Patterico's Pontifications

9/6/2023

Special Counsel: Hunter Biden To Be Indicted On Gun Charge

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:01 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Today:

David C. Weiss, the special counsel investigating Hunter Biden, said on Wednesday that he planned to indict the president’s son on a gun charge before the end of the month — a move prompted by the acrimonious collapse of a plea deal in July.

In a three-page update filed in federal court in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Weiss laid out plans to bring charges related to Mr. Biden’s purchase of a pistol in 2018, when prosecutors say he lied on a federal form by stating that he was not using drugs at the time. Mr. Biden had previously agreed to participate in a two-year diversion program for nonviolent gun offenders as part of the plea deal, which unraveled dramatically at the last minute this summer.

Mr. Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, signaled in a statement that he would challenge any effort to proceed with a trial, arguing that the original agreement reached over the summer “remains valid and prevents any additional charges from being filed.”

The government’s filing, while expected, adds an additional and volatile element to an already packed calendar of criminal cases coinciding — and colliding — with the 2024 presidential race. It piles on a possible federal trial of President Biden’s son to former President Donald J. Trump’s two federal and two state criminal cases.

As a reminder, this was the opening paragraph from Marjorie Taylor Greene’s statement about Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing David Weiss to investigate Hunter Biden:

“Today’s move by Merrick Garland to appoint David Weiss as Special Counsel to investigate (and in reality cover up) Hunter Biden’s criminal career is the latest action in a continuous pattern of corrupt behavior by Joe Biden and his regime. Behavior typically only seen in juntas in third-world nations or early twentieth-century dictatorships in Europe…This is a cover-up, plain and simple…

Because that’s what the presidential 2024 race needs: even more craziness with these extraordinary circumstances (assuming it comes down to Biden and Trump):

The government’s filing…adds an additional and volatile element to an already packed calendar of criminal cases coinciding — and colliding — with the 2024 presidential race. It piles on a possible federal trial of President Biden’s son to former President Donald J. Trump’s two federal and two state criminal cases.

Prosecutors did not reveal how many charges would be brought.

–Dana

35 Responses to “Special Counsel: Hunter Biden To Be Indicted On Gun Charge”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (4020dd)

  2. He can still get the same deal, I think. Christie was wrong, at the debate, about 18 USC 922(g) having a mandatory minimum. It does have a consecutive to any other sentence requirement.

    nk (6c45b4)

  3. Too early for the victory lap around MTG. Mr. Weiss telegraphed his move 26 days in advance for a reason, and that reason is probably “lets make a deal”. MTG will claim any deal that doesn’t include incriminating evidence on Hunter’s dad as third world junta behavior. I am assuming as a useful idiot of Putin, she’d be in favor of any or both Biden’s flying out of windows.

    steveg (e4c2c7)

  4. I think Hunter has said and taken photos over and over that show he possessed a gun while using prohibited narcotics (5 year max) in addition to the 10 year max lying on the FFL form charge. What I don’t know is if he has photos of himself with the gun and enough drugs to make that a problem for him.
    I sort of want to see Hunter get a felony knock just to see if his Dad steps up and makes it go away. I think at worst Hunter gets a felony conviction so no gun ownership and he maybe gets 1 year house arrest, regular drug tests (where the Secret Service guys will protect him by whizzing in a cup for him). I’m also shocked none of Hunter’s Secret Service Team has ever tested dirty via second hand crack…

    steveg (e4c2c7)

  5. There is also the unregistered foreign agent issue.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  6. I don’t think this will be another whitewash. Weiss can’t be wanting to look like Biden’s stooge.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  7. This seems like a good development. 🙂

    Time123 (059f66)

  8. I’m sorry. Couldn’t he have gotten this indictment in a day or two? Why say “I’m going to indict” rather than just indicting ? Good lord this is such a government operation.

    Harvey’s Potted Plant (884d42)

  9. Announcing it ahead of time seems… weird.

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    whembly (5f7596)

  10. If the government finally locks up Hunter, then will the GOP entertain the idea that Trump should face some accountability? Or will it just trigger more goalpost moving? Asking for a friend.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  11. Trump will probably promise to pardon Hunter, just to get another headline.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  12. Expect more charges on Biden’s opposition any day now.

