Hunter Biden will not face prosecution for his charges

Jun 21, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, has been charged with failing to file fe...

FILE - President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, S.C., after attending a Mass on Aug. 13, 2022. Biden is in Kiawah Island with his family on vacation. An IRS special agent is seeking whistleblower protection to disclose information regarding what the agent contends is mishandling of an investigation into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. That is according to a letter to Congress obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was charged Tuesday with failing to file federal income tax and owning a gun as a drug user. He has now struck a deal with the Department of Justice that gives him probation for failing to file his taxes. The DOJ also said they wouldn’t prosecute him for illegally purchasing a handgun.

Related: Hunter Biden charged with failing to pay federal income tax, illegally having a weapon

ABC News Legal Analyst Royal Oakes spoke with KSL at Night about these charges and what the consequences could be for the Biden family. 


The gun charges

The gun charge against Hunter Biden claimed that when he was addicted to cocaine five years ago, he bought a gun illegally. When purchasing a firearm, you must first fill out a Firearms Transaction Record, or ATF Form 4473. The form contains a list of yes or no questions, one of which asks if you are an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

Hunter Biden confessed to lying on this question, however, Oakes didn’t think Biden would face prosecution for this charge. 

“As long as he keeps his nose clean, literally and figuratively, for the next two years, no drugs, no guns, then everything will go away,” he said. “He’ll just have probation and no jail time.”

For a charge like this, Oakes explained, you could get 10 years in jail. However, Oakes said, it’s not a shock that Hunter Biden will likely just get probation because he acknowledged that he had a problem and shouldn’t have been buying a gun. 

“For the son of the President to avoid prison time on this, isn’t really too shocking,” he said. 

Oakes said Hunter Biden will now be entering what’s called a pretrial diversion agreement. This deal will put the prosecution on hold as long as the defendant agrees to a list of requirements, such as probation, rehabilitation, therapy, etc. 

John Huber, a former US Attorney for the District of Utah, told Dave and Dujanovic a pretrial diversion agreement to resolve a case is rare.


“It may also be a signal that you know, they’re giving special attention to a Hunter Biden because of who he is,” Huber said. 

The tax charges

The tax charges against Hunter Biden are for failing to pay over $100,000 in taxes on a $1.5 million income. Willful failure to file your tax return is a misdemeanor, which could earn you one year in jail.

This is different than tax evasion or lying on your tax return, which is a felony. With a case involving this much money, Oakes noted, prosecutors could go after the defendant more aggressively, but it remains a misdemeanor. 

“There’s no suggestion that he cheated on his taxes,” he said. “They’re just saying, you know, he should have filed, he should have paid his taxes. He didn’t, and so now he’s gonna have to.”

Was this a sweetheart deal?

Huber said it’s easy to jump to conclusions from outside the case, not knowing what’s in the prosecution file. 

“Who else would get a multi-year in-depth investigation upon them,” he went on. “But for someone related to a high-ranking official.”

The prosecutor in this case, David Weiss, is one of the last people in the DOJ that was appointed by Former President Donald Trump. As the U.S. attorney in Delaware, Huber worked closely with him for a number of years. Huber said he’s an experienced prosecutor, he’s disciplined, and he’s also good-hearted. 

“We wake up in the morning not thinking, ‘What can I do today to screw up?’ We wake up in the morning thinking, ‘What can I do to make a positive difference,'” Huber said. “That’s the kind of guy David Weiss is.”

“I think that’s the starting point of discussion,” he continued. “Is giving some presumption of regularity to a guy trying to do his best.”

Related Reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to court for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal ...

Simone Seikaly

LISTEN: Closing arguments begin in Trump hush money trial

Former President Donald Trump faces felony charges related to a hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, in 2016. 

6 hours ago

gov cox speaks during memorial day event...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

‘I love my country’: Veterans, Gov. Cox focus on service, honoring military on Memorial Day

Gov. Spencer Cox at a Memorial Day service in Salt Lake stressed the importance of service and honoring veterans who have died while serving.

1 day ago

mitt romney at johns hopkins commencement ceremony...

Sam Herrera

Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Johns Hopkins University interrupted by protesters

Sen. Mitt Romney was briefly interrupted by protestors as he spoke at Johns Hopkins University's commencement ceremony on Thursday,

5 days ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at the City-County Building in Salt Lake City, May 5, 2...

Aimee Cobabe

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is asking for a pay raise

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is looking to increase her pay for up to 26% which will make an additional $44,000 a year. She is also proposing a 5% pay increase for all city employees for this year.

6 days ago

Senator Mitt Romney addresses ongoing drought conditions in Utah during a Budget Committee hearing ...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Senator Mitt Romney says we should be doing more to combat drought

Senator Mitt Romney is taking a look at how money is being spent on drought-related issues and pushing for more collaboration on the subject.

6 days ago

nikki haley shown, she endorsed trump...

Sam Herrera

Nikki Haley endorses Trump for president

The endorsement comes months after Haley ended her own presidential bid in March.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Hunter Biden will not face prosecution for his charges