President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is facing a legal hurdle in his proposed plea agreement. The deal, which would have him admit to two misdemeanor tax charges while avoiding a gun charge, is now uncertain.
Hunter’s lead attorney, Chris Clark, declared the deal “null and void” when Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned its potential to grant Hunter perpetual immunity from other possible crimes on Wednesday.
A senior prosecutor confirmed the deal wouldn’t provide such immunity, leading to a request for a recess to renegotiate the terms, according to a New York Times report.
The plea agreement is the result of a lengthy investigation led by federal prosecutor David C. Weiss, a Trump appointee retained under the Biden administration, the Times report said.
Hunter had agreed to plead guilty to late tax payments for 2017 and 2018, years marked by his struggle with crack cocaine addiction, according to the Times. He owed over $100,000 in taxes each year, based on a yearly taxable income exceeding $1.5 million. He settled his tax debts in 2021.
Additionally, Hunter faced charges related to a 2018 handgun purchase during which he falsely denied drug use. The Justice Department agreed not to prosecute this charge if he remains weapon- and drug-free for two years.
Republicans criticized the deal as excessively lenient, alleging that political interference tainted the agreement. They attempted to block the plea deal on Tuesday, citing testimonies from two I.R.S. investigators. Weiss denied these claims.
Donald Trump Jr. recently commented on the situation at the Turning Point Action Conference. He suggested that his father, former President Donald Trump, would have been much harsher if he were in a similar situation. “My dad would have sent me to Gitmo,” he quipped.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.) has said he expected a GOP probe into the investigations in foreign business activity related to President Biden at a level of an impeachment inquiry.
“We’ve only followed where the information has taken us. But Hannity, this is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed,” said McCarthy in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. “Because this president has also used something we have not seen since Richard Nixon: Use the weaponization of government to benefit his family and deny Congress the ability to have the oversight.”
Republicans in Congress vowed to probe the business dealings of Hunter Biden in his connection with the Ukrainian company, Burisma.
Biden was connected to the company while his father was Vice President of the United States. Members of the Obama administration had expressed skepticism of the introduction.
“Instead of focusing on the real issues Americans want us to address like continuing to lower inflation or create jobs, this is what the @HouseGOP wants to prioritize. Their eagerness to go after @POTUS regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless,” said Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations on Twitter.
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