Hunter Biden Plea Deal May Be Challenged at July 26th Hearing; Republicans Claiming Evidence of More Wrongdoings May Challenge
Republicans May Challenge Hunter Biden Plea Deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 27, 2023) - Hunter Biden is scheduled to appear at a “combined initial appearance and plea hearing” at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26.
At that hearing, some Republicans are considering challenging the plea arrangement - which many are calling a "sweetheart deal" - according to the New York Post.
Some Republican members claim not only that "comparable tax and firearms charges routinely result in prison time," but also that there is more than enough solid evidence to charge the President's son with "money laundering, drug crimes or working as an unregistered lobbyist under the Foreign Agents Registration Act" - based upon, among many other things, "bank records and documents from his abandoned laptop," "an FBI informant’s tipoff," and whistleblowers who reportedly offered detailed accounts, including the names of other witnesses.
The Post reports that "some legal critics of the plea deal say that opponents can make an attempt to derail the arrangement by asking [US District Judge Maryellen] Noreika to scrap the plan," and that "House Republicans are considering the option." They note that the judge was appointed by former President Donald Trump. One expert the newspaper cites is public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
"'A plea deal is a tentative arrangement worked out between a prosecutor and a defendant. However, it has no legal effect on his status unless and until approved by a judge,' said George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf. 'The judge obviously has discretion as to who might speak [at a hearing], and how much weight to give to what they say,' Banzhaf told The Post."
"'Here, I believe that if responsible members of Congress were to tell the judge - and make at least a prima facie case - that they had and are in the process of developing more information that Hunter had been involved in more crimes — perhaps with the ‘big guy’ - and more serious crimes which would warrant greater punishment, probably including at least some jail time, it is possible if not likely that the judge would not accept the ‘sweetheart’ plea deal now and at this time, and would at the very least delay it until further information is brought forth,' Banzhaf said."
The law professor notes that several key members of Congress are in the process of trying to obtain additional evidence of criminal wrongdoings by Hunter, and that this hearing date will give them a month in which to gather it and prepare to present it to the judge.
Their failure or refusal to submit this evidence to the judge for an impartial and non-political review may lead many to suggest that the evidence some Republicans have been claiming to already possess is more political posturing than realistic, especially since they need only establish a prima facie case of possible crimes, not prove them beyond a reasonable doubt, or even by a preponderance of evidence, he says.