    NJRob (f988fb)

  13. @10, any sentence will be deemed a slap on the wrist or asserted as the basis for unfair retribution. MAGA views pretty much everything through a lens of conspiracy theories and a persecution complex.

    Time123 (bc10c3)

  14. Mr. Weiss telegraphed his move 26 days in advance for a reason, and that reason is probably “lets make a deal”.

    Weiss was under a court order to provide a status report on his investigation:

    The United States, by and through its undersigned attorneys, submits this status report pursuant to the Court’s oral order that, “In view of the Speedy Trial Act, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, on or before Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the parties are directed to provide the Court with an update on the status of this case, including any steps that they believe the Court needs to take.” ECF 36, issued August 31, 2023.

    As a first-time offender without any other felony charges, Hunter Biden is unlikely to serve any prison time. In addition, the fact he may be charged for lying on Form 4473 is an outlier:

    …….(A)ccording to newly revealed Justice Department records, the odds of being charged for lying on this form are virtually nonexistent. In the 2019 fiscal year, when Hunter Biden purchased his gun, federal prosecutors received 478 referrals for lying on Form 4473 — and filed just 298 cases, according to data extracted from the U.S. attorneys’ case management system. That’s out of approximately 27 million background checks undertaken in a 12-month period.
    ……….
    The data released by the Justice Department does not show how many people might have been prosecuted for falsely answering the question about active drug use. But a review of such cases in Delaware………shows that in fiscal 2019, only three Form 4473 cases were referred for prosecution in the state — and the U.S. attorney opted not to bring them.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. Rip, The explanation on the serious trouble podcast was that this gun charge is rarely bought and usually is an add on to other charges or is brought when the defendant gets LEO attention for other things. So while it’s not a common charge it doesn’t seem inappropriate for the Hunter Biden charge.

    Time123 (bc10c3)

  16. it doesn’t seem inappropriate for the Hunter Biden charge.

    It depends if there are other charges. If not, it looks like the result of political pressure.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  17. @14: The ATF begs to differ

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Western District of Oklahoma is aggressively seeking to keep firearms out of the wrong hands by pursuing those who lie in connection with gun purchases. Several recent cases charged in federal court highlight these efforts.

    Case histories follow.

    But of course this doesn’t happen everywhere.

    Lying on the form is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. For being a user of unlawful drugs in possession of a firearm, the punishment is up to five years. The odds of being charged for lying on the form are virtually nonexistent. In the 2019 fiscal year, when Hunter Biden purchased his gun, federal prosecutors received 478 referrals for lying on Form 4473 — and filed just 298 cases. The numbers were roughly similar for fiscal 2020. At issue is when Biden answered “no” on the question that asks about unlawful drug use and addiction when purchasing a gun. Biden had been discharged five years earlier from the Navy Reserve for drug use and based on his 2021 memoir, he was actively using crack cocaine in the year he bought the gun. The data do not show how many people might have been prosecuted for falsely answering the question about active drug use.

    A 1990 Justice Department study noted how difficult it was to bring cases against people who falsely answer questions on the form, especially because there is no paper trail for drug abusers like there is for felons
    .

    Still, the part I bolded above explains why. In Biden’s case there IS not only a paper trail, but his own admissions in print, so it would seem to fall into the easily-proven group most likely to be prosecuted. Plus the tax cheating and foreign agent stuff.

    (mistakenly posted to open thread)

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  18. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/7/2023 @ 11:03 am

    All of the examples are of persons who were charged with lying while committing other crimes (such as being deemed incompetent, felons in possession ammunition, previous convictions, etc.) rather than a single purchase without any of additional factors.

    Interestingly, federal courts have started striking down the drug user prohibition as unconstitutional. See here , here, and here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  19. Harvey’s Potted Plant (884d42) — 9/7/2023 @ 7:08 am

    Why say “I’m going to indict” rather than just indicting ? Good lord this is such a government operation

    Maybe an indictment kickstarts a timetable into operation – also they could be perfecting their charge.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  20. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/6/2023 @ 10:01 pm

    Weiss can’t be wanting to look like Biden’s stooge.

