Thursday, September 14, 2023
Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, has been criminally charged in the United States, marking the first prosecution of a sitting president's child.
The charges, which involve three criminal counts related to gun possession, were filed in the US District Court in Delaware after efforts to reach a plea deal failed.
This development guarantees that the courtroom drama surrounding Hunter Biden's case will play a prominent role in the 2024 US presidential campaign, as President Biden seeks reelection, likely facing off against his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, who is currently facing four upcoming criminal trials.
The investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings has been ongoing for years and gained momentum when David Weiss, who was originally nominated by Trump, was elevated to the status of a special counsel in August.
Hunter Biden has been the target of attacks and allegations by Trump and Republican allies, particularly regarding his activities in Ukraine and China, among other matters. Despite these claims, Hunter Biden has held various professional roles and has publicly discussed his struggles with substance abuse.
Hunter Biden disclosed in December 2020 that his tax affairs were under investigation by Weiss's office, a matter he has denied wrongdoing in. While most US attorneys appointed by Trump resigned when Biden took office, Weiss was asked to remain in his position by the Justice Department.
It's important to note that Hunter Biden never held a White House position or a role in his father's campaign, and President Biden has asserted that he did not discuss foreign business dealings with his son, emphasizing the independence of the Justice Department in investigating his family members.
Furthermore, during the 2020 election campaign, Trump called for an investigation into Hunter Biden's involvement in a Chinese fund, accusing him of using his influence to secure Chinese financial support for his investments, claims that Hunter Biden has denied.
Hunter Biden has publicly discussed his struggles with substance abuse, including the use of crack cocaine and issues with alcoholism. He was discharged from the US Navy Reserve in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.
The investigation led by David Weiss initially focused on potential violations of tax and money laundering laws in foreign business dealings, primarily in China. Hunter Biden initially agreed to plead guilty to tax-related charges, but the deal fell apart after questions arose regarding its scope.
While several family members of past presidents have been embroiled in scandals, including George HW Bush's son Neil and Richard Nixon's brother Don, Hunter Biden's indictment marks a unique situation in US presidential history.