The conditions of Hunter's release include abstaining from drugs and alcohol and undergoing supervision by a probation officer
After an attorney entered the plea on Hunter's behalf, the judge went over the conditions of his release, which include supervision by a probation officer, actively seeking employment, not possessing a gun, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and submitting to drug testing when requested, according to NBC News. If the probation office recommends substance abuse counseling, Hunter will be required to participate.
Hunter was indicted in Delaware federal court in September, with two counts tied to him allegedly signing a form stating that he was not using illegal drugs at the time he purchased a revolver in October 2018. A third count alleges that Hunter, who has been open about his addiction issues, possessed a firearm while using a narcotic.
Speaking to Good Morning America in September, one of Hunter's attorneys offered a preview of the defense, suggesting at one point that there may be evidence to dispute the facts of the case. "The evidence will be presented when and if there is a trial,” attorney Abbe Lowell said on the show. “It's not going to be somehow prelimed in this interview today or any other.”
The indictment comes in the wake of a five-year investigation by federal prosecutors, the FBI and the IRS, which also saw Hunter charged with two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay federal income taxes, as well as a felony charge of illegally possessing a weapon.
But the investigation reportedly evolved with time, focusing also on Hunter's income taxes and paperwork he used to purchase a firearm in 2018, on which he allegedly denied being "an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance" despite publicly admitting to struggles with addiction.
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Earlier this year, Hunter attempted to strike a plea deal with prosecutors, which would have allowed him to avoid a felony gun charge by pleading guilty to two tax charges. That deal fell apart, however, in July.
Hunter's business dealings have also been a focus of Republicans since his father took office. Days before his indictment, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that his party is launching an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, accusing the president of lying "to the American people about his own knowledge of his family's foreign business dealings."
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