Hunter Biden will be charged with a crime for gun possession by the end of September, the Justice Department said.
The news is a reversal - or at least an apparent reversal - after Hunter Biden was offered a sweetheart plea deal that later unraveled in court.
Hunter Biden lied on a gun form about his notorious drug abuse in 2018, but he was never charged.
The prosecutor in charge of the investigation, David Weiss, has been accused of giving Hunter favorable treatment. He was recently appointed a Special Counsel, but Republicans say Weiss has little credibility because of his role in orchestrating the plea deal.
Under the scrapped deal, Hunter would have faced no jail time. He would have pled guilty to tax offenses and avoided gun charges under a diversion agreement that included sweeping immunity from future charges.
Hunter's lawyers have continued to go back and forth with the DOJ about the diversion agreement, which Hunter's lawyers insist is still in effect.
After the news Wednesday that gun charges are forthcoming, his lawyer Abbe Lowell insisted the agreement "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.”
“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,” Lowell said.
If these are the only charges, skeptics are sure to cry foul. There is substantial evidence that the Biden family was involved in money laundering and unregistered foreign lobbying through overseas business deals in which Hunter played the role of middleman.
Hunter dodged taxes on millions of dollars in dubious foreign income, which included a generous, seven-figure salary from the infamous Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Joe Biden notoriously bragged about pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.
The company's executives also met with Biden over dinner, spoke with him over the phone, and understood his "brand" to be a valuable asset, according to Devon Archer, Hunter's former business partner.
Weiss reportedly wanted to bring no charges against Hunter initially, before two whistleblowers emerged with evidence the probe was being tampered with.
It appears Weiss now wants to charge Hunter with something to defuse criticism. But letting Hunter Biden off with a gun charge will strike many as more evidence that this is a cover-up in progress.