Judge Blows Up Hunter Biden Plea Deal – Biden family defenders thought they were in the clear until Trump-appointed Federal District Judge Maryellen Noreika tossed out the “sweetheart” plea deal between Hunter Biden and Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
Hunter Biden Has a Problem
The deal would have allowed Hunter Biden to plead guilty to misdemeanors for failing to pay $100,000 in taxes in 2017 and 2018 on $1.5 million in income.
It also would have dropped the prosecution of his having made a false statement on an ATF form saying that he had not used illicit drugs in the past 12 months.
Biden admitted to regular drug abuse in his 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things” during the time period in question.
Without the plea deal, he could face up to 10 years in prison for his false statement.
The plea deal was intended to avoid the need for a trial and weeks and months of bad headlines for the Bidens.
Republicans have claimed that Biden got a better deal than former President Donald Trump who was indicted for the alleged illegal retention of classified documents.
Judge Questions the Deal Specifics
Judge Noreika questioned the specifics of the plea deal, saying she could not “rubber stamp” the agreement. The judge asserted that the deal contained “non-standard terms” and that the proposed solution to the gun issue was “unusual.”
She expressed confusion over the technical issues such as the request to deal with the gun charge beforehand.
She gave the prosecution and the defense 30 days to work out a new deal.
After Judge Noreika ordered the two sides to clear up the confusion, Biden’s attorney Chris Clark snapped, “As far as I’m concerned, the Plea Agreement is null and void. You know, we’ll have – to discuss things with the government.”
Prosecutors Say Hunter Biden Faces Potential FARA Charges
Prosecutors told the judge that Biden remains under investigation for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). It requires those lobbying on behalf of foreign companies, governments, or political parties to register with the Justice Department.
He showed familiarity with FARA and an effort to skirt the law, his emails show. This could be used to establish criminal intent.
The investigation is looking into FARA violations with the corrupt Ukrainian energy firm Burisma and the Chinese military intelligence linked CEFC Energy.
“Could the government bring a charge under the Foreign Agents 8 Registration Act?” Judge Noreika asked the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise responded by saying that the plea agreement did not provide any immunities for Biden against being charged with a FARA violation.
Biden ended up pleading not guilty for the time being.
He also admitted to working with Ye Jianming, the former head of CEFC Energy, who served as the one-time deputy secretary-general of the China Association of International Friendly Contact (CAIFC). He disclosed the legal work he did for Patrick Ho, who he called the “******* spy chief of China,” in 2018.
Judge Noreika ordered him to avoid using alcohol, or illegal drugs, from owning a firearm, communicating all international travel plans with the Justice Department, get substance counseling, and obtain gainful employment as a condition of his release. If he does not, he faces prison for contempt of court.
Washington Reacts to the End of the Deal
The White House dismissed the action.
“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and this was a personal matter for him,” said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden’s congressional Republican adversaries hailed the death of the plea deal.
“District Judge Noreika did the right thing by refusing to rubberstamp Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal,” said House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky. “But let’s be clear: Hunter’s sweetheart plea deal belongs in the trash.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.