Hunter Biden is pleading not guilty.
The 53-year-old son of President Joe Biden pled not guilty to federal misdemeanor charges of failing to pay federal income tax after a judge said she was not ready to accept a plea deal he had initially struck with prosecutors, which would have allowed him to avoid a felony gun charge, via People.
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The first plea he reached with prosecutors would have seen him plead guilty to two tax charges and reach an agreement on the felony gun charges. It fell apart after U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika said she had concerns about combining the tax plea agreement to the deal reached on the gun charge.
The news comes amid a five-year investigation by federal prosecutors, the FBI and the IRS. Hunter was charged with two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay federal income taxes, as well as a felony charge of illegally possessing a weapon.
The Justice Department’s probe began in 2018 under former President Donald Trump. Although first focused on his business dealings with foreign interests, it evolved into an investigation into his income taxes and paperwork he used to purchase a firearm in 2018, on which he denied being “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance,” despite publicly admitting to addiction struggles.
Find out more about the charges.