Hunter Biden Indicted for Gun Charges
False statements concerning drug use - as the "investigation" continues
Today we saw an expected development in the investigation of Hunter Biden.
After the plea deal for the tax charges and the diversion for his false statements relating to a gun purchase fell apart (more on the briefly below), Special Counsel Weiss informed the Delaware federal court that they would seek the return of the gun charge indictment by September 29, 2023.
True to form, the grand jury has returned the indictment. Hunter Biden is charged with three counts relating to false statements in a gun purchase, in violation of federal law, that he was not an unlawful user of illegal drugs or other controlled substance.
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Here is the indictment, and here are the charges which all relate to the same 2018 purchase of a handgun:
In October 2018, in connection with the purpose of a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver, Hunter Biden knowingly made a false statement, “certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.” This is in violation of 18 USC sections 922(a)(6) and 924(a)(2).
In October 2018, in connection with the purpose of a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver, Hunter Biden made a knowingly false statement to the company that sold him the gun “certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.” This was in violation of 18 USC section 924(a)(1)(A).
In October 2018, Hunter Biden possessed the Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver “knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance” as defined under the US Code. This was in violation of 18 USC sections 922(g)(3) and 924(a)(2).
If you recall, back in July 2023, a diversion agreement was reached and signed by DOJ prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s attorneys (and by Hunter Biden himself).
Part of the diversion was an agreement that Hunter Biden would accept responsibility for his tax-related charges - a plea deal which fell through after the parties could not agree on its scope. The diversion further stated that prosecutors would not criminally prosecute Hunter Biden for the gun-related conduct.
Here’s the issue - with the plea deal falling, through, is the original diversion agreement still valid? Hunter Biden’s attorneys think so. In response to the Weiss’s notice to the court that he would seek the grand jury indictment, Biden’s attorneys responded that the agreement was still in effect and that “Mr. Biden has been and will continue to follow the conditions of that Agreement.”
There isn’t an easy answer to this question. The agreement not to prosecute incorporated the tax-related crimes in the plea deal.
However, the much of the diversion language specifically references the gun charge conduct and not the tax charges. Here’s an example:
Whether the judge will agree with Hunter Biden’s team - that the diversion agreement remains valid and enforceable against the US - is another matter. I repeat myself: this is not an easy answer, and it will likely require extensive briefing from both sides. Even experienced criminal law attorneys, with years of practice, disagree on this question.
Of course, this is a problem of Special Counsel Weiss’s own creation. Another convenient prosecutorial error that went in Hunter’s favor. Do not be surprised if the gun charges evaporate and the Special Counsel is forced to abide by the agreement his attorneys signed.