After receiving harsh criticism for the “sweetheart deal” provided to first son Hunter Biden, the Justice Department is reportedly mulling a fresh course of action.
According to a Department of Justice (DoJ) official quoted by The Daily Mail, there are ongoing discussions about possibly delaying Hunter Biden’s plea hearing in light of the controversy surrounding the agreement and claims that Attorney General Merrick Garland misled Congress about the criminal investigation involving the Biden family.
The source added the following: “On July 26 a Delaware federal judge is set to decide whether to accept the First Son’s plea deal with prosecutors over two tax misdemeanors. Republican lawmakers are calling for Judge Maryellen Noreika to toss out the ‘slap on the wrist’ and ‘sweetheart’ deal entirely, after whistleblowers from the IRS who investigated Hunter for five years say that he could instead have been charged with a raft of more serious tax and corruption crimes. Now, a legal filing reveals the DoJ is considering delaying the finalizing of the plea deal amid the opprobrium.”
The Justice Department is being sued by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation for withholding Delaware prosecutor David Weiss’ contact records. Under the Freedom of Information Act, they are requesting these documents.
In a court filing submitted last week, Heritage said that on June 29, a phone discussion took place between their attorney and DoJ counsel Jason Lynch, during which the Justice official allegedly made the startling statement.
The DOJ representative was informed by Heritage’s attorney, Samuel Dewey, that the group had the right to formally ask the federal judge overseeing Hunter’s criminal case to postpone the scheduled plea hearing on July 26. The reason for the delay is to give the team more time to thoroughly review and reveal Weiss’ records, allowing for a thorough evaluation of the prosecutor’s agreement.
“DoJ Counsel indicated that Plaintiffs were ‘absolutely right’ that the Department could file such a motion and that DoJ Counsel would take that point back to the ‘District’ (presumably speaking of the District of Delaware),” wrote Dewey.
His petition suggests that the DOJ may currently be considering whether to ask for a postponement of Hunter’s hearing about the plea agreement.
“They have the capability to move the plea deal, though they didn’t indicate any likelihood they would,” Heritage Foundation Oversight Director Mike Howell told The Daily Mail.
“The public has an interest to assess for themselves: is this a sweetheart deal? It certainly appears to be,” Howell added. “This information needs to be out, and it’s in the public interest for it to be out prior to any plea being signed off on.”
Howell claimed that the Foundation is actively looking for corroborating information to back up the claims made by the whistleblowers that Weiss had difficulties when pursuing the First Son’s criminal charges in a number of districts, including Central California and Washington, D.C.
Garland notified the Senate that Weiss had the right credentials to bring charges against Hunter across the country. However, during a congressional hearing, IRS inspectors claimed that Weiss faced challenges from prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles who had been selected by Biden, which prohibited him from pressing criminal tax charges.
“If the whistleblowers are correct, U.S. Attorney Weiss’ Office should have responsive records that will corroborate the whistleblowers,” Dewey wrote in his filing.
“There are events so grave—so essential—to our constitutional order that if we are to keep our Republic, the American people must have a full accounting of the facts,” he added. “A state of affairs where there is a substantial question as to whether the Attorney General misled Congress is intolerable. That is why production of the records sought by Plaintiffs is essential. And why it is essential now.”
In response, the DOJ stated that although they would make an effort to disclose some documents, they wouldn’t turn them over until after Hunter’s plea hearing on July 26.
Once “Noreika signs off on the deal – the details of which are still secret – it is unlikely it can be reversed,” the Daily Mail noted.
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