Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is currently facing federal charges related to information discovered on a laptop that he had abandoned at a computer repair shop.
A plea agreement was initially reached between his defense team and prosecutors, which many Republicans criticized as being too lenient.
However, the plea deal fell apart when the presiding judge, US District Judge Maryellen Noreika, questioned its constitutionality.
The agreement aimed to have Hunter plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges while suspending a felony gun charge. Judge Noreika expressed concerns about the deal’s constitutionality, stating that the executive branch, not the judicial branch, is responsible for deciding when to charge someone.
She was worried that the immunity granted in the agreement could be at risk if it was deemed unconstitutional.
Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, Chris Clark, argued that the stipulation was necessary to prevent the case from being further politicized if the gun charge was brought up again. However, Judge Noreika found no case law to support the agreement.
In an unexpected twist, it was revealed in court that Hunter Biden is still under investigation for undisclosed matters. When asked about the possibility of facing charges related to the Foreign Agents Registry Act, prosecutors indicated that the plea deal would not shield him from such prosecution. This revelation led to the collapse of the original agreement.
Hunter Biden eventually pleaded not guilty after Judge Noreika expressed uncertainty about whether she would accept the plea deal. She decided to conduct a fact-finding mission on the deal before making a final decision.
The charges against Hunter Biden involve allegations of not paying taxes on significant taxable income for the years 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he is accused of lying about drug use on a firearm purchase form, resulting in the felony gun charge.
The case took a further turn when two whistleblowers from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) testified before Congress, alleging misconduct and political favoritism in the Justice Department’s yearslong investigation into Hunter Biden.
Furthermore, there were accusations of impropriety from Hunter Biden’s defense team. One of his lawyers allegedly misrepresented herself to a county clerk, leading to threats of sanctions from Judge Noreika.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Hunter Biden has the full support of his family, but the case is being handled independently.
She emphasized that Hunter is a private citizen and the Justice Department, led by a prosecutor appointed by former President Trump, is overseeing the case.