Hunter Biden has been indicted today in Delaware on federal gun charges that mirror the ones he previously had entered into a plea agreement to resolve. That plea agreement, as you know, fell apart in a dramatic way in open court.
Biden, through his legal team, continues to maintain that at least as to that part of the plea deal that addressed the gun charges, he had entered into a binding non-prosecution (or diversion) agreement and he’s going to hold the government to it.
I had half-expected Special Counsel David Weiss to sidestep that issue and charge the tax case instead. That was not to be. (Weiss doesn’t have jurisdiction in Delaware for the tax charges, so I would still anticipate those being filed in DC or California.)
This sets the stage for what I would expect to be a very contentious fight between Biden attorney Abbe Lowell and Weiss over whether Weiss is bound by the earlier agreement. You’ll recall that Lowell stepped in after the Biden lawyer who negotiated the plea agreement withdrew in anticipation of being a witness in any future fight over the gun charges.
Setting aside the fierce fight over whether the diversion agreement is binding, most legal types who have looked at the case agree that these gun charges are highly unusual. They’re typically brought in conjunction with another felony. As a standalone crime, you just don’t see it. That adds to the concern that the murky origins of the Biden criminal investigation in the Trump DOJ have culminated in disparate treatment of Hunter Biden because of who his father is.
That doesn’t mean Hunter Biden wasn’t a red-hot mess in the throes of addiction making horrendous decisions, self destructing, and leaving a trail of personal carnage in his wake. But that alone doesn’t necessarily rise to criminal conduct.