Hunter Biden was expected to show up for court Wednesday morning and plead guilty to a cushy bargain he struck with his father’s Justice Department that would keep him out of jail.
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Only things didn’t immediately work out that way.
“The judge overseeing a deal reached between federal prosecutors and Hunter Biden has reportedly thrown out the plea agreement over concerns that details of the ongoing investigation are not being considered in the prosecution’s decision to spare the president’s son from jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to tax and gun charges,” Trending Politics reported.
Kara Scannell from CNN reported that during the court session, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Norieka directly inquired with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware about the inclusion of evidence from an investigation into whether Hunter Biden should have registered as a foreign agent.
The investigation is related to his representation of overseas companies from which he received substantial sums of money, and alleged false reporting to the Internal Revenue Service. In response, representatives for U.S. Attorney David Weiss informed the judge that this specific aspect of their office’s investigation would not be part of the plea deal, the outlet added.
“If you can charge that, then what does this mean?” asked Judge Norieka.
Attorneys for Hunter Biden said if foreign agent charges were to move forward, then their client would not be pleading guilty as planned.
“Then there is no deal,” the judge concluded.
🚨BREAKING: Hunter Biden's plea deal just fell apart in court due to investigations that are still on going into potential FARA violations. pic.twitter.com/wn6qoXGMSD
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 26, 2023
Fox News added: “Hunter Biden was also expected to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement regarding a separate felony charge of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.”
CNN noted further:
The judge called a second recess in the Hunter Biden plea proceedings as it appeared that the agreements the president’s son had reached with prosecutors had begun to unravel.
The judge said she had “concerns” about the parties seemingly linking the tax plea agreement to the deal on the gun charge. During the proceedings, prosecutors confirmed that the investigation into President Joe Biden’s son was ongoing.
Later, CNN reported:
The judge is asking Hunter Biden a series of questions about the facts that are included in the charging documents.
The judge asked Biden for the names of the foreign companies where he has worked.
“The Ukrainian energy company was Burisma,” Biden said. Biden has also mentioned his work for a Chinese energy company, CEFC. His ties to that company have come under intense scrutiny by House Republicans.
The judge asked Biden, “You did know that you owed tax money, right?”
Biden said, “Yes, your honor.”
CNN added that Noreika described the agreement federal prosecutors reached with Hunter Biden for his gun possession offense as “unusual.”
She also pointed out that the deal, which involves Biden entering a diversion program to resolve the charge, includes some “non-standard terms,” notably granting “broad immunity” from potential additional charges.
“We don’t usually make diversion agreements public,” the judge said, a reference to the decision by both parties to make that aspect of the plea agreement public and then discuss it openly in court.
CNN concluded that “Noreika said she was not ready to accept the plea deal, and the hearing ended with Hunter Biden pleading not guilty for the time being. The judge asked the sides to file additional briefs explaining the plea deal’s legal structuring.”
This story was updated to reflect the latest information.