Hunter Biden’s legal team stated in a court filing on Sunday that federal prosecutors have backed out of a plea deal that both parties had agreed upon in June. However, they emphasize that the agreement pertaining to a felony gun charge against the president’s son remains valid.
This filing was made in response to prosecutors’ recent move to completely withdraw the plea deal in Delaware. Prosecutors had announced on Friday that due to failed plea negotiations in court last month, Biden might be headed for a criminal trial.
Originally, the president’s son was set to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, in addition to entering a pretrial diversion agreement concerning a separate felony firearm charge.
The lawyers noted in their Sunday filing that Biden had signed both agreements, showing his willingness to relinquish certain rights and take responsibility for past errors.
While the plea agreement for the tax charges faltered, the legal team argued that the agreement for the gun charge had been “executed” and thus remains legally binding.
According to the filing, “the Defendant intends to abide by the terms of the Diversion Agreement that was executed at the July 26 hearing by the Defendant, his counsel, and the United States, and concurs with the statements the Government made during the July 26 hearing, and which the Government then acknowledged in its filings agreeing to the public disclosure of the Plea and Diversion Agreements—that the parties have a valid and binding bilateral Diversion Agreement.”
The filing also pointed out that the revelation made by prosecutors during last month’s hearing, indicating they were still investigating the president’s son, contradicted his understanding of the extent of immunity he would receive under the deal.
“The Defendant’s understanding of the scope of immunity agreed to by the United States was and is based on the express written terms of the Diversion Agreement,” the filing stated. “His understanding of the scope of immunity agreed to by the United States is also corroborated by prosecutors’ contemporaneous written and oral communications during the plea negotiations.”
Abbe Lowell, who represents Biden, commented on “CBS News” earlier that there were three potential explanations for the breakdown in negotiations during the July 26 hearing: either the Department of Justice prosecutors were unclear in their writing, they misrepresented their intention to counsel, or they altered their stance while in court.
Lowell later indicated that he believed the third scenario was likely, suggesting that prosecutors changed their decision during the court proceedings.
The filing was submitted on Sunday, shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware, would be appointed as special counsel to lead investigations into Hunter Biden. Republicans swiftly criticized Garland’s selection of Weiss, who had overseen the prosecution of Biden’s tax and gun charges, which conservatives deemed as lenient.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., labeled Garland’s announcement as “part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of [House Oversight Republicans’] mounting evidence of President Biden’s role in his family’s schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals.”
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