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US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter hit with criminal firearms charges

Prosecutors accuse Hunter Biden of making false statements to acquire firearm in 2018, US court document shows.

US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been charged with three criminal counts related to firearms possession, a United States court document showed.

In Thursday’s indictment, prosecutors accused Hunter of making false statements related to drug use in order to acquire a firearm in 2018.

The indictment, which was brought by US Special Counsel David Weiss in federal court in Delaware, comes after a deal for Hunter to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enroll in a programme to avoid prosecution on a gun-related charge collapsed in July.

A White House spokesman referred questions on Thursday to the US Department of Justice and Hunter’s legal team, saying the charges stem from an independent investigation.

The case will no doubt play an outsized role in the 2024 US presidential campaign as Biden seeks re-election in a likely rematch with his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, who leads the GOP’s nomination race.

It also comes just days after Republicans announced they would open an impeachment inquiry into the Democratic president – in large part over his son’s business dealings.

For years, Hunter has been the focus of attacks by Trump and his Republican allies, who have accused him of wrongdoing relating to Ukraine and China, among other issues.

Biden’s critics also have seized on Hunter’s personal troubles, including a long struggle with drug addiction, to hit out at the US president.

Prosecutors said in Thursday’s indictment that in an effort to procure a firearm, Hunter made a statement “certifying he was not an unlawful user of, an addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance”.

They said, however, that he knew the “statement was false and fictitious”.

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Al Jazeera

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