Hunter Biden Began Negotiating Plea Deal With DOJ Right After IRS Whistleblower First Came Forward, Court Docs Show

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James Lynch Contributor
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Hunter Biden and his attorneys began negotiating his guilty plea with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in May 2023, shortly after IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley first came forward, according to a new court filing.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys filed a response Sunday to the DOJ’s Friday motion to dismiss Hunter Biden’s Delaware tax charges in order to move them to Washington, D.C., or the Central District of California. In the response, Biden’s attorneys said Hunter Biden began negotiating his plea deal and diversion agreement in May 2023 to close the DOJ investigation. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Lawyers Say DOJ ‘Largely Dictated’ Terms Of Sweetheart Plea Deal)

“First, in May 2023, the Defendant, through counsel, accepted the prosecutors’ invitation to engage in settlement discussions that the Defendant and counsel understood would fully resolve the Government’s sprawling five-year investigation,” the response from Biden’s attorneys reads.

IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley first came forward in April with a letter to Congress stating his intention to describe the alleged cover-up in the Hunter Biden investigation, the New York Post reported at the time. (RELATED: Former FBI Agent Confirms Biden Transition Team Was Tipped Off To Hunter Biden Interview, Transcript Shows)

Shapley, whose name was not yet known, said he wanted to blow the whistle on “special treatment” and false congressional testimony by a “senior political appointee,” who was later reportedly revealed to be Attorney General Merrick Garland. The letter to Congress was written by attorney Mark Lytle, one of Shapley’s attorneys and a partner at Nixon Peabody LLP. Shapley revealed his identity in a May 24 interview with CBS News, right before his congressional testimony.

Shapley testified to the House Ways and Means Committee on May 26 and discussed how DOJ prosecutors slow-walked and obstructed the Hunter Biden investigation. He also revealed a threatening text Hunter Biden allegedly sent a Chinese business associate, along with contradicted sworn testimony from Merrick Garland. (RELATED: Rep. Jason Smith Fights Hunter Biden’s Effort To Keep IRS Whistleblower Materials Sealed From Delaware Case)

Joseph Ziegler, the second IRS whistleblower in the case, testified to the committee June 1. Both Shapley and Ziegler testified publicly in front of the House Oversight Committee in July, prior to the collapse of Hunter Biden’s plea agreement. Both whistleblowers were removed from the Hunter Biden case by the lead DOJ prosecutor, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is now serving as special counsel on the case.

Hunter Biden’s two tax misdemeanor charges and felony gun charge were announced June 20, two days before House Ways and Means disclosed the IRS whistleblower testimony.

The guilty plea and diversion agreement fell apart in late July upon scrutiny from U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika of Delaware. Noreika questioned the sweeping immunity provision tucked away in Hunter Biden’s diversion agreement for his felony gun charge, resulting in the DOJ and Biden’s legal team disagreeing about the scope of his potential immunity.

Prosecutors refused to rule out the possibility of future charges against Biden for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as part of his dealings with foreign business partners. The Biden family and its associates made more than $20 million from Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese, Romanian and Kazakh business partners, according to the House Oversight Committee.

As a result, Biden pleaded not guilty to his two tax misdemeanor charges and the case is likely to go to trial, the DOJ said in its Friday motion. Biden’s attorneys blamed the DOJ in their Monday motion for reneging on the plea agreement.

“Second, as is customary in negotiated resolutions, prosecutors (and not the Defendant or his counsel) proposed and largely dictated the form and content of the Plea and Diversion Agreements,” Biden’s attorneys wrote.

Before Biden’s charges were announced, prosecutors were reportedly seeking three tax charges and a gun charge against the younger Biden. The investigations into Biden by the FBI and IRS concluded in 2022, and Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys in D.C. and California both refused to charge Hunter Biden in their respective districts, Shapley testified.