Hunter Biden agrees to plead guilty in tax, admit gun offence

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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (L, Front) is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, with his wife Jill Biden (C, Front) and son Hunter Biden (R1) in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Jan. 20, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. President Joe Biden, has agreed to plead guilty to two federal criminal tax charges and admit to illegally possessing a firearm, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in the court filing that Hunter Biden will plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his 2017 and 2018 taxes on time. He has been under federal investigation by a federal grand jury in Delaware since 2018.

The president's son also agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement regarding a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

"The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment," White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement.

Hunter Biden "would get about two years probation and enter a diversion program," The Washington Post, the dominant newspaper in the U.S. capital, reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

Any proposed plea deal would have to be approved by a federal judge, said the report, adding that both the prosecutors and the defense counsel have requested a court hearing at which Hunter Biden, 53, can enter his plea.

The report noted that the plea deal will likely become grist for the 2024 U.S. presidential race, as the nation's two main parties once again debate the influence of politics on law enforcement, and the effects of law-enforcement investigations on political campaigns.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump and House Republicans have been quick to criticize the Hunter Biden plea deal, and are using it as the latest example to argue that the Justice Department is weaponized, CNN reported.

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