    He already does, or did with the IRS whistleblowers and the sweetheart lea deal. Now maybe it wasn’t quite like that. He’s trying to get out from under that suspicion.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  21. Rip, I’d claim that his exhibitionist use of drugs at the time was an additional feature, even if tax evasion and unlawful lobbying and influence peddling were not.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  22. Maybe an indictment kickstarts a timetable into operation – also they could be perfecting their charge.

    As stated above, he was responding to the Court’s demand for an update.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  23. But, Rip, one of the reasons that felons-in-possession is prosecuted more is that their status is easy to prove. Drug addiction generally is not, unless they have the drugs and the gun at the same time. With Hunter, he made no secret of his drug use and even brandished a weapon on video while smoking crack. That makes it an exception to the hard-to-prove rule; of course a jury might disagree.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  24. steveg (e4c2c7) — 9/6/2023 @ 9:19 pm

    I think Hunter has said and taken photos over and over

    That he did, including one showing him driving with the speedometer showing 172 miles per hour! He won’t get a speeding ticket for that, though.

    that show he possessed a gun while using prohibited narcotics (5 year max)

    I haven’t heard of anything that showed him with that gun. He had that gun (including the period it spent in a dumpster and so on where his sister-in-law had discarded it because she was afraid he would use it to commit suicide) for a period of about 12 days in October, 2018, while he was in Delaware.

    What I don’t know is if he has photos of himself with the gun and enough drugs to make that a problem for him.

    I wouldn’t know if any of these photos are datestamped or have any of what could be reliable date information in the EXIF information but Hunter has conceded he was a more or less continuous drug user till some point in 2019.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12341307/Hunter-Biden-divulges-extent-drug-alcohol-use-Presidents-addict-son-reveals-rehab-SIX-times-20-years-dramatic-court-appearance.html

    Hunter said Wednesday that he’s been sober since June 2019 – having a drink or two after he and Melissa Cohen wed in May 2019, but never since.

    Sober seems to include alcohol, but is not covered by the law.

    Hunter’s lawyers say that the plea bargain is inviolable, and cannot be revoked, and that Hunter has been complying with his end of the bargain.

    I’m also shocked none of Hunter’s Secret Service Team has ever tested dirty via second hand crack

    Neither Hunter nor Joe had Secret Service protection at the time he owned that gun, but they somehow intervened.

    https://nypost.com/2023/02/11/secret-service-puzzled-by-intervention-in-hunter-biden-gun-buy

    …Conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch obtained via Freedom of Information Act request 487 pages of Secret Service records about the October 2018 incident — when Hunter’s brother’s widow and then-girlfriend, Hallie Biden, left his .38 handgun on in a supermarket garbage can in Wilmington, Delaware.

    The Secret Service emails began in October 2020 when an agent, whose name was redacted, shared a link to a colleague to an article from The Blaze about the gun incident in an email chain with other agents…

    …“The Secret Service is being cagey about what it did for Hunter and I believe Hunter when he said the FBI and Secret Service had intervened for him,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told The Post.

    “In my view this is another example of Hunter and the Bidens getting taken care of and getting protected from the consequences of bad behavior — in this case this domestic issue which led to this gun being disposed of in an unsafe manner.”

    ….Hallie Biden allegedly tossed the gun across from a local high school because she feared Hunter would kill himself, Politico reported in March 2021.

    Local police began investigating after Hallie went back for the pistol and found it missing.

    That’s when the Secret Service also reportedly inserted itself into the fray, contacting the gun store where Hunter purchased the piece and asked for the sale paperwork. Politico’s sources included someone “briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact,” the Daily Mail reported.

    The gun store owner refused to hand over the paperwork because they weren’t the proper agency.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/25/sources-secret-service-inserted-itself-into-case-of-hunter-bidens-gun-477879

    The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws.

    The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement.

    Who called whom in the Secret Service in October 2018 may still be part of what Weiss is investigating.

