Hunter Biden Set to Plead Guilty in High-Stakes Criminal Tax Case

 Hunter Biden Set to Plead Guilty in High-Stakes Criminal Tax Case

Photo Courtesy: Bloomberg

Hunter Biden, the second son of the president, is expected to enter a guilty plea to two misdemeanor counts of tax evasion at the federal courthouse in Delaware on Wednesday morning.

This marks a significant moment as it is the first time the Justice Department, which falls under the executive branch, has brought charges against the child of a sitting president.

As part of the plea agreement reached last month with U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump and retained by President Joe Biden to oversee the case, Hunter Biden is expected to abide by the terms outlined.

The charges against Hunter Biden involve him receiving taxable income exceeding $1,500,000 annually in both 2017 and 2018. Despite owing over $100,000 in federal income taxes each year, he failed to pay the taxes owed for those years.

In addition to the tax-related charges, Hunter Biden also faced a separate gun charge for illegally owning a Colt Cobra .38 Special handgun. However, the Justice Department has indicated that he has reached a pretrial agreement that may potentially result in the case being expunged from his record, contingent upon certain conditions.

This legal development has garnered significant attention, given Hunter Biden’s association with the presidency, and it remains to be seen how the proceedings and potential repercussions will unfold.

“I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life,” his lawyer Christopher Clark said last month. “He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”

The U.S. political landscape has been engulfed by the affair, with a particular focus on Republicans. They contend that Hunter Biden has received favorable treatment due to his father’s position, and they believe he should have faced charges related to his other business dealings. President Trump, his family members, and political allies have consistently weighed in, making various allegations about Biden’s actions. Despite the resolution of the extensive five-year investigation involving federal prosecutors, FBI agents, and IRS officials, the deal is unlikely to quell the flood of political commentary.

Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, in a piece for The Washington Post, expressed on Tuesday that he believes U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika could reject Hunter Biden’s plea deal over tax and gun charges, as it does not include any jail time. His perspective resonates with many Republicans who view the plea deal as too lenient, akin to a mere slap on the wrist. The controversy surrounding the case is far from settled, and political debates are sure to persist.

Republicans have questioned the investigation and threatened to impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland over how the Justice Department has handled the case. Their ire has grown steadily since two IRS whistleblowers involved in the investigation testified before Congress that there was meddling to benefit the president’s son.

“At every stage, decisions were made that benefited the subject of this investigation,” said Greg Shapley, one of the whistleblowers.

In response, Weiss offered Monday to testify publicly before Congress in a letter sent to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

“The Department believes it is strongly in the public interest for the American people and for Congress to hear directly from U.S. Attorney Weiss on these assertions and questions about his authority at a public hearing,” Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte wrote in the letter, obtained by NBC News, which offered a handful of potential dates.

The FBI also shared a memo with Republican oversight leaders in the House and the Senate that included unverified claims about Biden’s time on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president. The allegations, which remain uncorroborated, were part of a Justice Department review that Trump’s then-attorney general, William Barr, launched in 2020. The probe was closed later that year.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed the allegations, which Republicans have raised regularly during the Biden administration, at a briefing Monday.

“I’ve been asked this question a million times,” she said. “The answer remains the same: The president was never in business with his son.”

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