Judge Maryellen Noreika has rejected a sweetheart plea deal for Hunter Biden related to two federal tax charges.
The president’s son pleaded not guilty after the plea deal was derailed Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware, overseeing the case, said in a statement, “Hunter Biden received taxable income in excess of $1,500,000 annually in calendar years 2017 and 2018. Despite owing in excess of $100,000 in federal income taxes each year, he did not pay the income tax due for either year.”
Biden was expected to plead guilty to the two tax charges, but an issue arose when the judge asked about a separate gun charge.
NEW: Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to two tax charges after the judge refused to accept the plea agreement between prosecutors and Hunter’s legal team. pic.twitter.com/nxD8rnW7Ml
— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2023
Under the plea deal, prosecutors would have recommended probation for the two tax charges and dropped the felony gun charge if he met certain conditions. The gun charge involves the president’s son illegally owning a Colt Cobra .38 Special handgun.
Judge to Hunter Biden, “I know you wanted to resolve this. I’m sorry. But I need to make sure I am careful in my view of this.” via @MarshallCohen
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCNN) July 26, 2023
According to a report from NBC News, “Noreika asked if there were more serious charges that could still be brought and the prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s lawyer both said there were not.”
The judge, appointed by former President Donald Trump, also asked if the investigation was ongoing — and Weiss confirmed that it was.
Hunter Biden has a long history of drug use, which was put on full public display in leaked images from his hard drive after he abandoned his laptop at a computer repair shop.
“I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life,” his lawyer Christopher Clark said last month. “He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.”
Two IRS whistleblowers involved in the investigation testified before Congress recently, alleging that Hunter Biden received special treatment during their probe into his business dealings.
Response from WH on court appearance for Hunter Biden. “When the plea agreement was announced, the President and First Lady in a statement said they love their son and are proud of him for continuing to rebuild his life, and they have expressed support for him through this.”
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) July 26, 2023
Prior to the agreement going south, the White House had issued a statement saying, “When the plea agreement was announced, the President and First Lady in a statement said they love their son and are proud of him for continuing to rebuild his life, and they have expressed support for him through this.”