U.S. President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was indicted Thursday on three federal counts of firearm offenses.

The indictment, marking the first prosecution of a sitting leader's child in U.S. history, comes as the 2024 election looms and as Republicans in the House of Representatives push to open an impeachment inquiry into the Democratic president over his son's business dealings abroad.

File photo shows President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden leaving after a court appearance in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 26, 2023. (AP/Kyodo)

Of the three counts, two accuse Hunter Biden, 53, of making false statements when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver in Delaware in 2018, and the third accuses him of possessing the gun while addicted to narcotics, according to the indictment filed by a special counsel overseeing the case in federal court in the U.S. state.

The only surviving son of the 80-year-old president could be on trial during his father's campaign for re-election.

Hunter Biden was charged after a proposed plea deal between him and the Justice Department that would have resolved the gun charges as well as tax charges he is facing unexpectedly fell apart at a July hearing.

The next presidential election is likely to be an unprecedented contest, as former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican Party's 2024 nomination, faces a total of 91 felony counts at the state and federal levels.

Last month, Trump was indicted for the fourth time in five months, with prosecutors in Georgia accusing him of having attempted to overturn his narrow 2020 presidential election loss by interfering with the state's vote-counting procedures.

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