WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors plan to ask a grand jury to indict President Joe Biden’s son Hunter by the end of the month, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
The exact charges the president’s son would face were not immediately clear, but appeared related to a gun possession charge in which he was accused of having a firearm while being a drug user. He has also been under investigation by federal prosecutors for his business dealings.
U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss, newly named a special counsel in the case, referred to a seeking an indictment before Sept. 29 in a status report required by Judge Maryellen Noreika.
Defense attorneys said Hunter Biden has kept to the terms of an agreement sparing him from prosecution on a felony gun charge if he stays clean and out of trouble.
That agreement, which also contains an immunity clause against federal prosecutions for some other potential crimes, was part of a plea deal on misdemeanor tax offenses that fell apart during a court appearance in July. Defense attorneys argue it remains in force.
News of an possible new indictment comes as House Republicans are preparing for a likely impeachment inquiry of President Biden over unsubstantiated claims that he played a role in his son’s foreign business affairs during his time as vice president.
“If you look at all the information we have been able to gather so far, it is a natural step forward that you would have to go to an impeachment inquiry,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Fox News recently.
The younger Biden has been the target of congressional investigations since Republicans gained control of the House in January, with lawmakers obtaining thousands of pages of financial records from various members of the Biden family through subpoenas to the Treasury Department and various financial institutions. Three powerful House committees are now pursuing several lines of inquiry related to the president and his son.
And while Republicans have sought to connect Hunter Biden’s financial affairs directly to his father, they have failed to produce evidence that the president directly participated in his son’s work, though he sometimes had dinner with Hunter Biden’s clients or said hello to them on calls.
In recent months, Republicans have also shifted their focus to delving into the Justice Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden after whistleblower testimony claimed he has received special treatment throughout the yearslong case.
Hunter Biden was charged in June with two misdemeanor crimes of failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes from over $1.5 million in income in both 2017 and 2018. He had been expected to plead guilty in July, after he made an agreement with prosecutors, who were planning to recommend two years of probation. The case fell apart during the hearing after Noreika, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, raised multiple concerns about the specifics of the deal and her role in the proceedings.
Attorneys for Hunter Biden did not immediately return messages seeking comment Wednesday. The White House Counsel’s office referred questions to Hunter Biden’s personal attorneys. The Justice Department did not have immediate comment.
Associated Press writer Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.
Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press