Legal experts criticized the plea deal announced between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Hunter Biden on Tuesday, with some calling it a “joke” and a “sweetheart deal.”
Hunter Biden, who has been under investigation for over five years by the DOJ, agreed to plead guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, which is a felony. The felony charge may be dismissed if Biden complies with certain conditions. Legal experts have said the charges are too lenient and suggest a “sweetheart deal” was made to avoid prison time. (RELATED: NO JAIL TIME: Hunter Biden Pleads Guilty In Deal To Avoid Jail)
“[I]t will be like ticketing the get-away driver after a bank hold up,” tweeted Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University and a national security defense attorney. “It is called controlled demolition: the implosion of a scandal to limit any blast effect on nearby structures or individuals…without causing collateral damage to the political and media establishment,” he added.
Hunter’s father, President Joe Biden, is running for reelection in 2024, and his political allies have frequently criticized former President Donald Trump for his active indictments by prosecutors in New York and Florida. Trump and Republicans, by contrast, have attempted to tie Hunter Biden’s tumultuous personal life and alleged criminal history to Joe Biden.
Other legal scholars were blunter in their assessment, with former U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett L. Tolman tweeting that the “DOJ is violating its own internal policies on this case. The Ashcroft Memo requires they charge the highest provable offense and seek consistent sentences with other cases brought by DOJ,” referring to a memorandum issued by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2003 that says all prosecutors “must charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” against a defendant.
Tolman added that the deal was “[A]n absolute laughable joke. Thousands have been sent to prison for long terms for the same charges…[Prosecutors] brag about getting nearly 5 years of prison time on average for their gun cases.”
“If they followed policy, Hunter would be looking at a minimum of 5 years in federal prison. But he’s a Biden,” he said.
Mike Davis, the president of the Article III Project and former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted that “The Biden Justice Department reached a sweetheart deal with Hunter Biden. Hunter will get no jail time for being the bagman for Joe Biden’s vast foreign corruption. The Biden Justice Department will continue to bury evidence that the President of the United States is compromised.”
“Silver Lining: Hunter Biden can no longer plead the Fifth. House Republicans should issue subpoenas immediately for his documents and testimony,” he added.
The agreement between Biden and the DOJ was reached with U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss, a Trump appointee who was held over in the Biden administration to complete the investigation.
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