of indictment involve alleged deceit in the ATF form during the gun purchase, misinformation to the gun dealer in Wilmington, and illegal possession of the firearm during his drug addiction.
A significant aspect of this case is that the gun possession law that Hunter Biden allegedly violated has come under legal scrutiny. An appeals court ruling in August deemed the statute unconstitutional. This particular law is now being challenged, especially after a New Orleans-based federal appeals court overruled it, suggesting it infringed upon the Second Amendment. Though this ruling has implications in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, its legal influence on Hunter Biden’s Delaware case remains to be seen.