District Judge Maryellen Noreika approved the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) motion to dismiss charges filed against Hunter Biden in Delaware Thursday, enabling prosecutors to refile charges in another venue.
Federal prosecutors filed a motion last week stating that Hunter Biden’s case will likely “not resolve short of a trial” and seeking to dismiss charges filed in Delaware, given the fact that plea negotiations were “at an impasse.” The prosecutors wrote that the proper venue for the tax charges “lies either in the Central District of California or in the District of Columbia.”
Biden’s initial plea deal would have had him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter a diversion agreement allowing him to avoid jail time for a felony gun charge. The deal fell apart during a July 26 hearing when Noreika uncovered a section of the diversion agreement promising broad immunity for future charges. (RELATED: Trial Likely In Hunter Biden Case After Plea Deal Falls Apart, Prosecutors Say)
Filing charges in another district would bring Hunter Biden’s case before a different judge than Noreika, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who was confirmed in 2018 with support from Delaware’s Democratic senators.
“Biden’s DOJ wants to dismiss the charges against Hunter, supposedly to refile them elsewhere, no doubt before some liberal judge who will rubber-stamp a sweetheart deal,” Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted last week in response to the DOJ’s motion. “Remember, when Biden’s DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers meet, they’re not negotiating. They’re conspiring.”
Hunter Biden’s lawyers wrote in an Aug. 13 filing that the terms of his plea deal and pretrial diversion agreement were “largely dictated” by DOJ prosecutors, arguing that the diversion agreement remains “valid and binding.” Special Counsel David Weiss responded in an Aug. 15 filing, denying that the diversion agreement was still in effect and stating Biden’s understanding of the agreement as including broad immunity was “a problem entirely of their own making” that did not result from drafting the agreements.
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