Hunter Biden’s attorneys accuse prosecutors of reneging on immunity plea deal

hunter biden

Hunter Biden’s attorneys accuse prosecutors of reneging on immunity plea deal

 

WASHINGTON − Attorneys representing Hunter Biden have alleged that prosecutors failed to uphold a plea agreement that had drawn attention from a federal judge. This agreement involved the president’s son admitting to two misdemeanor tax evasion charges and being granted immunity against potential future charges.

In a court filing on Sunday, Hunter Biden’s legal team contended that it was the prosecutors, not the defense, who initiated and significantly shaped both the plea agreement and a separate diversion agreement. The defense perceived this diversion agreement as a form of immunity for their client.

The filing from Hunter Biden’s attorneys stated, “The Defendant, represented by legal counsel, accepted the invitation from prosecutors to engage in discussions for settlement, with the understanding that these discussions would lead to a comprehensive resolution of the Government’s extensive five-year investigation.”

The plea agreement fell apart in court last month.

The investigation remains ongoing after Attorney General Merrick Garland granted special counsel status to U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has been supervising the five-year investigation involving President Joe Biden’s son.

Following the appointment of special counsel, prosecutors filed a motion indicating an “impasse” between the two parties, and the government expects the case to proceed to trial. The Justice Department intends to relocate the case to either a federal court in Washington or California. With the authority of a special counsel, Weiss will have the discretion to bring charges in any federal court he deems suitable.

In a hearing on July 26, U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected a plea agreement that had been presented by both prosecutors and Hunter Biden. Noreika voiced concerns regarding the terms of the agreement, specifically focusing on disagreements regarding the assurances Hunter Biden’s legal team had sought in order to secure immunity from any potential future criminal charges linked to the case.

The legal team representing Hunter Biden argued that the immunity provision encompassed his business dealings abroad. However, prosecutors adopted a narrower interpretation of immunity, keeping open the possibility of potential charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In the filing on Sunday, the defense asserted that Hunter Biden’s understanding of the plea agreement, which included complete immunity, is supported by contemporaneous written and verbal exchanges with prosecutors during the negotiation process. Hunter Biden’s lawyers expressed their readiness to address the questions posed by the judge during the hearing. Nonetheless, they acknowledged that due to the U.S. government’s decision to backtrack on the previously agreed plea agreement, these matters have become moot.

Subsequent to the judge’s rejection of the plea agreement, Hunter Biden entered a not guilty plea last month for failing to pay taxes on over $100,000 of taxable income earned in 2017 and 2018. He is also facing a separate charge for the possession of a firearm in 2018 as a drug user.

Given the appointment of a special counsel and the potential for a trial, the investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities is anticipated to extend into 2024, coinciding with President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.

During an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lead attorney, attributed the breakdown of the deal to the prosecution. Lowell outlined several possibilities, including miscommunication or a shift in the prosecution’s stance while in court.

Lowell expressed confidence that no new evidence would emerge against his client. He emphasized that the elevation of Weiss to the position of special counsel does not fundamentally alter the case beyond a change in title.

“I am confident that if this prosecutor follows the same process that has been followed for the past five years – examining the facts, evidence, and the law – the only conclusion will be the same conclusion reached on July 26th,” Lowell stated. “There is no new evidence to be discovered.”

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