Prosecutors are getting nearer a decision on whether to charge Hunter Biden, the president’s son, with gun- and tax-related violations, according to people familiar with the matter. A charge would culminate a four-year investigation that the GOP has sought to portray as evidence of the Biden family’s corruption.
According to insiders, Biden family attorneys met at Justice Department headquarters in downtown Washington last week to discuss the case with David Weiss, a U.S. attorney from Delaware. Typically, that kind of meeting, where defense lawyers urge the prosecution not to seek an indictment of the client, and try to get reduced charges, comes at the end of an investigation.
Individuals familiar with the matter said Weiss is approaching the end of his decision-making process but offered no specific timetable. They cautioned the investigation had taken longer than some officials expected. They expressed frustration about some law officials, while it could conceivably slow down again before a decision is reached.
October 6, federal agents investigating Hunter Biden said they had gathered enough evidence to charge him with crimes related to a gun purchase and taxes.
Any decision could substantially impact President Joe Biden, who just launched his reelection campaign, which would bring significant attention to a sensitive topic that aides may struggle to broach with the president.
The GOP is seeking to win back the White House and has sought to tie Hunter Biden’s legal woes directly to his father. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress that the department’s decisions would not be politicized and has granted Weiss full authority to run the investigation.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the U.S. attorney overseeing the Hunter Biden probe has been able to investigate the case independently. AG Garland reiterated his stance Tuesday at a news conference on an unrelated matter.
He told reporters who asked about the status of the probe: “I stand by my testimony, and I refer you to the U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware, who is in charge of this case and capable of making any decisions that he feels are appropriate.”
Garland wasn’t present at the meeting with Hunter Biden’s attorneys last week, people familiar with the matter said. Weiss’s spokeswoman declined to comment, in addition to a lawyer for Biden. In December 2020, Biden said he had “handled my affairs legally and appropriately.”
Hunter Biden has been more assertive and public over recent months
Although the younger Biden kept a low profile during the 2020 presidential campaign, when he was battling addiction and was the center of GOP attacks, he has taken a more assertive public role in recent months. He has appeared with his father at events, including the Kennedy Center Honors and a state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron.
He was by the president’s side during a trip to Ireland. “Stand up, guys,” said President Biden to his sister and son and be recognized. “I’m proud of you.”
Last year, the Washington Post concluded that federal agents had enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden with making a false statement about gun purchases and tax crimes. However, it is up to prosecutors at the Justice Department to decide whether to file charges. Prosecutors will file charges if they think the evidence will likely lead to a trial conviction.
The Hunter Biden investigation began in 2018 and centered on his finances related to consulting work and business ties. Over time, investigators refocused on whether he failed to report all of his income and whether he had lied on a gun purchase form by denying he was a drug abuser.