In a roundabout way, former President Donald Trump could have some sway over what ultimately happens to first son Hunter Biden following a sweetheart plea deal he made with federal prosecutors last week.
Biden arranged to plead guilty to a pair of tax-related misdemeanors and a charge related to an illegal gun purchase, the latter of which is normally a felony. Others who committed similar offenses — in this case, putting false information on a federal background check form — have been sent to prison for a time.
The deals were made via U.S. attorney in Delaware David Weiss, whose office said an investigation into Biden’s gun purchase is ongoing. Weiss noted in a statement that “from on or about October 12, 2018, through October 23, 2018, Hunter Biden possessed a firearm despite knowing he was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance.”
Regarding the tax charges, Biden failed to pay income tax on earnings of around $1.5 million each year for 2017 and 2018. Earlier this week, CNN reported that Biden is scheduled to appear at some point to plead guilty to the charges.
“Hunter will take responsibility for two instances of misdemeanor failure to file tax payments when due pursuant to a plea agreement,” his attorney, Chris Clark, said.
“A firearm charge, which will be subject to a pretrial diversion agreement and will not be the subject of the plea agreement, will also be filed by the Government,” Clark noted further, adding that Hunter Biden “believes it is important to take responsibility” for mistakes he said were “made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life.”
A “pretrial diversion agreement” means Biden isn’t likely to face jail time at all and may only get probation. The plea agreement for the tax charges is also highly controversial, and it all now goes before Judge Maryellen Noreika of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, whom Trump appointed in December 2017. The Senate confirmed her in August 2018.
ABC News reported that the judge has ordered the president’s son to appear in court on July 26. She will then decide whether to accept the plea agreement between him and the Department of Justice.
The outlet also noted that she has donated to the political candidates of both major parties. They include the late John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Hillary Clinton.
In December 2020, reports said that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware was investigating Hunter for potential tax fraud related to his business dealings in China. The investigation reportedly began in 2018.
In March, a report noted that Hunter used his Connecticut law license to secure a $1 million retainer from the chairman of CEFC China Energy Company in 2017. However, officials said that he neglected to pay the mandatory $75 Client Security Fund fee to maintain his law practice in the state. As a result, his license was suspended for the third time, Breitbart News reported.
The suspension of his law license was linked to the address on record, which is located in the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. The office space was allegedly used by Hunter to facilitate a deal with CEFC China Energy Co., resulting in the retainer payment from the company’s chairman, Ye Jianming, the outlet reported.
Ye reportedly gifted Hunter a diamond worth approximately $80,000 in February of the same year. After the failed CEFC energy deal, Hunter terminated his lease with the House of Sweden in 2018. Reports suggest that the Biden family had organized a deal with CEFC that involved President Joe Biden (referred to as “Big Guy”) obtaining a 10% equity stake in a joint venture.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, as well as his son, are implicated in an alleged influence-peddling scheme involving a $10 million bribe, half of which was paid to each of them by a Ukrainian energy company executive.