The federal government will seek a grand jury indictment against President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden by the end of the month, prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday.
Special counsel David Weiss said in the filing that speedy trial rules require the government to obtain an indictment by Sept. 29 and that the government “intends to seek the return of an indictment in this case before that date.”
Hunter Biden faces felony charges for illegally buying a gun in 2018 when he was addicted to drugs. He had planned to plead guilty to tax misdemeanors in July and, as part of a deal with prosecutors, he would have avoided the gun charge so long as he stayed out of trouble for two years.
The deal fell apart under scrutiny from U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Delaware, who objected to the structure of the deal and told the two sides to work out a new arrangement.
Republicans in Congress also urged the judge to kill the deal and have accused the Justice Department of coddling Biden’s son while persecuting former President Donald Trump, who has been indicted twice this year by federal grand juries.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers couldn’t reach a new deal with Weiss, apparently because of a disagreement over the scope of his immunity from additional charges, and Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware, sought special counsel status so he could bring the case to trial in another state.
Biden’s lawyers said in a separate filing Wednesday that their client was still abiding by the terms of the diversion agreement that the government has said is no longer on the table. The deal would have required Hunter Biden to avoid alcohol and submit to drug testing for two years.
“We believe the signed and filed diversion agreement remains valid and prevents any additional charges from being filed against Mr. Biden, who has been abiding by the conditions of release under that agreement for the last several weeks, including regular visits by the probation office,” his attorney Abbe Lowell said in an e-mailed statement. “We expect a fair resolution of the sprawling, 5-year investigation into Mr. Biden that was based on the evidence and the law, not outside political pressure, and we’ll do what is necessary on behalf of Mr. Biden to achieve that.”
In a statement of facts attached to the defunct plea agreement, Hunter Biden admitted that he “purchased and used crack cocaine regularly” during the 10 days he had the gun, which wound up in a trash can and was recovered by police.
In a memoir published in 2021, Hunter Biden wrote that he was smoking crack as often as every 15 minutes but that he got sober in 2019 after meeting his now-wife.