Judge threatens sanctions against Hunter Biden legal team for allegedly misleading court clerk
The first son is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes and a gun violation that could later be dismissed as part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors.
Hunter Biden's legal team faced scrutiny on Tuesday from a Delaware U.S. District Judge set to decide on his plea deal over an alleged trick to prevent the inclusion of an amicus brief from the House Ways and Means Committee in the court record.
Delaware U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika gave the first son's attorneys until 9 p.m. EST to "show cause as to why sanctions should not be considered for misrepresentations to the Court," the New York Post reported.
The first son is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes and a gun violation that could later be dismissed as part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors. That deal has come under scrutiny from Republicans who deem it too lenient and the House committee filed an amicus brief with the court alleging that the first son benefited from "political interference which calls into question the propriety of the investigation."
That filing also included testimony from IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who previously appeared before the committee to outline their claims that the Department of Justice improperly intervened in the case.
While the filing was submitted and posted properly, however, Theodore Kittila, the committee's lead attorney, received word from the court that it had removed the filing at the request of someone in his office, which he says was inaccurate.
"[A]t approximately 1:30 p.m., we received word that our filing was removed from the docket," he said, per the Post.
"We promptly contacted the Clerk’s office, and we were advised that someone contacted the Court representing that they worked with my office [emphasis original] and that they were asking the Court to remove this from the docket," he continued. "We immediately advised that this was inaccurate. The Clerk’s Office responded that we would need to re-file. We have done so now."
Email communications Kittila included in the new filing appear to show court officials confirming that one "Jessica Bengels" had called the court and claimed to work with him to get the docket taken down.
Bengels works for Latham & Watkins, the former firm of Hunter Biden attorney Chris Clark. Clark, for his part contended that Bengels appeared to have notified the court that the filing included the unredacted tax information of the first son. He further condemned the committee for publicly filing the information without redactions.
Bengels has since submitted an affidavit chalking the matter up to a misunderstanding and adamantly denying that she claimed to work for or with Kittila.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.