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Hunter Biden is indicted on felony gun charges weeks after a plea deal fell apart

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, has been indicted on felony gun charges. Prosecutors say that when he bought a gun in 2018, he lied about his drug use on a disclosure form. His attorney, Abbe Lowell, told CNN the indictment should be thrown out.

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ABBE LOWELL: The constitutionality of these charges are very much in doubt. People ought to remember about whether this is a unique and unjustified charge. Hunter owned an unloaded gun for 11 days.

INSKEEP: NPR politics reporter Ximena Bustillo reports.

XIMENA BUSTILLO, BYLINE: The president's son is being charged with making knowingly false written claims, lying to a federally licensed gun dealer when purchasing a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm. This is in connection with a gun he bought in 2018. Earlier this summer, Biden had agreed to enter a plea deal that would have allowed him to avoid prosecution on the gun charges. Separately, as a part of the deal, he agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor offenses related to his filing of federal income taxes. But that plea deal fell apart after lawyers on both sides couldn't agree if the deal gave Biden immunity over his business dealings and foreign lobbying. The charges come after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into President Biden earlier this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KEVIN MCCARTHY: Eye witnesses have testified that the president joined on multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions, dinners, resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his son's and his son's business partners.

BUSTILLO: Although unrelated to the impeachment inquiry, these charges do have political implications. Any Hunter Biden trial is likely to be in the middle of the election campaign where his father is hoping to get reelected.

Ximena Bustillo, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.