Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced a trio of firearms-related charges against Hunter Biden, apparently making good on a recent suggestion from special counsel David Weiss that such a development was imminent after a plea deal between the first son and the government collapsed earlier this summer, as The Hill reports.
The outlet explains that Hunter Biden now faces counts of failing to disclose his drug use in an application to purchase a firearm – an infraction yielding two charges and also unlawful possession of a gun while in the midst of addiction to a controlled substance.
According to NBC News, the allegations against Hunter Biden stem from the conduct surrounding his October 2018 purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver.
As articulated on the indictment documents, Biden is accused of certifying on a federally required form “that he was not 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.
As NBC News notes, two of the counts leveled against Hunter Biden carry maximum terms of 10 years' incarceration, while the third charge brings a maximum penalty of five years. Each of the counts can also result in a fine of $250,000.
In the wake of the indictment's announcement, the White House declined specific comment, but referred inquiries to the Justice Department and Hunter Biden's own lawyers.
Defense attorney Abbe Lowell, representing the first son, issued a statement characterizing the charges as unwarranted and motivated solely by politics.
“We believe these charges are barred by the agreement the prosecutors made with Mr. Biden, the recent rulings by several federal courts that this statute is unconstitutional, and the facts that he did not violate that law, and we plan to demonstrate all of that in court.”
Lowell also subsequently noted that two of the charges his client now faces were not part of the initial case in which the aforementioned failed plea agreement was reached earlier this year, complaining, “prosecutors filed charges today that they deemed were not warranted just six weeks ago following a five-year investigation into this case.”
“The evidence in this matter has not changed in the last six weeks, but the law has and so has MAGA Republicans' improper and partisan interference in this process. Hunter Biden possessing an unloaded gun for 11 days was not a threat to public safety, but a prosecutor, with all the power imaginable, bending to political pressure presents a grave threat to our system of justice,” Lowell went on.
Not surprisingly, several prominent Republicans had a rather different take on the situation, though not all believe that the indictment is an indication that justice is at long last coming to the Bidens.
GOP primary hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was particularly skeptical, saying on Thursday, as Fox News noted, “Today's indictment of Hunter Biden is a smokescreen. Don't fall for it. This is a fig leaf designed to deflect attention away from the real problem: the Biden family is selling out U.S. foreign policy for their own family's private financial gain.”
“It's also no accident that today's indictment comes at a moment when President Biden's own popularity within the Democratic Party is cratering. I predict this is the first step for the Democratic Party managerial class to pressure Joe Biden out of the race. Biden will become a sacrificial pawn in service to the deep state that wants to keep power at all costs,” Ramaswamy added.
Adding his two cents on Thursday's news was former President Donald Trump, who echoed the sentiments of many by opining on Truth Social that the DOJ took action on “the only crime that Hunter Biden committed that does not implicate Crooked Joe Biden,” and is something designed primarily to spare the president the type of serious legal scrutiny he might otherwise face. Whether these are the only charges the first son is likely to face in the weeks and months to come, however, only time will tell.