Hunter Biden walked into a federal courtroom in Delaware on Wednesday expecting to get a slap on the wrist for tax and gun violations after pre-arranging a sweetheart plea deal with Justice Department prosecutors.
OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
But things didn’t turn 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.
Also, Norieka wouldn’t accept the deal as it was laid out because it was overly broad and, in her view, may have even been unconstitutional over the manner in which Hunter was afforded broad protections from future prosecutions that she found unusual as well.
Now, after having pleaded not guilty to the charges instead of guilty to a couple of misdemeanors, he could be looking at some real jail time, according to a legal analysis.
According to a CNN legal analyst, Hunter Biden and his attorneys are now facing immense pressure to negotiate a new deal with federal prosecutors.
The analyst expressed that there is a “very real” possibility that the son of President Joe Biden could face a prison sentence if his case on tax and gun charges proceeds to trial.
On Monday morning, Elie Honig provided an overview of the case, stating that he “should have seen this coming” based on the conflicting statements made by Hunter Biden’s attorneys and the Justice Department back in December.
While Hunter’s legal team claimed that the government’s five-year investigation into their client would be “resolved” by the deal, the Justice Department asserted that the investigation was still “ongoing.”
“If you’re sensing some tension there, there is, and that blew up in court yesterday,” said Honig.
If they cannot reach a new plea deal, said Honig, then “option two would be a trial.”
“That is very risky for Hunter Biden. That will be on the tax charges, that could be on the gun charge, could be on other things, and if he goes to trial, there’s a real risk he’s convicted of prison time. So Hunter Biden is going to be very incentivized to get that plea deal,” Honig added.
Apparently, the ongoing 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 Norieka during the hearing.
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.