House lawmakers ask Hunter Biden attorneys for docs on plea deal with DOJ
Of interest to Republicans are reports of the negotiations between Biden attorneys Chris Clark and Abbe Lowell and the DOJ over the plea agreement.
A trio of House Republicans on Wednesday demanded that a pair of attorneys representing first son Hunter Biden provide documentation of their conversations with the Department of Justice in connection with the aborted plea deal for the first son.
Following a five-year investigation, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss's office negotiated a plea agreement with the younger Biden in which he would plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and a gun violation that could later be dismissed. That deal would see the DOJ recommend no prison time and Biden enter into a pre-trial diversion agreement for the gun charge. The deal collapsed amid public scrutiny of its apparent leniency. Weiss has since been appointed special counsel to further pursue his investigation.
Of interest to Republicans are reports of the negotiations between Biden attorneys Christopher Clark and Abbe Lowell and the DOJ over the plea agreement.
"On July 26, 2023, Hunter Biden appeared before Judge Maryellen Noreika of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for a hearing on the apparently unprecedented plea deal involving Hunter Biden agreed to by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware," wrote Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, and Oversight Chairman James Comer to the pair.
"However, the plea deal fell apart when prosecutors and defense attorneys could not provide answers to routine questions about the agreement posed by Judge Noreika," they continued. "A little over three weeks later, on August 19, 2023, the New York Times and Politico published separate articles providing detailed accounts of the failed settlement negotiations between the Department and Hunter Biden's lawyers based on nonpublic information, including previously undisclosed documents and communications."
"The information contained in these articles reinforces serious concerns regarding whether the Department has handled a case involving President Biden’s son in an impartial manner that is consistent with other prosecutions," they went on. The lawmakers then noted that only a select few were privy to the information within those documents and opined that the media outlets likely received the materials from the Hunter Biden attorneys.
The group contends that the provision of the materials to the press and the wide reporting on them undercut any basis to deny them to the three committees and therefore requested a laundry list of documents related to the plea deal including slideshows, emails, reports, and miscellaneous other communications.
Weiss's probe faced accusations of political interference from IRS agents who worked on the case. IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and Special Agent Joseph Ziegler in June gave testimony to the Ways and Means Committee, alleging that Biden-appointed officials interfered in the case in such a manner as to prevent the bringing of the most serious charges against the first son. They further alleged that Weiss had lacked special authority to bring charges outside of his district, seemingly contradicting statements from both the Delaware U.S. Attorney himself and Attorney General Merrick Garland asserting that he enjoyed broad authority to bring what charges he felt necessary.
Shapley and Ziegler further contended that Weiss had asked for special counsel status after the D.C. U.S. Attorney declined to partner with him on the case. Such an appointment, they noted, would have permitted Weiss to bring charges from the 2014 tax year against the now-first son. The statute of limitation on those charges has since passed, however. Garland allegedly rejected the request at the time.
Weiss has, however, since secured that appointment, which has attracted considerable scrutiny from conservatives in light of his offering the lenient plea deal and DOJ guidelines requiring that a special counsel be appointed from outside the government.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.