What is Hunter Biden’s defense?: A special counsel has been appointed after the collapse last week of the president’s son’s plea bargain. Where does Hunter Biden’s defense go from here?
Is Hunter Biden Headed for the Trial of the Century?
Weeks after a plea bargain was announced that appeared set to keep Hunter Biden out of prison, that plea bargain collapsed after it was rejected by the case’s judge, with both sides making clear last week that a new agreement was unlikely. Now, it appears, the president’s son may very well go to trial- and the U.S. attorney who has been supervising the case for several years, David Weiss, has now been named special counsel.
“The prospect of the president’s son going on trial, under a glaring media spotlight, would be a nightmare distraction for any White House, let alone – potentially – during a reelection campaign,” CNN’s analysis said. “It would also prolong the personal toll on the president and his family of an investigation into his only surviving son, a recovering addict, which has already lasted five years.”
In the meantime, House Republicans and conservative media have continued to move forward with embarrassing stories about Hunter Biden’s personal life, while also pushing a “Biden Crime Family” narrative that has, up until now, uncovered no solid evidence of any wrongdoing by the president himself.
What Will Hunter Do Now?
What is Hunter Biden’s defense in all of this? His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, discussed that over the weekend on CBS’ “Face the Nation” show.
First, Lowell discussed what happened with the plea bargain.
“There are only a few possibilities. Remember, it were the prosecutors who came forward and asked if there was a resolution possible. They’re in charge of figuring out the form, the document, and the language,” Lowell, a longtime top lawyer in Washington, said on the show. “They did that. And so the possibilities are only, one, they wrote something and weren’t clear what they meant. Two, they knew what they meant, and misstated it to counsel. Or third, they changed their view as they were standing in court in Delaware. So to answer that question, I’ll ask you a question. And everybody else who’s paying attention, what group of experienced defense lawyers would allow their client to plead guilty to a misdemeanor on a Monday, keeping in mind that they knew that there could be a felony charge on a Wednesday? That wouldn’t happen.”
The disagreement, he said, was over how much “broad immunity” Hunter would enjoy following the plea deal.
Lowell was also asked if potential charges under FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act) were part of the earlier plea agreement.
“You asked me whether or not that has been part of the investigation and after five years and what we know happened in the grand jury, of course that had to be part of what the prosecutor has already looked at, as well as every other false allegation made by the right wing media and others, whether it’s corruption or FARA, or money laundering,” Lowell said. “That was part of what this prosecutor’s office had to have been looking over for five years. I can assure you that five years concluded that the only two charges that made sense were two misdemeanors for failing to file like millions of Americans do, and a diverted gun charge for the 11 days that Hunter possessed a gun. Everything else had been thoroughly looked at.”
When asked what will change with Weiss having been granted special counsel status, Lowell answered that the U.S. attorney is “the same person he’s been for the last five years… a Republican U.S. attorney appointed by a Republican president and attorney general, who had career prosecutors working this case for five years, looking at every transaction that Hunter was involved in.”
And Lowell was asked if the president was “completely walled off from Hunter’s business affairs”- the question very much at the heart of Congress’ Biden investigations.
“The facts and the evidence that have been pursued by however many members of Congress and their staffs and media, looking for any possible connection has shown time and time again, it doesn’t exist,” the attorney said. “If the most people that are criticizing the Biden family is- is that when the President calls his son every day and it goes on the speakerphone, he says ‘hello’ to the people in the room. That is not an offense, that is nothing other than a loving father.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.