In a recent court filing, attorneys representing President Biden’s son Hunter Biden have argued that a section of a previously unsuccessful plea deal with federal prosecutors should remain intact, citing that “it was never a judge’s approval is required to handle a gun possession charge.” through a diversion program”.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys said prosecutors failed to honor the plea agreement reached in June. After the settlement fell apart, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss will serve as special counsel for the ongoing Biden investigation.
In that court filing, Christopher Clark, Biden’s attorney, emphasized that his client plans to “comply with the terms of the Diversion Agreement that was executed at the July 26 hearing by the defendant, his attorney and the United States.” noting that this agreement is “valid and binding”. Prosecutors’ stance on the continued validity of the diversion agreement remains uncertain.
The plea agreement had a unique two-tier format: Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two lesser tax offenses in a standard guilty plea. At the same time, the felony charge related to his gun purchase during a period of drug abuse would be prosecuted as a diversion case. This means that if he remained sober and met other conditions for a period of two years, the charge would be dismissed.
Diversion deals are typically reserved for non-violent defendants facing substance abuse problems. Unlike standard guilty pleas, diversion deals are negotiated solely between the defendant and prosecutors, without the need for a judge’s endorsement. For Hunter Biden, the essential elements of the two-tier deal with prosecutors were part of the diversion, not the guilty plea, that led to the deal’s failure at a hearing in late July.
Last Friday, federal prosecutors said discussions with Hunter Biden’s legal team on tax-related charges were unsuccessful, hinting at a possible criminal trial that could coincide with President Biden’s re-election efforts. There are also indications that the president’s son could face more charges. Prosecutors want to present their case again in California and Washington, DC, where Hunter Biden has resided.
Garland’s recent appointment of a special counsel to deepen the investigation into the president’s son allows Weiss to launch charges beyond Delaware. Weiss had reportedly approached Garland about this date a few days earlier.
The controversial settlement fell apart amid questions from the federal judge overseeing it, demanding clarity on whether the settlement would protect Hunter Biden from further charges. Although Biden’s lawyers claimed he did, prosecutors disagreed.
In its recent filing, Hunter Biden’s legal team asserted its understanding of the terms of the settlement, arguing that prosecutors’ statements in the courtroom contradicted their earlier private discussions.
“Defendant’s understanding of the scope of the immunity agreed to by the United States was and is based on the express written terms of the Diversion Agreement,” Biden’s lawyers wrote. “His understanding of the scope of the United States’ agreed immunity is also corroborated by prosecutors’ contemporaneous written and oral submissions during plea negotiations.”
Before the possible settlement was broken, Hunter Biden had tentatively agreed to plead guilty to failing to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018. Court records show that during those years, Washington resident Biden amassed more than 1 .5 million in taxable income, which generated taxes. fees in excess of $100,000, which he did not promptly remit.
Hunter Biden’s ethically flexible attorney, Abbe Lowell, appeared on Face the Nation on Sunday and discussed the “broad immunity” that was part of the diversion agreement, which he says is still valid and binding. This diversion agreement is a separate agreement from the “plea agreement”.
“It was our understanding that it would be broad immunity,” Lowell said. “And the language, as the judge pointed out, is a very broad phrase. It says it includes all the facts that were in the document setting out the transactions.”
“So there are two different agreements, as you point out,” he continued. “And on July 26, what was very clear is that the prosecutor’s office presented the diversion agreement, which they signed, which we signed, and as an agreement of which they have described it as an autonomous and independent bilateral agreement with two signatures . This agreement is different from the request. The plea has not fallen, the plea has not gone ahead. The diversion agreement has already been submitted to the courts and has the necessary signatures to make it binding.”
There was also a new legal motion to overturn the court’s information order filed on Sunday. That leads some legal observers to suspect that new special counsel David Weiss is trying to get the Hunter Biden case off the clutches of Judge Noreika and into a friendlier place with a judge who doesn’t doggedly insist on following the law.
Dem. Congressman becomes first to call for President Joe Biden to ‘move on’ from 2024 election
“*” Indicates mandatory fields
OPINION: This article contains comments that reflect the opinion of the author.