President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden has been indicted in a federal court in Delaware on felony gun charges.
Two of the counts relate to allegations that Mr. Biden "knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive" a gun dealer when he sought to buy a firearm in October 2018.
He "provided a written statement on Form 4473 certifying he wasn't an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious," the indictment reads.
The third count relates to his possession of a Colt Cobra 38PL revolver while using and being addicted to drugs which, like the other two counts, is in violation of sections of Title 18 of the U.S. Code.
The most serious of the charges—counts one and three—carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
The indictment was signed by special counsel David Weiss, who was appointed to lead the investigation by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
There was no immediate response by his legal team to the indictment.
Mr. Biden's attorney didn't respond to a request for comment by press time.
The indictment comes just days after House Republicans moved to open an impeachment inquiry of President Biden that relates to his son's foreign business dealings.
'Drop in the Bucket'Reactions to the indictment were swift on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), who's heading a corruption investigation into the Biden family, told Epoch Times reporter Jackson Richman that the indictment is a minor development against the bigger backdrop of the committee's probe.
"This is the least of all the crimes [Hunter Biden has] committed and the one crime that you can't tie his father into," he said, adding that his committee's investigation is focused on President Biden.
"What about tax evasion? What about money laundering? What about violation of the Foreign Registration Act? And the list goes on," Mr. Comer continued, listing other allegations against the president's son.
"We'll see what Weiss is going to do with those, but I don't think anyone that's keeping up with this investigation that wants to see the truth come out is real impressed with this indictment," Mr. Comer said.
He also criticized the plea deal that fell apart in July, saying that prosecutors were going to give Mr. Biden "blanket immunity" and that the investigative work of House Republicans in the Biden family probe may have played a role in the plea deal being rejected by the judge.
"But again, this is a drop in the bucket when you consider the crimes that this man has committed," Mr. Comer said, referring to the gun charges.
Reacting to the indictment, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) told The Epoch Times that "a lot of us suspected that was going to happen." In reference to the failed plea agreement, she said, "There's no doubt that the sweetheart deal that they were trying to cut was inappropriate."
'Hurts the President Politically'Democrats lamented that the indictment would likely be damaging politically to President Biden.
"I think it hurts the president politically that his son is now going through something like this," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told Epoch Times reporters on Capitol Hill.
Still, Mr. Schiff said that he hopes that voters will "distinguish between the president and his son" and judge President Biden on his record rather than be swayed by the scandals engulfing Mr. Biden.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Capitol Hill that the indictment shows that the judicial system is working as it should.
"I think we have a justice system that is working" and delivering "accountability," Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.
“I think that this shows that we have a judicial system that is treating people equally.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a former prosecutor, said that he hadn't examined the details of the indictment but that, based on prior reports, the charges seem "meritorious."
Reacting to reports of the indictment, Gun Owners of America Senior Vice President Erich Pratt told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that he thinks the president's son should be treated the same as everyone else before the law.
Plea DealInitially, prosecutors agreed to allow Mr. Biden to enter a pretrial diversion agreement that likely would have seen him avoid any jail time, but that deal fell apart.
In a statement accompanying the agreement, Mr. Biden admitted to using crack and powder cocaine starting in 2016 and becoming "a habitual user" the following year. He used the drugs "frequently and regularly" through May 2019.
In October 2018, Mr. Biden admitted to purchasing a firearm after checking a box on a federal form that falsely said he wasn't a user of or addicted to illegal drugs.
He possessed the gun from Oct. 12 to Oct. 23, 2018, before it was discarded in a trashcan outside a supermarket in Delaware, according to the statement.
Earlier, the White House issued a statement indicating that President Biden stands by his son as he faces legal woes.
“The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams told The Epoch Times in an email. “We will have no further comment.”
In an earlier statement to media outlets, Christopher Clark, a former lawyer for Mr. Biden, said his then-client wants to move forward with his life.
“I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life,” Mr. Clark said. “He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”