Special counsel David Weiss has indicted Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden on charges that he lied on a federal form while purchasing a gun five years ago.
The four-page indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, says that Hunter Biden of "knowingly made a false and fictious written statement, intended and likely to deceive" a dealer in his effort to acquire a Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018.
The indictment accuses Biden of certifying on a federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms form that "he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious."
Hunter Biden's addiction struggles with illegal drugs have been in the spotlight for years.
The indictment represents an about-face from Weiss who brokered a plea deal with Biden in late July that would have allowed the president's son to avoiding jail time for the gun charge if he passed drug tests and stayed out of legal trouble.
However, the agreement fell apart after District Court judge Maryellen Noreika cast doubt over whether the compromise ensured that Hunter would avoid any forthcoming felony charges stemming from the gun incident as well as allegations of tax evasion.
Pressed by Noreika whether such a deal had "any precedent for agreeing not to prosecute crimes that have nothing to do with the case or the charges being diverted," Weiss replied: "I am not aware of any."
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Weiss' designation as special counsel in August after he came under fire from Republicans.
The indictment was not a surprise. Weiss indicated earlier this month that he was likely to seek the indictment on the gun charge sometimes in September.
Weiss, who has been leading the sprawling investigation since late 2018, has been accused by Republicans of dragging his feet on the investigation because Hunter Biden is the president's son. The statute of limitations on the gun charge was about to lapse in the case.
Weiss has said he could still bring tax evasion charges against Biden in California or Washington D.C. Biden is accused of repeatedly missing IRS tax deadlines.