Joe Biden’s son has pleaded not guilty to federal tax charges filed after the collapse of a plea deal that could have spared him the spectacle of a criminal trial during the 2024 election campaign.

Hunter Biden has been accused of nine felony and misdemeanour tax offences.

The charges stem from what federal prosecutors say was a four-year scheme to skip out on paying the $1.4m (£1.1m) he owed to the IRS and instead use the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle that included drugs and alcohol.

The judge set a tentative trial date of 20 June during the half-hour hearing.

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden has also been charged in Delaware with lying in October 2018 on a federal form for gun purchasers when he swore he was not using or addicted to illegal drugs.

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He was addicted to crack cocaine at the time.

He is also accused of possessing the gun illegally and has pleaded not guilty in that case.

The accusations all come from a years-long federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax and business dealings that had been expected to wind down over the summer with a plea deal in which he would have got two years’ probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanour tax charges.

He would also have avoided prosecution on the gun charge if he stayed out of trouble.

The deal unravelled when a federal judge who had been expected to approve the deal instead began to question it.

Hunter Biden’s original proposed plea deal with prosecutors had been pilloried as a “sweetheart deal” by Republicans, including Donald Trump.

The former president is facing his own criminal problems – 91 charges across four separate cases, including that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Joe Biden, a Democrat.

He too appeared in court on Thursday in New York for closing arguments in his civil fraud trial.



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