Plea deal spares Hunter Biden serious legal consequence, but exposes father to new political peril

IRS whistleblower files likely first in wave of new revelations, Hunter Biden may lose ability to avoid testifying by taking Fifth.

Published: June 20, 2023 11:29pm

Hunter Biden’s plea deal with federal prosecutors shields him from prison and other serious legal consequences if the judge accepts it, riling conservatives and even independent legal experts who saw it as fresh evidence of a dual system of justice. But it also opens a new chapter of political peril for his father.

Joe Biden can no longer claim everything was legal in the family business now that his son is admitting to willful tax evasion. His administration also faces fewer excuses to withhold evidence of an alleged coverup in the Justice Department pursuit of the first son now that the case is wrapped up.

And legal experts say Hunter Biden also may be compelled to testify before Congress and lose the right to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“His own lawyer is saying this deal shields him from any further legal liability and that creates a reasonable basis to say his liability is over,” famed Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Just the News on Tuesday. “He may still try to claim he has some unknown peril but it creates a situation where he can be forced to testify.”

But well before any testimony from Hunter Biden, other bombshells await President Joe Biden.

The first are likely to land on Thursday, when House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., has scheduled a vote to unseal an IRS whistleblower’s testimony and documentary evidence alleging DOJ politically interfered in Hunter Biden’s tax probe and forced political favoritism to be shown, resulting in the deal in which the first son won’t face jail time despite acknowledging $2 million plus in late taxes and penalties. The charging document only mentions evasion on about $100,000 in taxes on over $1.5 million in annual income.

You can read the charging document here.

Smith disclosed late Tuesday there is at least one other whistleblower who has affirmed the account of IRS supervisory criminal agent Gary Shapley of a DOJ coverup.

“Ways and Means Committee members have received multiple whistleblower reports of misconduct at the IRS and other agencies regarding interference and government abuse in the handling of a matter involving a high-profile individual,” Smith said. “If the federal government is not treating all taxpayers equally, Congress has a duty to hold agencies accountable by providing transparency and bringing new facts to light.

“That is why during Thursday’s session we will follow where the facts lead and will release the appropriate details afterward. The balance of justice must not be skewed in favor of the wealthy and the politically connected.”

Read the committee's hearing notice for Thursday here.

Sources directly familiar with the evidence gathered by Smith’s committee from Shapley and at least one other subordinate IRS agent told Just the News it involves at least three major revelations:

  1. DOJ allowed the statute of limitations to expire on alleged tax crimes dating before 2017 that involved hundreds of thousands of dollars more in undeclared federal tax income, including some from foreign firms like Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings dating to 2014.
  2. The IRS criminal investigation team was not told the FBI had exploited emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop it seized in 2019 that showed he was aware as late as 2017 that he had not paid taxes on at least $400,000 in income from Burisma from three years earlier. 
  3. The IRS team was unaware that the FBI had a trusted confidential human source who began reporting in 2017 allegations that Joe Biden had engaged in a $10 million bribery scheme involving Ukraine and Burisma, a bombshell revelation recently confirmed by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer who saw the FD-1023 informant report from the FBI.

Meanwhile, congressional investigators have subpoenaed longtime Biden family associate and Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer, hoping to unmask what he witnessed in his dealings with the president and first son and what prosecutors likely did not investigate thoroughly.

Those two developments have legal experts expecting the next phase of the Biden family saga is likely to morph from Hunter Biden’s foreign business escapades to legitimate allegations of a government coverup, allegations that bare on the credibility and trust of the current president.

“I don't believe there's ever been a real comprehensive investigation of Hunter Biden,” said former Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, a Republican who bought credible allegations from Ukrainian officials in 2018 to the Justice Department but was rebuffed. “I think there's a bunch of file drawers that are crammed full of evidence that nobody wants to open and that no political appointee under the Democratic administration is going to try pick up.”

Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Christopher Clark, vehemently disagreed, suggesting Tuesday that career officials insulated from politics were comfortable with the deal struck for his client.

“This was a five-year, very diligent investigation pursued by incredibly professional prosecutors, some of whom have been career prosecutors, one of whom at least was appointed by President Trump,” Clark told MSNBC after the deal was announced.

“What I can tell you is, they were very diligent, very dogged. This was – it took five years and it was five years of work that they put in, and even throughout working out the ultimate resolution, I think that they were always driving for what they thought was fair.”

Meanwhile, there are two tantalizing revelations in recent days from federal law enforcement. First, the FBI told Comer that the Joe Biden bribery allegations and the informant evidence are part of an ongoing probe six years later, declining to be more specific. And then, U.S. Attorney David Weiss revealed in the Hunter Biden charging documents that his probe is still ongoing, signaling people other than the first son may be under investigation.

Prominent conservatives like Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said they believe those claims are simply being made to stymie Congress from getting to the truth.

“In case anyone was naive, the Justice Department is not going to do anything about all this Biden corruption,” he told the "Just the News No Noise" television show while urging Congress to “step up and initiate an immediate impeachment inquiry so we begin to get this information out in a more aggressive way.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who conducted the original Hunter Biden probe that exposed the first family’s overseas business dealings in 2020, agreed.

The claim of an ongoing investigation “is always the excuse federal law enforcement uses to deny Congress its oversight responsibilities and deny our ability to obtain information that we should have access to, and the American people ought to know,” Johnson told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “So I'm afraid that's what's going on here, that the timing is exquisite. You finally have Devon Archer being deposed eventually by the House.”

Comer revealed late Tuesday the FBI is using the claim of an ongoing probe to keep him from seeing the entirety of two additional informant reports, from 2017 and 2018, on the Joe Biden bribery allegations after allowing the committee to see about 90% of a memo written in June 2020 on the same allegations.

“Today the FBI brought two unclassified FD-1023 forms that were heavily redacted to a secure facility to be reviewed,” Comer said.” What is the FBI hiding from Congress? Americans have lost confidence in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially, and the FBI’s secrecy shows that they aren’t interested in regaining their trust. The FBI must provide un-redacted copies of these records and answers about what investigative actions were taken to verify these serious bribery allegations against President Biden.”

Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress vowed the Hunter Biden plea deal was only the beginning of a new inquiry that accentuates the original corruption claims with significant evidence of a government coverup.

“Today’s plea deal cannot be the final word given the significant body of evidence that the FBI and Justice Department have at their disposal. It certainly won’t be for me,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday evening.

And that means the summer of 2023 is likely to be a difficult one for Joe Biden, already down in the polls and facing stiff reelection challenges from fellow Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Republican President Donald Trump, both who finished in a Harvard Harris poll over the weekend with higher favorability than the current president.

Fitton said Democrats may be oblivious to the impending political peril their president faces, thinking the Hunter Biden plea deal will make everything go away.

“From their perspective, they're being perfectly consistent," he said. "We get our opponents, we try to destroy them, and we protect our friends and our family. And that's what's happening with Hunter Biden here. He's a member of the family, and he's getting protected."

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

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