Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors blamed Hunter Biden’s legal team for his plea and diversion agreements falling apart at a July 26 court appearance.
DOJ special counsel David Weiss and prosecutor Leo Wise filed a motion Monday disputing Hunter Biden’s lawyers’ account of how the guilty plea negotiations collapsed and emphasizing that Biden’s diversion agreement is not valid. (RELATED: Top Hunter Biden Lawyer Christopher J. Clark Moves To Withdraw From Case After Plea Deal Collapses)
READ THE FULL MOTION:
“First, the Government did not ‘renege’ on the ‘previously agreed-upon Plea Agreement,’ as the Defendant [Hunter Biden] inaccurately asserts in the first substantive sentence of his response,” the motion reads.
“The Defendant chose to plead not guilty at the hearing on July 26, 2023, and U.S. Probation declined to approve the proposed diversion agreement at that hearing. Thus, neither proposed agreement entered into effect. Instead, as of the end of the hearing on July 26, the two proposed agreements were drafts that either party could propose changes to. And both parties did so following the hearing,” the document continues.
“The Government considered the Defendant’s proposals but did not believe they were in the best interests of the United States and offered counterproposals on July 31, 2023,” the motion adds. “The Defendant rejected these counterproposals on August 7, 2023. Seeing that the parties were at an impasse, the Government informed the Defendant, in writing on August 9, 2023, that it was withdrawing the most recent version of its proposed plea and diversion agreements.” (RELATED: Hunter Biden Began Negotiating Plea Deal With DOJ Right After IRS Whistleblower First Came Forward, Court Docs Show)
BREAKING: DOJ Prosecutors Say Hunter Biden’s diversion agreement with its immunity provision “never took effect” and blame Hunter Biden for the plea agreement falling apart @DailyCaller https://t.co/bcIiEbEoV8 pic.twitter.com/RUOuwOGHXM
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) August 15, 2023
The DOJ referred to statements from Hunter Biden himself and his defense counsel showing he would not agree to the guilty plea without the diversion agreement and its immunity provision. Delaware U.S. Judge Maryellen Noreika repeatedly questioned Biden, his attorney and U.S. attorney Leo Wise about the scope of the diversion agreement’s immunity clause. Noreika’s scrutiny caused Biden’s then-defense attorney Christopher J. Clark to concede that the guilty plea on Biden’s misdemeanor tax charges was tied to the diversion agreement for his felony gun charge.
“We’re not making an exception. I want to know, has anyone made you any promises that are not contained in the written Memorandum of Plea Agreement?” Noreika asked, according to the transcript from Biden’s court appearance.
“Yes, there are promises from the government in the Diversion Agreement, Your Honor,” Clark replied.
“And sir, are you relying on the promises made in the Diversion Agreement in connection with your agreement to plead guilty?” Noreika followed up.
“Yes, Your Honor,” Hunter Biden said.
“And if the Diversion Agreement were not valid or unenforceable for any reason, would you enter into the Memorandum of Plea Agreement?” Noreika pressed.
“No, Your Honor,” Biden said.
Biden’s guilty plea collapsed when his lawyer disagreed with Wise about whether Biden’s immunity provision would exempt him from potential charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for his foreign business dealings.
“And at that point, [Biden’s attorney] and his client were both telling the Court that the Defendant was pleading guilty because of promises that were not contained in the plea agreement. This was a problem entirely of their own making and not one that resulted from the drafting of the proposed plea or diversion agreements,” the DOJ motion reads.
“Obviously, the proposed plea agreement did not contain [immunity provision] from the diversion agreement, or anything like it. Therefore, it was not a promise contained within the proposed plea agreement,” the motion adds.
Biden’s attorneys argued in a Sunday filing that the diversion agreement was legally binding and blamed the DOJ for the guilty plea falling apart. The younger Biden’s lawyers issued the filing in response to a Friday motion by the DOJ to dismiss Biden’s Delaware tax charges in order to move them to Washington, D.C., or the Central District of California.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the lead prosecutor in the Biden case, would be named special counsel for the ongoing investigation. IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley testified Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys blocked Weiss from filing charges against Biden in D.C. and California.