Biden had been accused of lying on an FBI background check form in order to purchase a firearm, one Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver. He said that he was not a drug user when, in fact, he was. This was revealed in his own memoir Beautiful Things.
The indictment reads that Biden violated Chapter 44, Title 18 of the United States Code by falsely asserting that he was not a drug user on ATF Form 4473. That form required that the buyer must state that he is aware that "making any false oral or written statement... is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may violate State and /or local law."
Biden was indicted on three counts. The first is that Biden "knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm..."
That count further provides that Biden gave a "written statement on Form 4473 certifying that he was not 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 second count states that he made this false statement knowingly "to be kept" in the records of the company from which he made the purchase. The third count is that Biden then possessed the weapon unlawfully.
The indictment, delivered by a grand jury, was signed off on by special counsel David Weiss, who is also the US Attorney for the State of Delaware.
Biden was set to plead guilty to tax charges in June, with the expectation that the gun charge would be dismissed. Weiss, who was prosecuting the case for the state of Delaware and the Department of Justice, was anticipated to make a deal for a diversion agreement for the gun charge. Chris Clark, Biden's attorney, said at the time that "A firearm charge, which will be subject to a pretrial diversion agreement and will not be the subject of the plea agreement, will also be filed by the Government."
That deal fell apart in July after US District Judge Maryellen Noreika recognized that in the diversion agreement, it appeared that both defense and prosecution had agreed that Biden would also gain immunity for any charges stemming from not having filed as a foreign agent when conducting business deals overseas. The prosecutors explained that this was not their understanding, at which point the defense also did not go along with the plea deal.
The maximum prison term for lying on the ATF form is 10 years.
Hunter's father, President Joe Biden, is a staunch proponent of gun control legislation. He routinely touts the importance of universal background checks, claiming that this way people who should not have guns will get guns.
After mass shooting events during his presidency he has stressed the need for background checks before firearms purchases are permitted to be made. He has also pressed for a "major crackdown" on gun dealers, the very kinds of gun dealers to whom his son submitted falsified records.
He has also demanded that more states enact "red flag" laws, which allow family members to have law enforcement take a gun from a gun owner in the event that a family member or concerned person claims that gun owner is not stable enough to own a gun.
Biden further said that the right to bear arms, as secured by the Bill of Rights under the Second Amendment, is "not absolute," and that no right "is absolute."
Biden said that "the Second Amendment, like all other rights, is not absolute."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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