The second son of President Joe Biden agreed to plead guilty to two counts of “willful failure” to pay a grand total of around $200,000 in federal income taxes and will enter what is known as a pretrial diversion agreement on a gun charge, which is not expected to be prosecuted.
Court records state that Hunter Biden had earned “taxable income in excess of $1,500,000.00” in 2017 and again in 2018.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, said in a statement that “it is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved.”
“I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life,” Clark said. “He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”
The agreement likely means the long-running probe into Hunter Biden’s affairs will be settled without prison time, according to The New York Times.
Republicans have long sought to stick criminal charges to Hunter Biden and his father, seeking to call the president’s reputation into question ahead of his potential reelection in 2024.
The current charges grew out of an investigation into his controversial international business dealings, which included a seat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. The ethical implications surrounding the son of Joe Biden, then-vice president of the United States, receiving enormous sums of money from foreign entities has been the subject of debate for years.
While investigators initially began looking at Hunter Biden for tax reasons during the Obama administration, according to The New York Times, they widened their probe to include his business relationships in 2018, led by U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
Hunter Biden has openly discussed his struggles with substance abuse, detailing them in a 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things.”
In 2019, Joe Biden called his son to the family house for what turned out to be an intervention with Hunter’s daughters, niece and nephew, and counselors. In Hunter’s telling, his father grabbed him and told him, “I don’t know what to do.” Hunter has said in interviews that his family never gave up on trying to help him.
The gun charge against him is related to a 2018 handgun purchase he made during a period when he was allegedly abusing drugs and alcohol. Hunter agreed to abstain from drugs for two years and never own a firearm again, the Times reported.
He is expected to enter his plea in a Delaware federal court at a later date.
In a statement, a White House spokesperson said, “The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment.”