Officials declared on Tuesday that Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two counts of deliberately failing to pay federal income tax. Alongside these tax-related offenses, Hunter also consented to a pretrial diversion agreement for a separate charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm while being addicted to or using controlled substances.
Chris Clark, Hunter’s attorney, stated that “With the announcement of two agreements between my client, Hunter Biden, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, it is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved.”
The announcements provoked swift and severe criticism from Conservatives who accused the DOJ of granting preferential treatment to Hunter Biden.
Former President Donald Trump strongly criticized the plea agreement, dismissing it as a mere “traffic ticket” and alleging that it demonstrates political bias and corruption within the DOJ. Trump posted on Truth Social, stating:
“They gave him a traffic ticket and cleared everything up. It is a disgrace to the system, it is a disgrace to America, it is a very unfair situation, it is prosecutorial misconduct, and it is election interference — all wrapped up into one.”
Donald Trump on the Hunter Biden news: pic.twitter.com/t92G2LAqqQ— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) June 20, 2023
The DOJ’s agreement with Hunter Biden has drawn criticism from several Republican presidential candidates, who have labeled it a “sweetheart deal” and a reflection of a “two-tiered system of justice.”
Prominent critics of the deal include former President Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and conservative radio host Larry Elder. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina characterized Biden’s legal treatment as a mere “slap on the wrist,” while former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley suggested that it raises more questions than it provides answers.
During a press conference in Sweden on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked whether the legal agreement indicated a “different standard of justice.” The Attorney General responded by directing inquiries about the case to the U.S. Attorney overseeing the investigation.
Garland said: “From the moment of my appointment as Attorney General, I [determined to] leave this matter in the hands of the United States Attorney, who was appointed by the previous president, and assigned to this matter by the previous administration, that he would be given full authority to decide the matter as he decided was appropriate, and that’s what he’s done.”
"Do [Pres. Trump's and Hunter Biden's cases] reflect a different standard of justice depending on political leanings?"— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 21, 2023
Biden AG Merrick Garland: "I would leave this matter in the hands of the United States Attorney." pic.twitter.com/Lw2tXEwXzg
Garland added: “If you have any further questions about that matter, you should direct them to the U.S. attorney to explain his decision.”
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Hunter Biden is facing charges that stem from a comprehensive investigation conducted by the Federal District of Delaware. The investigation focuses on accusations of tax payment failures and providing false information on a federal firearm application.
While the plea agreement seems to address the aforementioned case, Hunter Biden remains under scrutiny for his controversial business involvements while serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware, emphasizes that the investigation is still ongoing.