Hunter Biden’s “sweetheart” plea agreement was made public on Wednesday, releasing new information about the charges against the first son.
Court documents were released into the public domain following a request by NBC News to Delaware Judge Maryellen Noreika.
The 53-year-old is facing two charges related to failure to pay tax, as well as a separate gun charge for illegally owning a Colt Cobra .38 Special handgun while a known drug user.
Hunter Biden and the Pretty Pleas
The deal – not seen publicly until Wednesday, August 3 – has been lambasted by Republicans over its apparent leniency from the Department of Justice to President Joe Biden’s son.
Under the plea agreement, Hunter would have pleaded guilty to the tax charges in return for prosecutors recommending a sentence of probation.
Moreover, the gun charges were to be dropped in two years through what’s known as a diversion agreement – a deal where prosecutors drop charges providing the defendant adheres to conditions and complies with the law for a set period of time.
The new information
Documents attached to both the plea and diversion agreements cited Biden’s conduct in both cases regarding his drug and alcohol addiction.
The joint filing reads: “Following the death of his brother in 2015, Biden relapsed and over time progressed from alcohol to abusing illegal drugs, including crack cocaine in 2016.”
“Nonetheless, in 2017, despite his addiction, Biden successfully entered into business ventures and landed legal clients, earning millions of dollars.”
Biden’s substance abuse became even worse in 2018, including what he himself describes as a “spring and summer of nonstop debauchery.”
It was these two years for which Biden failed to pay his taxes, despite several reminders from his accountant and business partner.
Documents reveal that Hunter Biden had spent much of the $758,000 received in March/April 2019 by May, including payments on personal expenses, large cash withdrawals, child support, credit card balances, and payments for his Porsche.
After that, Biden sobered up and had paid off approximately $2 milllion in back taxes and penalties by October 2021.
The gun charge
Further documentation reveals Biden answered “no” in response to a question about drug use when filling out a form to purchase a revolver.
Biden owned the gun for 11 days in October 2018 during the middle of his drug addiction. It was later discarded in a trash can outside a Delaware supermarket.
Biden would be barred from ever buying or possessing a gun again under the terms of the diversion agreement.
In exchange, the government would not prosecute Biden for the charges he is currently facing.
The Trump-nominated Judge Noreika asked for further information from both parties before deciding whether to accept the plea agreement in the coming weeks.
Her concerns were shared by Republican lawmakers, who announced an investigation into the plea agreement on Monday, labeling it “unusual” with the belief the Justice Department “has provided preferential treatment toward Mr. Biden in the course of its investigation and proposed resolution of his alleged criminal conduct.”
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.