President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has been charged with three counts of perjury in the purchase of a gun, after the proposed deal was scrapped.
The charge is the first time the child of a council president has been charged.
A deal designed to resolve the gun and tax charges he faced suddenly fell apart in July.
All three charges relate to Mr Biden, 53, who is alleged to have lied on forms while buying a gun while he was a third party. drug use.
Court documents allege Mr Biden lied on federally-mandated documents when he purchased a Colt Cobra Special revolver at a Delaware gun shop in October 2018.
Prosecutors allege that he lied that “he is not a person who illegally uses and becomes addicted to any life jacket”.
He kept the gun for 11 days. The investigation began when Mr. Biden’s girlfriend at the time threw the 38-caliber gun into the trash behind a convenience store.
If convicted, Mr Biden faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, the justice department said in a statement. Actual penalties for federal crimes are usually less than the maximum penalties.
It is not clear when and where Mr. Biden’s first trial will be held.
Mr Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, suggested the charges were related to “the unfair and biased approach of the Republicans in this process”.
He said his client “didn’t break the law” and that his brief possession of an unloaded gun did not pose a threat to public safety.
“But the public prosecutor, with all the power that can be imagined, is subject to politics that brings a serious threat to our justice system,” said Mr Lowell.
At the time of the gun sale, Mr Biden was a strong user of cocoa beans.
Under US federal law, it is a crime to lie on those documents, or to own a gun as a drug user.
He first pleaded guilty to the charges during the plea bargain, a two-part agreement reached between prosecutors and Mr Biden’s lawyers in June.
Under the terms of the agreement, he would have been charged with two misdemeanor charges for not paying his taxes on time in 2017 and 2018.
He would also have been forced to admit to illegal possession of a firearm.
But US District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika said she could not “mark the deal”, adding that the gun crime resolution was “different”.
Thursday’s charges are the first brought by Justice Department special counsel Davis Weiss, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in August.
Mr Weiss’ office previously said he tried to impeach Mr Biden on September 29.
The younger Biden’s legal woes have become a whirlwind as his father seeks re-election, although he has never held a position in the White House or his father’s rule.
Earlier this week, the Republicans in the US House of Representatives announced an impeachment inquiry against President Biden.
Some of the accusations accuse the elder Mr Biden of lying about his involvement in his son’s business dealings while he was a member. president from 2009-17.
Two tax analysts said the justice department has suspended the investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax return. The department has denied the claims.
On X, the official Twitter account, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee James Comer – the person who led the impeachment inquiry – said that the charges against Hunter Biden are a “small beginnings”.
“But until U.S. Attorney Weiss investigates all the people involved in the fraud and organized sales, it will be clear that President Biden’s DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the old man”.