Patterico's Pontifications

7/26/2023

Hunter Biden Plea Deal Falls Apart

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:46 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Fox News has a pretty good write-up here; CNN covers it rather thoroughly here. As usual, I’ll stick to the reporting from National Review Online:

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor tax charges in a federal courtroom in Delaware Wednesday after U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika put a plea deal his lawyers had reached with prosecutors on hold.

In June, Biden was charged with felony gun possession and two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018. The original deal included a recommendation of probation for the tax violations, while the gun charge for illegally owning a Colt Cobra .38 Special handgun would be dropped and potentially wiped from Biden’s record if he met certain conditions laid out in court.

Noreika described the deal struck with U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware as “unusual” and questioned why the deal contained some “non-standard terms,” such as “broad immunity” from other potential charges.

When she asked prosecutor Leo Wise if there was precedent for the kind of deal proposed, he replied, “No, your honor,” according to the New York Times.

Noreika asked prosecutors if Biden would be immune from prosecution for possible crimes such as violations related to representing foreign governments without registering. When they responded “no,” Hunter Biden’s legal team said the agreement was “null and void.”

This seemingly puts the lie to the talking points that Team Biden was disseminating after the plea deal was first announced: that this sort of thing was entirely standard and would be given to just about any first-time offender, even if they weren’t connected to the President of the United States. The “broad immunity” from other charges seems to be what rightly piqued Judge Noreika’s interest, and it’s not hard to envision that sanctifying this plea deal could have down the road potentially handcuffed investigators and prosecutors from pursuing charges in the myriad of other controversies surrounding the First Son. After a brief recess, the prosecution and defense came back with a revised agreement which would have immunized the crackhead Caravaggio from any tax, gun, or drug related charges from 2014-19, but the judge would not be rushed into accepting that compromise, and the defendant was thus forced to enter his “not guilty” plea.

So it looks like Hunter Biden will be back in court again in a few weeks, after the Judge has had time to mull over the proposed updated plea deal. The week is off to a pretty horrid start for the Bidens, and it is starting to appear that even the family’s staunchest defenders in the media are having second thoughts, as witnessed by the heavy coverage today at CNN. In a small coda which typifies the sort of week that Hunter Biden has been experiencing thus far, Fox News has this tidbit:

Meanwhile, on the eve of the court appearance, the judge threatened to sanction Hunter Biden’s legal team after one of his attorneys allegedly lied about who she was while asking to remove IRS whistleblower testimony from the court docket.

The defense, though, denied the allegations and called the incident “an unfortunate and unintentional miscommunication.”

Oh yes, I am sure this is all just one giant misunderstanding and certainly not the entitled Biden Brigades believing they could pull rank and steamroll a district court.

Are the walls closing in? We heard this predicted so often about Donald Trump that one can be forgiven for assuming that the Bidens will find a way to escape this trap. On the other hand, they are far less clever than the Clintons (or even the Trumps, if that can be believed), and this might just be the moment when Democrats determine that they need a clean slate going into next year’s elections. Expect lots of twist and turns to this story over the next couple of months, but as I said yesterday, I do think the Democrats need to decide whether to keep Biden or dump him by the time Labor Day rolls around.

– JVW


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