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Hunter Biden Indicted on Three Felony Gun Charges

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Hunter Biden on three felony gun charges, including two counts of lying about his status as a user of and addicted to illegal narcotics, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. The indictment comes after a long investigation led by federal prosecutor David Weiss. Here are some initial observations on the indictment and its potential implications:





Strategic Charges The point of bringing three charges against Hunter Biden is strategic. By including the count of unlawful possession of a firearm, prosecutors can demonstrate that this is not a case of a person trying to obtain a gun but failing due to a lie, but rather a case of someone who successfully obtained a gun despite being prohibited from doing so. This charge emphasizes the seriousness of the offense and highlights Biden's careless handling of the weapon.


Limitation Issues Remember that everything important in this case happened in Delaware. Despite claims by Weiss that he faced opposition from Biden-appointed US attorneys in Los Angeles and Washington, there are no such attorneys to blame for the delay in filing charges. Weiss alone is responsible for the delay, which raises questions about why he waited until the statute of limitations was about to expire to bring the indictment.


Disappearing Act Just two months ago, the Biden Justice Department attempted to dismiss the entire case against Hunter Biden, arguing that there should be no prosecution or prison time for any charges related to the gun case. Now, the same justice department is touting the possibility of up to 25 years' imprisonment for Biden if convicted. This flip-flop creates an awkward situation for the White House, particularly given President Biden's criticisms of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment in Bruen (2022).


Challenging Constitutionality Hunter Biden's lead lawyer, Abbe Lowell, plans to argue that the federal gun laws restricting substance abusers from possessing firearms are unconstitutional. Last month, the Fifth Circuit federal appeals court ruled in favor of a defendant who argued that the ban on recreational marijuana users owning guns violated the Second Amendment. This development sets up a potential showdown between the White House and the courts on gun rights. Moreover, if President Biden is called as a witness in the case, it could create further tension within the executive branch.


Tax Charges Time-Barred Notably, the only case Weiss has brought against Hunter Biden involves the gun charges, which do not involve his father, Joe Biden. However, other potential cases involving tax charges, bribery, money laundering, and foreign agent registration are now time-barred due to Weiss's delays. While the statute of limitations continues to run for these other potential crimes, it does not affect the ongoing investigation by the House of Representatives, which focuses on political accountability rather than criminal prosecutions.


In conclusion, while the indictment against Hunter Biden marks a significant development in the legal saga surrounding him, it also highlights the complexities and limitations of the justice system. The strategic charges brought by prosecutors, combined with the awkward position of the White House, create a fascinating dynamic that remains to unfold. Nonetheless, regardless of the outcome, the critical investigation currently underway is the one being conducted by Congress, which centers on ensuring political accountability.

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