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Joe Biden’s son Hunter pleads guilty to tax offenses

In this file photo taken on February 4, 2023, Hunter Biden arrives at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York. (AFP)

US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two charges of willfully failing to pay income taxes in a deal with the Justice Department, according to court documents on Tuesday.

The federal charges against Hunter Biden arose from an investigation by David Weiss, the US attorney in the Democratic president’s home state of Delaware who was appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump.

According to the deal, Biden also entered the pretrial diversion agreement on one firearm offense.

Hunter Biden, 53, for years has been the focus of unrelenting attacks by Trump and his Republican allies who have accused him of wrongdoing relating to Ukraine and China, among other matters. Hunter Biden has worked as a lobbyist, lawyer, investment banker and artist, and has publicly detailed his struggles with substance abuse.

Hunter Biden disclosed in December 2020 that Weiss’s office was investigating his tax affairs. He denied wrongdoing.

Hunter Biden described in a 2021 memoir dealing with substance abuse issues in his life including crack cocaine use and alcoholism. He was discharged from the US Navy reserve in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine, sources said at the time.

The Weiss inquiry initially examined potential violations of tax and money laundering laws in foreign business dealings, principally in China, sources told Reuters. The investigation headed by Weiss began as early as 2018, according to US media reports.

A senior Republican congressman, James Comer, in 2022 accused the US Treasury Department of withholding financial “suspicious activity reports” to shield Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

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