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Hunter Biden pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax charges

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter will plead guilty to federal tax offenses but avoid a full prosecution on a separate gun charge in a deal with the Justice Department that likely spares him time behind bars.

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Hunter Biden, 53, will plead guilty to the misdemeanor tax offenses as part of an agreement made public Tuesday. The agreement will also avoid prosecution on a felony charge of illegally possessing a firearm as a drug user, as long as he adheres to conditions agreed to in court. It’s somewhat unusual to resolve a federal criminal case at the same time charges are filed in court but not unheard of.

The deal ends a long-running Justice Department investigation into Biden’s second son, who has acknowledged struggling with addiction following the 2015 death of his brother Beau Biden. It also averts a trial that would have generated days or weeks of distracting headlines for a White House that has strenuously sought to keep its distance from the Justice Department.

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While it requires the younger Biden to admit guilt, the deal is narrowly focused on tax and weapons violations rather than anything broader or tied to the Democratic president. Nonetheless, former President Donald Trump and other Republicans continued to try to use the case to shine an unflattering spotlight on Joe Biden and to raise questions about the independence of the Biden Justice Department.

Trump, challenging President Biden in the 2024 presidential race, likened the agreement to a “mere traffic ticket,” adding, “Our system is BROKEN!”

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