(WASHINGTON) — Special counsel David Weiss intends to bring an indictment against President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden by the end of this month, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
The development comes a month after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss as special counsel in his investigation of the younger Biden, after a plea deal struck between Hunter Biden and federal prosecutors fell apart and the case appeared headed for trial.
As part of the plea deal, Hunter Biden had originally agreed to acknowledge his failure to pay taxes on income he received in 2017 and 2018. In exchange, prosecutors would have recommended probation, meaning he would likely have avoided prison time.
The younger Biden also would have agreed to a pretrial diversion on a separate gun charge, with the charge being dropped if he adhered to certain terms.
The special counsel’s intended indictment pertains to the felony gun charge that was previously brought under the pretrial diversion agreement brokered by the two parties, according to the filing. Since the agreement fell apart under questioning from a federal district judge, the two parties have squabbled in court filings over whether the diversion agreement on the gun charge took effect.
“The Speedy Trial Act requires that the Government obtain the return of an indictment by a grand jury by Friday, September 29, 2023, at the earliest,” prosecutors wrote Wednesday. “The Government intends to seek the return of an indictment in this case before that date.”
Attorneys for the president’s son, however, have argued that the diversion agreement took effect on July 26, when prosecutors signed the document.
“Mr. Biden has been following and will continue to follow the conditions of that Agreement, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed and signed and informed the Court on July 20, 2023 that the Probation Office had agreed to and had recommended be put into effect,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers wrote in their own court filing following the special counsel’s filing.
Weiss’ team has argued that in order for the document to be ratified, it would require the signature of a probation officer — which they say did not happen.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, subsequently issued a statement Wednesday saying, “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.”
The special counsel has previously signaled his intention to bring separate tax charges in California or Washington, D.C., but prosecutors have not said when those charges might be filed.
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