By: Ethan Erickson Edited by: Shane Masterson September 28, 2023
The president’s son has been in the news for quite some time now, whether it’s his tragically misplaced laptop or drug-induced benders. Now, he has fallen into the crosshairs of the Justice Department, where he has remained under pressure for quite some time. Since early 2022, he has been under scrutiny for tax evasion and the illegal acquisition of a firearm.
Biden’s legal team has made the defense that to pursue criminal charges on Hunter would be to give in to political pressure from the right. The Department of Justice, they say, would lose the trust of the people. This isn’t an unreasonable assertion when one considers that they have had knowledge of the crimes since 2018 and did nothing.
Another defense they have brought to light is one of Constitutionality. Citing a recent ruling, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, they make the argument that to restrict someone from owning a gun because of drug problems violates the Second Amendment.
Of course, perhaps the most note-worthy defense of all came in a recent solemn threat: If they went to trial, Joe Biden himself would be called as a witness, because the president addressed the case on CNN after sending a tearful voicemail pleading with Hunter to pull himself together and displaying knowledge of his gun possession. Thus, the defense argues, he had inserted himself into the case.
This is important to note given the context of the situation. Biden’s defense team and the Justice Department had almost reached an agreement on a plea deal in late July, but it was squandered after it was brought to light that Biden would still be potentially susceptible to different kinds of charges. The result, after Biden failed to plead guilty at a hearing on July 26th, was a back and forth of negotiations between the defense and prosecution.
Further, there is a disagreement between the defense and the prosecution on whether they already have a deal in place. The defense has made the case that because they signed a deal it is legally binding; the prosecution believes that it is not valid yet because it wasn’t signed off on by a probation officer. It is believed, according to Politico, that this could lead to a whole new litigation battle.
Now, the Department of Justice has formed a special counsel and withdrawn the charges in Delaware. This leaves Biden vulnerable to charges in California or Washington D.C., and by all indications, the two parties will be heading to trial at some point. It is hard to say exactly what and where those new charges will be. With Hunter’s father gearing up for a reelection campaign, it will certainly be an interesting developing story.