Hunter Biden will plead not guilty to gun charges

Hunter Biden will plead not guilty to gun charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will plead not guilty to federal gun charges, his attorney said in a court filing on Tuesday.

THE TAKE

Hunter Biden, 53, is at the center of a political maelstrom, as House Republicans mount an impeachment inquiry against his father focused on alleged ties between his business practices and his father’s policies during his father’s tenure as vice president from 2009 to 2017.

He is the first child of a sitting U.S. president to have been criminally indicted. Prosecutors last week charged him with three counts related to the fact that he was lying about using illegal drugs when he bought a firearm. Hunter Biden and prosecutors earlier had reached a plea deal over tax and gun charges, but it collapsed.

CONTEXT

* An indictment was filed on Thursday in the court with three criminal counts related to gun possession.

* The charges ensure that courtroom drama will play an outsized role in the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign as the president seeks re-election in a likely rematch with his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, who himself faces four upcoming criminal trials.

* The younger Biden for years has been the focus of unrelenting attacks by Trump and his Republican allies who have accused him of wrongdoing relating to Ukraine and China, among other matters.

* Hunter Biden has worked as a lobbyist, lawyer, investment banker and artist and has publicly detailed his struggles with substance abuse.

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