    Sammy Finkelman (7a85f9)

  25. Kevin M (ed969f) — 9/7/2023 @ 11:43 am

    he was responding to the Court’s demand for an update.

    That was in reference to the question of why he was waiting to indict him instead of indicting him already.

    I think the law was passed because drug users often need a lot of money; are not particular about abiding by the law; and might use the gun to steal.

    In Hunter’s case he was involved in white collar crimes, though, so what he did is not what the law was aimed at..

    Anti-gun control people like to point to lack of prosecution as a way of attacking the idea of stricter gun laws. They even want people who were turned down by the system, and did not get a gun, to be prosecuted, or claim, for purposes of argument, that they do.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  26. Thanks Sammy
    I think I’ve seen those side by side phot0s with Hunter carrying a semi auto pistol and on the side by side photo he’s got a crack pipe in his mouth enough times and began to conflate them.
    Appreciate the correction.
    By the way, the handgun that got Hunter in trouble was a .38 revolver correct? So whose semi auto handgun is that in the photos?

    steveg (85f174)

  27. I think the law was passed because drug users often need a lot of money; are not particular about abiding by the law; and might use the gun to steal.

    Or maybe because they are generally irresponsible and not law-abiding citizens. Drug addiction is a limited form of insanity — one that people do recover from — but people driven insane by their need for a drug are poor custodians of weapons.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  28. #27 see photos of Hunter high and about 1/4 inch from shooting himself in the calf. In the song “Smugglers Blues” there is a line “you got to carry weapons ’cause you’re always carrying cash” along with “lots of shady characters, lots of dirty deals”. Hunter probably started out as a soft rich kid target and realized he needed a firearm… heck, maybe that was advice from his federal protection detail, who knows. Anyway I think Hunter was irresponsible, yes, but beyond that Hunter was showing a willingness to use deadly force in pursuit of his habit. Most urban homicides involve drug territory, drugs, and/or drug money and a significant amount of those homicides are of innocent bystanders. Crackhead waving gun at ripoff crew, what could go wrong

    steveg (85f174)

  29. maybe that was advice from his federal protection detail, who knows.

    That would be an interesting defense.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  30. Sammy,

    watch his videos brandishing guns. It’s a different gun that what he illegally purchased. So that’s multiple gun crimes he committed.

    NJRob (cada8f)

  31. It’s not the grievance that makes Tuberville a c*ck [once favorite word of Trump supporters meaning betrayed spouse], it’s the remedy he thinks he has found. Like the betrayed husband going to the other man’s house and throwing a rock through his neighbor’s window.

    Those soldiers whose promotions are being held up just work there. They’re not responsible for the policy. But that would stress Tuberville’s brain. His constituents’ too.

    nk (6c45b4)

  32. Sorry. Wrong thread.

    nk (6c45b4)

  33. NJRob (cada8f) — 9/8/2023 @ 8:26 am

    Sammy,

    watch his videos brandishing guns. It’s a different gun that what he illegally purchased.

    I don’t know where I can get them.

    So that’s multiple gun crimes he committed.

    Not automatically.

    The gun could have belonged to somebody else, and a gun owner letting someone else handle a gun is not a crime (except maybe when someone is under a strict court order not to possess one. Barry Seal, in the 1980s, was actually ordered not to have armed bodyguards.)

    Still, I doubt they tried to investigate how he had that gun or checked for any form he signed, if there is a way to do that.

    Sammy Finkelman (2e2a56)

  34. “I doubt they tried to investigate how he had that gun or checked for any form he signed, if there is a way to do that”
    I don’t know about this. Where I live, the investigators are pretty thorough and smart enough to know the difference between a .38 revolver and the semi automatic in the photo.
    They’d probably ask Hunter the question where’d you get this firearm and Hunter is smart enough to say “I’m a crackhead. My memory of entire months is gone except crack, crack, booze and crack.” but it never hurts to ask.

    steveg (cfbaee)

  35. Hunter probably just declined to be interviewed -about anything. 5th amendment. he later spoke through his lawyers.

    Sammy Finkelman (c42fa7)


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