Hunter Biden Plea Deal Collapses in Court


Hunter Biden’s plea deal with federal prosecutors fell apart at the last minute in a court hearing Wednesday.

The president’s son was expected to plead guilty to two tax charges, as well as agree to seek treatment to have an additional gun charge dropped.

During Biden’s plea hearing on Wednesday morning in Delaware federal court, US District Judge Maryellen Noreika asked Leo Wise, a top prosecutor in the case, whether the deal would mean Biden would get immunity for other possible crimes, according to the New York Times.

Prosecutors had reportedly examined whether Biden worked as an unregistered agent for foreign governments and other business dealings involving overseas companies. David Weiss, the US Attorney in Delaware overseeing the Biden case, has said the investigation is ongoing.

Wise said the plea deal wouldn’t cover other potential crimes. At that point, according to the Times, Biden’s lawyer said the plea agreement was “null and void.”

In June, Biden’s lawyers indicted he would agree to the plea on two tax charges. Hunter Biden reportedly failed to pay around $1.2 million in taxes in 2017 and 2018 but has since paid the IRS in full.

Prosecutors had also brought a gun charge against the president’s son — alleging he was in possession of a firearm, which is against the law for unlawful drug users. They allowed Biden to enter a pretrial diversion program for the charge, allowing they’d drop it if he seeks treatment.

If the gun charge went to trial, it would carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. 

The tax charges that Biden admitted to stem from an investigation by David Weiss, the US Attorney in Delaware. He opened the investigation in 2018 during the administration of former President Donald Trump, who appointed him to the post. While US Attorneys typically resign with each new presidential administration, the Justice Department under Biden asked Weiss to remain in his role.

On Wednesday morning, Wilmington, Delaware was abuzz with national media.


Republican politicians have sought to intervene in Biden’s case. Some have been furious about what they call a “sweetheart deal” between the Justice Department and the president’s son, and want more investigation into Biden’s business in Europe and Asia. The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, filed a highly unusual brief asking the judge to seek more information about the case before deciding whether to accept a plea. 

On Tuesday, Republican Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, the chairman of the powerful House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, tried to intervene in the proceedings by asking the judge to reject the plea deal. His filings cited testimony from two IRS employees who have said the investigation has been limited in scope due to political influence — accusations Weiss has publicly denied.

Rep. Smith’s filings kicked off some drama on the court docket. Noreika, an appointee of Trump, said in an order on Tuesday that an employee at Latham & Watkins, a law firm representing Hunter Biden, called the court and pretended to be a Republican lawyer in an attempt to convince the clerk to remove documents that Smith filed to court.

The law firm told the court that it was an “unfortunate and unintentional miscommunication” and does not warrant sanctions. Some accompanying documents in Smith’s filings appeared to include Biden’s personal tax information, the firm said.

The court clerk had removed the documents from the public record “on their own accord,” the firm wrote.

The staffer in question filed her own affidavit, denying that she ever implied she worked for Smith’s lawyer Ted Kittila, as accused.

“I am completely confident that I never indicated that I was calling from Mr. Kittila’s firm or that I worked with him in any way,” Jessica Bengels wrote in the affidavit.

This story is breaking and will be updated.


Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply