President Joe Biden on Tuesday backed his son Hunter, who struck a deal with federal prosecutors that would see him plead guilty to tax crimes and go on probation for gun charges — possibly avoiding any jail time.
Biden remains in the Bay Area until Wednesday, mostly on a fundraising tour for his 2024 presidential campaign.
But he appeared on camera for less than five minutes on Tuesday afternoon at an event about artificial intelligence policy with his ‘friend’ California Governor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco.
‘I’m very proud of my son,’ Biden said when asked about Hunter’s plea deal. He ignored them at first but then replied.
He was asked if he had spoken to Hunter today and did not respond to a pointed question about whether he had encouraged the first son to plead guilty.
The journalists were then kicked out of the room.
President Joe Biden expressed support for his son Hunter at an artificial intelligence policy event in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon.
Hunter Biden reached a deal with prosecutors that would see him plead guilty to three felonies but likely avoid jail time, according to a Justice Department filing on Tuesday.
In the past Biden has spoken of being ‘proud’ of Hunter, pointing to his recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
Justice Department legal filings on Tuesday detailed Hunter’s plea deal — which has been condemned by former President Donald Trump and his top GOP congressional allies.
The president’s son has been under investigation for five years for tax and financial charges, as well as paperwork for the purchase of a handgun in which he proved he did not abuse drugs.
This contradicted admissions in his own autobiography where he detailed an addiction to crack cocaine that led to a stint in rehab.
The deal with prosecutors must still be approved by a federal judge and comes at a time when the Justice Department is under scrutiny for its handling of high-profile investigations of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Sources told NBC prosecutors will recommend the plea — which would spare the president’s son jail time but could land him in hot water if he violates the terms. Both tax bars where he will plead guilty to misdemeanor charges.
Prosecutors will recommend two years of probation, the Washington Post reported. No further terms of probation that prosecutors would recommend were immediately available, and are subject to change by the court.
President Joe Biden (left) was dogged by questions about Hunter’s plea deal as his ‘friend’ held an artificial intelligence policy event with California Governor Gavin Newsom (right).
U.S. Attorney David Weiss asked a judge to schedule a hearing for Hunter Biden on two tax felony charges and a gun charge after a years-long investigation into the president’s son.
Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a holdover from the Trump administration, is overseeing the politically charged investigation.
A document filed in court Tuesday by Weiss says the criminal information charges the defendant with tax offenses — ‘such as two counts of willful failure to pay federal income taxes’ as well as ‘one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance.’
Regarding the gun charge, Hunter ‘agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement,’ according to Weiss.
Handling the matter as a diversion case means Hunter technically does not have to enter a guilty plea. Such cases are reserved for people with a clean record and those facing non-violent charges who meet multiple criteria. They are intended to reduce recidivism and are often applied to people dealing with substance abuse problems.
The letter states that prosecutors and Biden’s lawyer, Christopher Clark, have jointly requested a court appearance on the firearms diversion and a plea hearing on tax charges.
Clark said in a statement: ‘With the announcement of two settlements between my client Hunter Biden and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, I understand that Hunter’s five-year investigation has been resolved.’
Hunter will plead guilty to two counts of failure to pay taxes, according to a plea deal. A firearms charge, which would be subject to a pretrial diversion agreement and not the subject of a plea agreement, would also be filed by the government. I know Hunter believes it’s important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during his life of turmoil and addiction. He is looking forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward,’ he said.
‘The President and First Lady love and support their son as he continues to rebuild his life. We have no further comment,’ said White House spokesman Ian Sams
US Attorney David Weiss said Hunter Biden has agreed to enter into a ‘diversion agreement’ in which the defendants can plead guilty to the charges without entering a formal guilty plea.
Hunter Biden’s problems have been an ongoing theme during the Biden administration. Here President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden attend the University of Pennsylvania’s 267th commencement ceremony at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
The gun charge dates back to a period in which Hunter was involved with his late brother, Beau’s widow, Haley Biden.
The plea deal allows Hunter Biden to put a long-running federal investigation behind him, though House Republicans have blasted the deal and are expected to continue their own investigation into the alleged corruption.
In 2021, Hunter reportedly paid back the feds for back taxes, more than two years after the investigation into his finances was revealed. The New York Times reported that he told an associate that the amount was more than $1 million, and that he needed a loan to pay off what he owed the government.
The Hunter investigation has been a long-running political issue for the Biden administration, and throughout the presidency the White House has had to respond to questions about his expensive art sales with multiple revelations about his business dealings and personal life gleaned from his laptop. .
The investigation into alleged gun violations coincides with a period of repeated mass shootings, and the president’s calls for more restrictions, including a ban on assault-style weapons.
Republicans are hitting the administration with allegations of uneven administration of justice after a federal grand jury indicted Trump on charges of willfully withholding national security documents and conspiring to obstruct an investigation into the matter.
The former president faces a court date currently scheduled for August on the 37-count indictment — in the heat of the Republican presidential primaries.
A separate investigation into classified material uncovered at President Biden’s home and former office is ongoing.
House Republicans have demanded special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the Trump investigation as well as the Jan. 6 probe, be handed over materials about how the initial decision was made.
The plea deal comes despite President Biden telling MSNBC: ‘First of all my son has done nothing wrong. I trust him, I have faith.
‘And it affects my president and makes me proud of him.’
Hunter’s failure to pay taxes came from a time when he was doing deals around the world as a high-flying international lawyer, while also using drugs, according to his autobiography.
His dealings extended from Ukraine, where he won a lucrative position on the board of the Burisma energy firm, to trips to China where Biden is accused of trying to use his father’s influence while vice president to protect the business.
Information gleaned from his infamous laptop, which Wilmington repair shop owner Hunter said was dropped off for computer support but never recovered, shows him posing naked with a gun and smoking what appears to be a crack pipe while lying in bed. .
‘The President and First Lady love and support their son as he continues to rebuild his life. We have no further comment,’ said White House spokesman Ian Sams.
The guilty plea is unlikely to be the end of the matter for Hunter Biden or his father. House Republicans have already set up multiple investigations into the Biden administration and are focusing on members of his family.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer is demanding possession of an FBI file on a whistleblower’s claims of repeated ‘bribes’. He called the allegations ‘very credible’, but was yet to provide evidence.
Kamar dismissed the plea deal as a ‘lover’s’ deal.
Trump hammered the ‘corrupt’ Justice Department about an hour after news of the deal by his appointed US attorney broke.
‘What a great! Corrupt Biden DOJ clears Hunter Biden of hundreds of years of criminal liability with a mere “traffic ticket.” Our system is broken!’ Trump wrote on his Truth social platform.
In 2018, Trump praised Weiss when he nominated her before she was confirmed by the Senate. He said Weiss and the other candidates “share the president’s vision for making America safe again.”
Biden kept Weiss after a transition in the DOJ administration.
He met with Hunter’s team in April to discuss the case, a sign it had reached its conclusion.
Hunter Biden disclosed the investigation in December 2020, weeks before his father took office. It had been running for about two years at that time.
The gun charge relates to a time in 2018 when Hunter became involved with the widow of his brother, the late Beau Biden. His sister-in-law allegedly took his handgun and threw it in a dumpster.
A man recovered the gun, which got federal authorities involved. Eventually this led to a search for papers to buy a gun.
Hunter Biden, like other handgun buyers, had to answer the question: ‘Are you an illegal user or addict of marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic or other controlled substance?’
He didn’t answer.
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