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Hunter Biden to plead guilty on tax crimes, likely no jail for felony gun charge

Hunter Biden (Center for Strategic & International Studies/WikiCommons)
June 20, 2023

President Joe Biden’s adult son, Hunter Biden, has agreed to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and reached a deal that will likely keep him out of prison for a felony gun charge, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday in court filings.

A federal judge will have to approve the plea deal, and both prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s defense counsel requested a hearing for the president’s son to enter his plea.

Christopher Clark, Hunter Biden’s attorney, said in a statement that the plea deal will “resolve” the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into his client.

“Hunter will take responsibility for two instances of misdemeanor failure to file tax payments when due pursuant to a plea agreement,” Clark said, according to CNN. “A firearm charge, which will be subject to a pretrial diversion agreement and will not be the subject of the plea agreement, will also be filed by the Government. I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life. He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”

The tax violations include failure to pay in 2017 and 2018, with the combined liability totaling about $1.2 million, people familiar with the deal said. Prosecutors will likely recommend probation for the violations, the sources added.

For the criminal gun charge – one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance – Hunter Biden “agreed to enter a Pretrial Diversion Agreement with respect to the firearm Information.”

The gun charge agreement means Hunter Biden is not technically pleading guilty to the alleged crime. The Justice Department says pretrial diversion programs “divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into alternative systems of supervision and services.”

“Individuals who successfully complete a PTD program may qualify for a range of case outcomes, including the declination of charges, dismissal or reduction of charges, or a more favorable recommendation at sentencing,” the department’s website states. “Unsuccessful participants may be charged or, for participants who have already been charged, may be returned to or remain in the traditional criminal justice process.”

Sources previously told Politico that the Secret Service intervened in a case involving a missing gun owned by Hunter Biden, in which agents pressured the store owner who sold the gun to turn over paperwork involving the sale in an apparent cover-up.

In October 2018, Hunter Biden and Hallie Biden — the wife of Joe Biden’s late son Beau – were involved in an incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a garbage can behind a grocery store. The incident led to an investigation by police who were concerned because of the trash bin’s proximity to a high school, according to a police report obtained by Politico.

When Hallie returned to the trash can to retrieve the firearm, it was gone.

Secret Service agents reportedly approached StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington, Del. at which Hunter purchased the gun and asked to take the paperwork involved in the sale. Rob Palmieri, the gun store owner, refused, questioning the agents’ motives and suspecting an attempt to hide Hunter Biden’s ownership of the missing gun.

Palmieri later gave the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Secret Service later said it did not have any record of an investigation into the incident, and a spokesperson for Joe Biden said the president isn’t aware of any agency involvement.

Additionally, Politico obtained copies of the Firearms Transaction Record and receipt for purchase, revealing Hunter Biden may have lied on his background check form.

According to the record, Hunter Biden responded “no” to the question: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

Lying on ATF Form 4473 is a felony that can result in a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.