(Bloomberg) -- A US prosecutor will seek to indict President Joe Biden’s son Hunter before the end of September, catapulting the case back into the public spotlight as the president ramps up his reelection bid.
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Special Counsel David Weiss told a federal court in Delaware Wednesday that he plans to seek an indictment from a grand jury by Sept. 29. Weiss’s legal filing comes after US District Judge Maryellen Noreika directed the government to update her on the status of its case against Hunter Biden.
Weiss didn’t indicate what charges he plans to pursue or where they would be brought. However, Weiss’s office previously said it was examining violations of tax and gun laws. The tax charges could be brought in Washington, DC, or in California because that’s where the crimes allegedly occurred.
An indictment against Hunter Biden could hang over his father’s 2024 reelection campaign, giving Republicans fuel to criticize the Bidens over their business dealings. The GOP’s leading candidate, former President Donald Trump, faces his own criminal indictments in federal and state courts.
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Hunter Biden had agreed in principle to plead guilty to federal tax charges and enter a pretrial diversion agreement related to a firearms charge. But the deal collapsed in July after Noreika questioned its terms and refused to sign off on the agreement.
“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,” Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, said in an emailed statement.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss, the US Attorney in Delaware, as a special counsel in August, giving him broad powers to investigate the tax and gun crimes as well as other potential offenses.
Weiss’s prosecutors have investigated Hunter Biden’s foreign lobbying activities and his involvement and business dealings with companies in countries like Ukraine and China and told Noreika they weren’t ruling out potentially bringing charges against Hunter Biden for acting as an unregistered foreign lobbyist.
“We expect a fair resolution of the sprawling, 5-year investigation into Mr. Biden that was based on the evidence and the law, not outside political pressure, and we’ll do what is necessary on behalf of Mr. Biden to achieve that,” Lowell said in his statement.
Weiss’s office referred questions to the Justice Department, which didn’t immediately respond when asked for comment.
Prosecutors said attempts to resolve the plea agreement were “unsuccessful” and so the deal was withdrawn.
Under the original deal, Hunter Biden had intended to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes committed in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he was poised to enter into an agreement with federal prosecutors to avoid prison on a charge for possessing a gun while addicted to an illegal drug by attending a diversion program.
The case is US v. Biden, 23-cr-00061, US District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
(Updates with comment by Hunter Biden’s lawyer.)
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