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Hunter Biden to enter not guilty plea in Los Angeles federal tax charges hearing

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Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has decided to appear in a Los Angeles court on Thursday to face arraignment on nine federal tax charges. This legal development follows the collapse of a plea deal that would have spared him from a criminal trial during the upcoming 2024 campaign season.

Expected to plead not guilty, Biden faces allegations of engaging in a four-year scheme to evade paying $1.4 million in taxes, diverting funds instead towards an extravagant lifestyle inclusive of drugs and alcohol.

The charges are part of a broader federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax and business dealings. Initially anticipated to conclude with a plea deal resulting in two years’ probation for misdemeanor tax charges, the agreement unraveled when a federal judge raised concerns, propelling the tax and gun cases forward. Concurrently, Biden also faces charges in Delaware related to false statements on a federal form for gun purchasers in October 2018, where he denied using illegal drugs.

This legal turmoil unfolds amid a unique intersection of political and legal drama, with both President Biden’s son and former President Donald Trump facing active prosecution by the Justice Department. Hunter Biden’s original proposed plea deal had drawn criticism from Republicans, branding it a “sweetheart deal.” Trump, embroiled in his own legal challenges, is confronted with 91 charges across four separate cases, including allegations of plotting to overturn the 2020 election results.

Hunter Biden’s legal proceedings run parallel to Republican attempts to connect his business dealings to his father, leading to an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. While questions regarding the ethics of the Biden family’s international business dealings persist, no evidence has emerged to substantiate claims of abuse of power or acceptance of bribes by Joe Biden during his current or previous offices.

In the event of conviction on tax charges, the 53-year-old Hunter Biden could face a maximum prison sentence of 17 years. Following the breakdown of the plea deal, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel, David Weiss, to handle the case. Defending Biden, his attorney, Abbe Lowell, has accused Weiss of yielding to Republican pressure and emphasized that the charges might not have been brought if Hunter Biden’s last name were different.

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