“GOP vs. Hunter Biden: How the Unraveling Plea Agreement Fuels Political Fireworks”


Hunter Biden’s court appearance on Wednesday was already shaping up to be a historic occasion because the son of the US president entered a guilty plea to federal tax offenses, effectively ending a contentious probe.

Hunter Biden plea

The previous plea deal, however, nearly collapsed during the three-plus hour hearing, leaving the son of President Joe Biden in limbo for the time being. This will only draw more attention to the matter as House Republicans conduct their own investigations into Hunter Biden’s actions.

Hunter Biden was scheduled to enter a guilty plea to two tax crimes and receive a probationary term after failing to pay between $1.1 million and $1.5 million in federal taxes by the deadlines. A federal weapons charge was also intended to be resolved by the agreement.

Hunter Biden, who came in court dressed in a dark suit and with his hair pulled up, appeared anxious and concerned as the plea agreement started to fall apart. The president’s son then submitted a not guilty plea after the judge ultimately said she wasn’t prepared to accept the plea bargain.

Hunter Biden

Questions about foreign lobbying cause the hearing to stall

Under oath, Hunter Biden declared his desire to enter a guilty plea to US District Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Trump appointee who had the backing of Senate Democrats. Noreika started off by asking him a slew of formal inquiries that are typically asked at each and every federal plea hearing.

However, as time passed and Noreika questioned the attorneys on both sides about the specifics of the tax agreement, she discovered a crucial point of contention between the parties: Did the agreement shield Hunter from potential further charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for unlawful foreign lobbying? Hunter Biden’s team believed yes, but the Justice Department disagreed.

There could be no agreement without a “meeting of the minds,” as Noreika described it.

At that point, it seemed as though the plea deal was about to fall apart. However, Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark requested a brief break so that he could speak with the prosecution. After a brief intermission, he said that he was agreeing with the Justice Department’s assertion that his client was still subject to the possibility of FARA charges because the investigation was still ongoing.

Hunter Biden

Judge challenges the legality of the gun trade

The situation suddenly seemed to be in order, and Noreika continued to discuss the separate gun deal.

She claimed that because the gun deal would stray from separation of powers norms, she had “concerns about the constitutionality” of the agreement.

According to court documents, Hunter Biden knew he was using illegal drugs at the time he purchased the pistol in question, which makes the felony accusation against him illegal. The judge stated on Wednesday that the agreement to resolve the firearms allegation was “not straightforward” and contained “atypical provisions.”

Noreika voiced her displeasure that the tax and gun plea arrangements were set up by the parties in a way that required her to approve the gun settlement but gave her no authority over the tax deal.

A clause of the diversion agreement, which isn’t frequently brought before a judge, states that the judge will conduct a fact-finding investigation if there is a disagreement on whether Hunter Biden violated the deal’s terms. Noreika questioned why it would “plop” her into a transaction she had no control over and might prevent the Justice Department from filing charges, an executive branch duty.

As a result of the partisanship of the case, according to Biden’s counsel, any future disagreements should be settled by a neutral arbitrator like Noreika. The court said that she couldn’t determine whether or not the plan was legitimate on the spot.

Noreika stated, “I cannot accept the plea agreement today.”

What follows is what?

The judge requested that more legal arguments on behalf of the constitutionality of the plea agreement that deals with the guns accusations be submitted by both sides.

The court docket states that the parties have 30 days to submit these briefs.

At this moment, it’s unclear what occurs next. Another hearing with oral arguments could be scheduled by Noreika to further on the intricate constitutional issues at hand. She might make a formal decision accepting their justifications and approving the guilty plea.

It will be up to her how she wants to proceed.

Will the DOJ’s proposal for probation stand?

Hunter Biden’s sentence will also ultimately be decided by Noreika, whether a plea agreement is accepted or he is found guilty at trial.

While the judge made it plain on Wednesday that probation was an open topic, the prosecution has stated that they recommend it.

Noreika remarked, “I can’t say for you today whether that is an appropriate sentence or not.

Republicans want to take advantage of the uncertainty

Republicans who were already raising concerns about the inquiry have more opportunities now that the accord is being dismantled in court.

GOP senators slammed the Justice Department’s agreement and seized on the latest developments in the hope that they would strengthen their investigation into the president.

The refinement of the Hunter Biden plea agreement prompted Texas Rep. Chip Roy to tell CNN that “at least there is some scrutiny going on.” “The plea agreement was garbage, as we observed when it first began. Right today, there are individuals in jail for much less.

It also raises questions about whether US Attorney David Weiss, who was chosen by Trump to lead the five-year Hunter Biden inquiry, will visit Capitol Hill.

Although the topic was not raised during a hearing, Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan attributed the failure of a plea deal to IRS whistleblowers who were skeptical of the inquiry.

Although Wednesday’s events may cause a delay, Weiss has assured Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, that he will appear in public before the committee in the coming weeks to address inquiries regarding the ongoing criminal investigation.


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