Prosecutors near charging decision in Hunter Biden case

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

According to those familiar with the case, prosecutors are close to making a decision on whether to charge President Biden’s son Hunter with tax and gun-related offenses. This is the conclusion of a four-year investigation that Republicans have attempted to use as proof the Biden family is corrupt.

According to persons familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a pending criminal investigation, Biden’s attorneys met with U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware last week at Justice Department headquarters in central Washington to discuss the case. That kind of conference, where defense attorneys ask prosecutors to drop or decrease their client’s charges, usually takes place near the conclusion of an investigation.

Weiss is nearing the conclusion of his decision-making process, according to the people with knowledge of the situation, although they did not provide a timeline. They issued a warning that the investigation has taken longer than some officials anticipated, frustrating some law enforcement officials, and that it may slow down once again before a decision is made.

President Biden, whose reelection campaign just got underway, may be significantly impacted by any choice, which would also draw national attention to a touchy subject that advisers frequently find difficult to bring up with the president. Republicans hoping to regain control of the White House have made an effort to link Hunter Biden’s legal troubles to his father.

The department’s choices in the case won’t be political, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who also claimed to have given Weiss, a holdover from the Trump administration, full authority to lead the inquiry.

On March 1, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that the U.S. attorney in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation had been successful in conducting a separate investigation.

At a news conference on an unrelated topic on Tuesday, Garland reiterated his position and responded to questions from reporters about the investigation’s status by saying, “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.”

According to those with knowledge of the situation, the attorney general was absent from the meeting with Hunter Biden’s attorneys last week. Both a spokesman for Weiss and a representative for Biden declined to comment. In December 2020, Biden claimed about himself that he had “handled my affairs legally and appropriately.”

On April 14, President Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens and the president’s son Hunter visited Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland.

Although Hunter Biden maintained a low profile throughout the 2020 presidential campaign—during which he had descended into a battle with addiction and became the target of Republican criticism—he has recently adopted a more outspoken and assertive role. He has attended occasions with his father, including as the state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and the Kennedy Center Honors, and he accompanied the president last month on a trip to Ireland, where their ancestors are from.

“Stand up, guys,” the president said at one stop, asking his son and his sister to rise and be recognized. “I’m proud of you.”

The Washington Post reported the previous year that federal investigators had determined they had sufficient proof to accuse Hunter Biden of tax offenses and making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. However, it is ultimately up to the Justice Department’s prosecutors, not agents, to decide whether to file charges. Prosecutors typically do this if they believe the available evidence will likely result in a conviction at trial.

Hunter Biden was the subject of an inquiry that started in 2018 and focused on his financial connections to international businesses and consulting activities. Over time, the focus of the investigation changed to whether he neglected to disclose all of his income and whether he falsified information on a form to purchase a gun by denying that he was a heroin addict.


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