Prosecutors have taken steps to formally dismiss a firearms charge against Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, as part of a collapsed plea deal. The charge in question alleged that Hunter Biden violated a law prohibiting drug users from possessing firearms when he purchased a gun in 2018, a period during which he admitted to struggling with addiction. However, the charge has now been removed from the case, which currently involves a three-count indictment focused on the same gun purchase. The indictment includes charges of gun possession and false statements. Special counsel David Weiss, who is overseeing the case, has not yet filed any new tax counts.
Hunter Biden had initially been expected to avoid prosecution on the gun charge and instead plead guilty to misdemeanor tax counts under an agreement with prosecutors. However, the plea deal fell apart after a judge raised concerns during a July hearing, leading to the subsequent filing of the new indictment. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday, and the case is now moving towards a potential trial, coinciding with the 2024 election.
While Hunter Biden has acknowledged his struggle with addiction to crack cocaine during the relevant period, his lawyers maintain that he did not break the law. It is worth noting that cases involving drug users accused of possessing firearms are rare, and an appeals court has previously ruled that the underlying statute violates the Second Amendment under new Supreme Court standards.