The United States is fast approaching its 60th Presidential Election, scheduled for November 5, 2024. With current President Joe Biden officially announcing his bid for a second term, there is speculation of a potential rematch with former President Donald Trump. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have launched their campaigns with great fervor.
In a startling development, Hunter Biden, the son of the sitting President, has recently been indicted on serious felony gun charges. It is for the first time in American History that the Justice Department has levied charges against a close relative of a sitting President.
Hunter Biden & his Alleged Felony
Hunter Biden was indicted on September 14, 2023, in Delaware for allegedly lying about his drug use when he bought a gun in 2018. The charges are pressed by the US Attorney David Weiss and these charges carry a potential punishment that includes prison time up to 25 years and fines extending up to $750,000.
What has transpired till now?
The instant indictment is treading on the legs of a prior plea agreement that Hunter Biden struck in June with the federal prosecutors. The plea agreement allowed Hunter to plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanors of tax offenses and enter into a pretrial diversion program to avoid prosecution arising out of the gun charges. However, this agreement cracked down in July as one of the US Courts expressed concern over the structure of the agreement and questioned the extent or scope of an immunity agreement. The collapse of this immunity deal paved the way for the appointment of David Weiss as a special counsel in this case having broader authority to press charges against Hunter in any district in the country.
Biden’s Current Position
Hunter’s legal team maintains that the plea agreement was duly signed by the prosecutors and ratified by the judicial bench as well and therefore, it is the prosecutors that are reneging on the agreement. In addition, the legal team also indicated that the special counsel David Weiss is bending to political pressure as he shares a well-worn bond with the former President, Donald Trump and the indictment of the sitting President’s son can have a cascading effect on the 2024 elections. Hence, the Hunter Team asserts that the current indictment is immensely politically motivated.
Concerning the factual context of the case, Hunter Biden’s legal team, led by Abbe Lowell, has expressed their frustration with the immediate indictment. They submit that their client had possession of an unloaded gun for an extended period of 11 days, which was previously addressed and resolved through a pre-trial agreement, affirming that Hunter did not pose any public threat. Furthermore, Lowell emphasized that there were two distinct felonies for which Hunter faced charges – one related to firearm possession and the other involving tax matters. Lowell emphasized that these are matters of independent nature and thus the terms of the pre-trial diversion agreement remain in force and valid. Thus, the sudden issuance of an indictment by a special counsel raises concerns, as no new material development or evidence has come to light. This situation raises questions about the impartiality of the judiciary and indicates the possibility of politically-fueled powers administering this case vicariously through the Justice Department.
Drama & It’s Effect On Joe Biden’s Political Future
The surname associated with the indicted individual has ignited a heated debate, sparking a flurry of opinions, viewpoints, and controversial expressions from prominent figures in the political arena of the country. Every individual has an outlook against this instant situation and with the quadrennial presidential elections inching closer, every opinion is contributing to the hysteria.
James Comer, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee who is one of the key figures in starting investigations into the incumbent President and his family, calls this development ‘a small start’ in cleansing the illegal businesses facilitated by the people in power and disregarded the pre-trial diversion agreement by referring it as ‘a sweetheart deal that belongs in the trash’.
Furthermore, President Joe Biden also faces an impeachment inquiry running parallelly to his son’s indictment. Kevin Owen McCarthy, current speaker of the United States House of Representatives, initiated a formal impeachment inquiry against the president citing the President’s family’s foreign business dealings. Speaker McCarthy has appointed a three-member team, with James Comer at the helm, to oversee this inquiry. The key headliner in this inquiry has been the President’s alleged participation in his son’s business dealings. However, the inquiry committee has failed to put forth any evidence or testimony to prove any wrongdoing by the President.
In response to the lack of evidence against the President, the White House spokesperson, Ian Sams, unequivocally dismissed and negated the impeachment inquiry by referring it as a mere political spectacle destined to fade into obscurity. He also highlighted the events that transpired after the launch of the impeachment inquiry against the President, noting that McCarthy first vowed to have an open vote but later recanted his steps on realizing the lack of support. The White House spokesperson ultimately described this ‘as extreme politics at its worst.’
The Democrats however maintain an alternate viewpoint to that of the White House. While the White House maintains the President’s loyalty to his son, the Democrats however hold a distinct view that depicts the possibility of Hunter Biden being very much involved in doing or facilitating improper things. To rub salt in the wounds, Dean Philips, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the prominent figures of the Democrats, publicly stated that Joe Biden should not run for a second term citing the negativity attracted due to Hunter’s indictment.
Evidently, the son would not have been facing these charges if not for his father, in return, the father would not have been standing on the verge of getting impeached due to the actions of his son.
But such is the political turmoil of one of the largest democracies in the world. While their President and his son have travelled different paths in their respective lives, travel finds its political future tied to the revelations of the latter’s criminal charges