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Prosecutors ask court to disregard Hunter Biden plea deal, raising legal jeopardy for first son

The move increases the legal jeopardy for President Joe Biden's son and the possibility he could face prison time.

Published: August 11, 2023 1:16pm

Updated: August 13, 2023 8:50am

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked the judge in the Hunter Biden case to set aside the plea deal they had offered him because the two sides have reached "an impasse," a move that increases the legal jeopardy for President Joe Biden's son.

The request came moments after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was upgrading the lead prosecutor in the case, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, to a full special counsel and granting him greater independence in the probe of the first family's foreign business dealings.

Weiss' office asked the judge to vacate an order requiring both sides to file legal motions on how to proceed to salvage a plea deal she put on ice last month, concerned the two sides did not fully understand the consequences of the deal.

"The Court’s briefing order is premised on the idea that the parties intend to continue towards a guilty plea ... and diversion in Criminal Action," Weiss' prosecutors wrote. "But that is no longer the case. Following additional negotiations after the hearing held on July 26, 2023, the parties are at an impasse and are not in agreement on either a plea agreement or a diversion agreement.

"Therefore, the Government believes the Court’s briefing order should be vacated," they added. 

The plea deal would have spared Hunter Biden prison by having him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax evasion charges and enter a diversion program for a felony gun charge. Without the deal, Hunter Biden could face additional charges and real prison time if convicted.

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