| 10 December 2023, Sunday |

Hunter Biden’s lawyers say US prosecutors reneged on plea deal

In a late-Sunday court filing, Hunter Biden’s attorneys claimed that prosecutors had broken their promise to drop tax and gun charges against the son of the U.S. president as his father ran for re-election.

Federal prosecutors in Delaware stated on Friday that Hunter Biden’s plea negotiations may result in a criminal trial.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected a proposed plea deal in July, raising concerns over its legality and the scope of immunity it offered Hunter Biden.

Under that proposed arrangement, Hunter Biden would have pleaded guilty to not paying taxes on $1.5 million in income between 2017 and 2018 and entered into a separate deferred prosecution agreement for illegally owning a firearm while using drugs, a felony.

The case has become a political lightning rod as Republicans in Congress raise the possibility of impeaching Biden over his son’s business dealings and accuse the Department of Justice of giving him a “sweetheart deal.”

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has denied Republican accusations of favoritism. On Friday, he elevated Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who has been investigating the case since 2019, to special counsel status, which gives him additional authority.

If the case goes to trial, the president would be campaigning for reelection in November 2024, likely against former president Donald Trump, as his son faces criminal prosecution.

Trump, a Republican, faces three criminal trials of his own next year.

  • Reuters