Pressure grows on judge to reject Hunter Biden plea deal amid evidence of DOJ interference
If I were the judge on the Hunter Biden case, I would refuse to accept the plea bargain," famed constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz said.
Pressure is growing in congressional, legal and media circles for the federal judge in the Hunter Biden case to reject a plea deal that would spare the first son from serving prison time after evidence has emerged from two IRS whistleblowers that a more serious criminal tax case was sabotaged by the Justice Department.
“I don't understand how any judge could bless this plea agreement now that all of this evidence of obstruction and DOJ and FBI wrongdoing has surfaced,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told Just the News. “So I hope this judge does reject this, and then insists and demands on an honest investigation and an honest prosecution as well.”
Johnson, who with Sen. Charles Grassley led a two year probe into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, was reacting to testimony and evidence from IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley and another whistleblower that federal prosecutors blocked search warrants, interviews and more serious criminal charges.
Shapley first made the allegations to the Justice Department inspector general and the House Ways and Means Committee. And in an interview to be aired Thursday on the John Solomon Reports podcast he detailed how career agents, career prosecutors, the DOJ tax division and lead U.S. Attorney David Weiss supported charging Hunter Biden with felonies alleging tax evasion and avoidance all the way back to 2014 totaling $2.2 million, including failing to pay taxes on $400,000 in income he got from the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings.
Shapley said President Joe Biden’s son was spared the more serious charges when the U.S. Attorneys in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles – both appointed by Biden – declined Weiss’ request for an indictment and then the statute of limitations on the older alleged offenses were allowed to expire.
Hunter Biden has now struck a deal with Weiss to plead guilty to two misdemeanors tax evasion charges from 2017-18 and to enter a probation program that would result in a federal felony gun charge to be dismissed. Hunter Biden, 53, is slated to appear July 26 in federal court in Delaware before U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika, an appointee of former President Donald Trump.
Famed Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, an unabashed supporter of Joe Biden, agreed there is good reason for Noreika to set aside the plea deal and seek to investigate the whistleblower allegations. He said it was concerning that the whistleblowers’ testimony directly conflicts with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s testimony there was no interference in the probe.
“If I were the judge on the Hunter Biden case, I would refuse to accept the plea bargain unless and until Garland and Weiss testify,” Dershowitz told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Tuesday. “What they've said is utterly incompatible.”
The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Eileen O’Connor, the former head of the DOJ’s tax division, that declared the interference Shapley’s team faced was unprecedented and it was appropriate to “throw Hunter Biden’s plea deal in the trash.”
"Judges can reject plea agreements. That would be an appropriate disposition here,” she wrote Tuesday. “And Congress, in fulfillment of its oversight obligation, must learn and share with the American public what evidence the IRS gathered, what evidence its agents weren’t permitted to obtain, and what charges might have been brought if they had.”
Several members of Congress have told Just the News they are considering filing requests with Judge Noreika urging her to hold off accepting the plea deal though no has done so yet. Retired Rep. Doug Collins, the former top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the plea deal doesn’t make sense given the seriousness of the allegations made by the IRS whistleblowers and an FBI informant.
“That is something that the judge could do. I would hope that they would and not just rubber stamp this,” Collins told the Just the News, No Noise television show. “What the Department of Justice looks to be doing is just pushing this off, and to try and expediently get rid of it.”
In testimony released last Thursday, Shapley said the political meddling was so extensive in the Biden probe that “there is no way of knowing if evidence of other criminal activity existed concerning Hunter Biden or President Biden.”
What IRS and FBI agents were certain of – and career tax prosecutors signed off on after receiving a detailed prosecution recommendation memo – was that evidence supported charging the first son with failing to pay large sums of taxes and in some years even to file tax returns, both whistleblowers asserted.
“The report includes itemized elements of each violation for each year. This recommended felony tax evasion charges, that's 7201, is tax evasion, and 7206(1) is a false tax return, also a felony, for the tax years 2014, 2018, and 2019,” Shapley explained in his transcribed interview with the House Ways and Means Committee.
“And for Title 26 7203, which is a failure to file or pay, that is a misdemeanor charge for '15, '16, '17, '18, and '19,” he also said.
Asked to summarize the magnitude of the unpaid taxes, Shapley did not hesitate. “Altogether it was around $2.2 million,” he answered.
He also matter-of-factly described what he said was a scheme, calling attention to one memo between Hunter Biden and his business associates from 2017.
“The crux of this, as I understand it, is that Hunter Biden had a history of noncompliance with his taxes, and he would often get large sums of money and wouldn't withhold,” Shapley said.