The judge in the case said she needed more time to consider the proposal, which would have allowed U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden to plead guilty to tax charges while avoiding a weapons charge.
Hunter Biden’s Legal Issues on Request of Plea Agreement
The president will now have to deal with the younger Biden’s legal issues as he runs for reelection in 2024. The arrangement had drawn criticism from his main competitor, former President Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s Republican colleagues in Congress for favoring the president’s son unjustly.
According to the report released by US News, what was supposed to be a regular plea hearing turned into a three-hour ordeal with hushed attorney negotiations and pointed questions from U.S. officials, which is when the shocking turnabout occurred. Judge Maryellen Noreika of the district court.
She stated, “I cannot accept the plea agreement today,” asking the parties to explain why she should accept it. This suggests that Hunter Biden’s attorneys and prosecutors still have a chance to convince her to accept the plea agreement in its current form or to modify it so that she can accept it. Not wanting to “rubber stamp” a plea agreement, she stated. Despite owing more than $100,000 in back taxes, Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty during the hearing to charges of failing to pay taxes on more than $1.5 million in revenue in 2017 and 2018.
Hunter Biden Charged with Possession of Firearm
In a different instance, where he is accused of illegally possessing a firearm while abusing a controlled substance, a felony, he did not enter a plea. In court, the attorneys for Hunter Biden and the prosecution disputed whether the agreement they had struck would have precluded the younger Biden from being charged with any additional offenses. Defense attorney Chris Clark even claimed at one point that the agreement was “null and void.”
After lengthy talks between his attorneys and the prosecution, as Noreika waited in her chambers, Biden modified his position from first stating that he would not plead guilty to the tax charges without a settlement in place to prevent prosecution on the gun charge. In the end, the parties came to an understanding that Biden would only receive amnesty for a select number of tax, drug, and firearm charges.
Although the U.S. investigation is ongoing, Republicans have long charged Hunter Biden with using his father’s political influence in China and Ukraine for personal advantage. Trump appointee attorney David Weiss of Delaware has not found any proof to back up those accusations.
When news of the plea deal emerged in June, Trump and his Republican supporters immediately accused the president’s son of receiving preferential treatment. The younger Biden has long been accused, among other things, of buying influence abroad.
The president supported his son, according to Karine Jeane-Pierre, a spokesman for the White House, who also noted that “Hunter Biden is a private citizen and this was a personal matter for him.” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has refuted claims of preferential treatment and stated that Weiss had complete discretion when conducting the Hunter Biden investigation. Weiss has also claimed that he was not interfered with.
Hunter Biden has experience working as a lawyer, investment banker, consultant, lobbyist, and artist. His battles with addiction, including his drinking and crack cocaine use, have been openly acknowledged.