(UnitedVoice.com) – In June, the US Attorney for the District of Delaware, David Weiss, announced his office had reached a plea deal with Hunter Biden. The president’s son had agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failure to pay income tax and one felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm. Media reports indicated that he could avoid jail time under the agreement.
Critics immediately spoke out about it, calling it a “sweetheart deal.” When Hunter showed up in court, it appeared the judge was not happy with the agreement either.
On July 26, Hunter made his first court appearance at a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. Overseeing the case was District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika. The judge is an appointee of former President Donald Trump who had not presided over or worked on a criminal case before she was nominated to her position in 2017. Despite her lack of experience when she was appointed, she was well-regarded by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. In fact, two Democrats recommended her for the position. And now she has made it clear that she would not tolerate a weak deal between the president’s son and federal prosecutors.
Noreika refused to approve the plea deal, throwing a wrench in the DOJ’s plans. The judge raised multiple concerns, according to reports.
The Judge’s Objections
There were two agreements prosecutors made with Hunter. One concerned tax crimes. He was going to plead guilty and pay more than $100,000 in taxes for each of the years 2017 and 2018. In return, Weiss was going to recommend probation. The other agreement involved the felony gun charge, which would be wiped from his record if he entered a diversion plan, of which one requirement would be that he stay free of drugs for two years.
The overlapping agreements didn’t sit well with Noreika. She told the prosecutors that they needed to work out technical issues in the deal, including what her role would be when it came to enforcing the agreement for the gun charge. The judge also expressed concerns about a clause that included a non-prosecution deal for crimes committed separately from the gun charge.
Noreika asked Hunter to add specifics about his business dealings, including the names of the Chinese and Ukrainian entities he referred to. She wanted to know when he used alcohol or drugs last and whether he was in treatment for his addiction. The president’s son told the judge the last time he used was June 1, 2019, and said he is no longer receiving treatment. However, he’s involved with an anonymous support group.
The judge ordered the defense and prosecution back to the drawing board. They tried to work it out in court, but it reportedly devolved into a yelling match. Hunter, for the time being, entered a plea of not guilty for the tax charges.
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