July 26, 2023
A U.S. District Judge in Delaware has tossed out Hunter Biden’s plea agreement made on June 20, leaving prosecution of the president’s son for both tax evasion and lying on a firearms background check charges more likely. Under the plea deal, the younger Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two tax evasion charges and enter a Pretrial Diversion Agreement with respect to the firearm charges. Concerning the firearm crimes, Biden would have pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possessing a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance instead of lying on a background check.
However, on July 26, District Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Donald Trump appointee, said during a three-plus-hour hearing that she couldn’t accept the deal in its current form because it linked the tax crimes and gun crimes. After some discussion, Biden entered a plea of not guilty to two charges of failure to pay taxes. During discussion, Judge Noreika repeatedly questioned the plea deal made by U.S. Attorney David Weiss, an employee of Hunter’s father President Joe Biden, in respect to both the tax charges and firearm charges. According to reports, the judge wasn’t comfortable with the gun charges deal, which under the plea agreement would have been diverted until Biden fulfilled specified terms, with the judge serving as an arbitrator if Biden didn’t fulfill his end of the two-year deal. According to court records, Judge Noreika worried that there is not case law available to support such terms.
The gun charge is for Biden illegally owning a Colt revolver when addicted to a controlled substance. Biden could have been charged with lying on a federal background check, but his plea deal would have had him pleading guilty to the lesser charge of gun possession as an addict. According to ABC News, Judge Noreika lashed out toward the end of the hearing, saying repeatedly that she felt as though she were being asked to “rubber-stamp” the deal.
The breakdown of the plea deal met with approval by many who believe the original deal proved allegations of a two-tiered justice system where those in the Biden family and other powerful Democrats receive different treatment than average American citizens. U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday’s decisions give a chance for wrongs to be righted as far as the Biden deal was concerned.
"There shouldn't be two justice systems in America, and hopefully today that's what is being done," McCarthy said in reaction to the announcement. "So now is the window to show that we have equal justice, and that's the real question: Is it going to be fair as you treat every other American? That will be the question."
The judge has asked both the prosecution and defense to file additional briefs concerning the plea deal’s structuring. Because of Wednesday’s court actions in which the judge deferred her decision on approving the plea deal, it’s likely that the terms of Biden’s plea and sentencing will be determined at a later date. The judge did not, however, set a specific date for the next hearing.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.