On Wednesday, immunity concerns put Hunter Biden’s plea deal on two misdemeanor tax charges in risk.
Hunter Biden’s anticipated plea agreement fell down because the federal prosecution and the defense could not agree.
The judge presiding over the hearing initially expressed “concerns” over the parties’ connection of the tax plea agreement to a deal for a deal for a felony firearms charge. After the judge rejected Hunter Biden’s proposed plea arrangement that would have granted him immunity from further prosecution, Biden entered a “not guilty” plea to all of his counts.
“Judge Maryellen Noreika did not accept the plea agreement, questioning the constitutionality–specifically the diversion clause and the immunity Hunter Biden would receive. The judge pressed federal prosecutors on the investigation and questioned whether there was the possibility for future charges, and asked prosecutors if Hunter Biden was currently under active investigation. Prosecutors said he was, but would not answer specifically what the president’s son is under investigation for,” Fox News reported.
“Prosecutors on Wednesday said Hunter Biden pleading guilty to the two misdemeanor tax offenses would not immunize him from future charges. The judge asked whether a potential violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act was under consideration, but prosecutors were tight-lipped on the matter. The judge put the court in recess and asked that federal prosecutors and Biden’s legal team discuss the plea deal, telling the court that they did not appear to be in agreement on the terms,” the outlet reported.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley told CNN that the legal wrangling demonstrates the deal’s flaws and that additional charges may be brought.
“It’s very telling that the judge intervened here and said basically, ‘No, I’m not going to approve some sweeping blanket deal,’” the Republican from Missouri said. “I mean, that tells you the court has serious concerns about other potential charges here, and also the scope of the deal, which has seemed outrageous from the beginning. This, I think, signals that they’re still very much as potential for prosecution forward.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Delaware federal district court took a brief break from the bench so that attorneys could discuss the specifics of Hunter Biden’s plea bargain.
Hunter Biden urged that the pre-negotiated plea agreement should be adopted in its entirety through the use of his attorneys.
While being questioned by the judge earlier, Hunter Biden noted his “20 years” of former drug and alcohol problems, adding that he has been sober since 2019. Before ordering a break in the proceedings, the judge next asked for more details regarding the plea deal.
“Without the arrangement, President Joe Biden’s son could face up to 12 months in prison and a fine of $25,000 on each tax violation count, and a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail for the felony. The charges stem from the first son’s willful tax neglect in 2017 and 2018, when he failed to pay income taxes and owed more than $100,000 for each tax period. The felony charge stems from a 2018 incident when the president’s son lied on a gun application (ATF Form 4473) while attempting to make a purchase at a Delaware gun store,” the Washington Examiner reported.
In another case, a whistleblower has made severe claims against Hunter Biden.
President Joe Biden, who claimed he knew “nothing” about his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, may have benefited from them, according to information presented to a House committee last week by an IRS whistleblower.
An IRS special agent named Joseph Ziegler stated in a media interview that he encountered various obstacles while looking into claims that Hunter Biden had broken the law regarding taxes.
“Did you uncover evidence that President Biden financially benefited from his son’s deals?” Herridge of CBS News questioned Ziegler.
“I don’t feel comfortable answering that question,” Ziegler said. “Any time we potentially wanted to go down the road of asking questions related to the president, it was, ‘That’s gonna take too much approvals, we can’t ask those questions.’ And I mean, it created an environment that was very hard to deal with.”
He claimed that whenever he sought to move things along, the reaction he typically received was, “Let’s put that on the back burner.”
“Wouldn’t a politically sensitive case require additional approvals?” asked Herridge.
“Yes, I do understand that aspect,” Ziegler said. “But it would be like, ‘Well let’s think about it and put that on the back burner.’”
EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler tells @CBS_Herridge anytime IRS investigators potentially wanted to ask questions related to President Biden, they were told “That’s gonna take too much approvals. We can’t ask those questions.”pic.twitter.com/aitPxKpyUb
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) July 19, 2023
The true question, he claimed, is “Are we treating everyone the same? Are we treating all taxpayers the same?”
“And in this case, no, I don’t think so,” he told Herridge.
At one point, he said he had wanted to interview Hunter Biden’s adult children because “a lot of the business deductions, expenses, [were] related to the adult children.”
Asked if he was ever able to obtain permission to talk to them, Ziegler said. “We never received the approvals to talk to those people” because he was informed by the assistant U.S. attorney that doing so would get them “into hot water.”
“Is that in the IRS handbook, avoiding hot water?” Herridge asked.
“No, but I mean, I was asking to do these certain things, and roadblock after roadblock was put up in front of me,” he said.
Ziegler is “a 13-year veteran of the IRS,” according to CBS News, who also noted that he is “the second IRS employee to come forward to claim the federal tax investigation into the president’s son supported criminal charges more serious than the misdemeanor tax charges he is scheduled to plead guilty to as part of a plea bargain next week.”
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