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Hunter Biden Still In Line For A ‘Sweetheart’ Plea Deal Even Without Broad Immunity

Hunter Biden’s plea agreement would still be a sweetheart deal even without the promise of broad immunity from future charges, according to legal experts’ public statements and comments to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
by Katelynn Richardson, DCNF, Hunter Biden (Screengrab)

Hunter Biden’s plea agreement would still be a sweetheart deal even without the promise of broad immunity from future charges, according to legal experts’ public statements and comments.

Hunter Biden’s deal with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which would have had Biden plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter a diversion agreement allowing him to avoid jail time for a felony gun charge, fell apart Wednesday under Judge Maryellen Noreika’s questioning.

Even if the parties are able to come to a revised agreement without the promise of broad immunity from future charges — an aspect of the deal initially hidden and brought to light through the judge’s questions — Hunter Biden would be getting a better deal than others who committed similar offenses, legal experts said after it collapsed.

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“Arguably, there could have been additional tax charges,” Julianne Murray, a lawyer for the Heritage Foundation and Delaware GOP chair, told the DCNF.

Murray noted failure to pay charges like Biden’s are often accompanied by a felony tax evasion charge. And in other cases, similar failure to pay charges have been considered a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, she said.

“That’s still considered a sweetheart deal compared to what somebody else would be expecting,” she said.

Attorney Sol Wisenberg opined on Twitter the agreement would be a sweetheart deal even if the parties are able to “hammer out an honest deal” without the broad immunity provision.

“Under the Plea Agreement there is a probation recommendation from the government on the tax counts, even though Hunter’s misdemeanor Guidelines range calls for at least 24-30 months and even though he was going to be charged with felony tax evasion until Biden’s DOJ nixed it,” he tweeted. “The probation recommendation is NOT binding on the Court, but any sentence she imposes on a misdemeanor tax count will be capped at one year per each count. So, the judge could have accepted the Plea Agreement and still sentenced Hunter to 2 years, despite the government’s probation recommendation.”

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Hunter Biden plead not guilty to the two tax charges Wednesday, and the judge requested additional briefing on the plea deal’s structure. If the parties agree to a deal without the immunity portion, Hunter Biden could be left open to charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) related to his overseas business dealings in Ukraine and China.

DOJ prosecutor Leo Wise affirmed during the Wednesday hearing that there is an “ongoing” investigation into Hunter Biden and that the government could bring a charge under FARA.

A senate report revealed CCP-linked CEFC China Energy paid around $5 million to businesses linked to Hunter Biden in 2017, transactions Republicans have alleged were for the purpose of influence peddling.

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