Update (1425ET): The Justice Department refuted Hunter Biden's legal team on Tuesday, denying that the First Son's plea deal and pretrial diversion agreement are in effect.
Contained within a footnote of a Monday filing, Hunter's legal team claimed that his plea deal and diversion agreement were "largely dictated" by DOJ prosecutors, and that it's still "valid and binding," and that the government said in court that the agreement was "in effect," and stands apart from Hunter's now-dead plea deal.
The DOJ denies this, writing in a Tuesday filing reported by the Daily Caller: "The Government never said the proposed diversion agreement was in effect because it is not," according to special counsel David Weiss. "And in none of the portions of the transcript that the Defendant cites in this footnote did the Government say the diversion agreement was in effect. In fact, the Government said the opposite."
The proposed “sweetheart deal” would have had Hunter Biden plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and enter a diversion agreement allowing him to avoid jail time for a felony gun charge. Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected the deal during the July 26 hearing after uncovering a provision in the diversion agreement that would grant broad immunity for future charges.
Weiss argued that Hunter Biden’s teams’ understanding of the agreement during the hearing to include broad immunity was “a problem entirely of their own making.” -Daily Caller
"Mr. Clark 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," reads the response. "This was a problem entirely of their own making and not one that resulted from the drafting of the proposed plea or diversion agreements."
Hunter's lawyers, meanwhile, claim that DOJ prosecutors "dictated the form and content of the Plea and Diversion Agreements," including the broad immunity provision contained in "paragraph 15."
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Hunter Biden's top criminal defense attorney has asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw from the case after a plea deal unraveled in late July.
Christopher Clark, Hunter's longtime defense attorney, filed a motion with the Delaware judge overseeing Hunter's case on the grounds that he could now be called as a witness in future proceedings, CNN reports.
"Based on recent developments, it appears that the negotiation and drafting of the plea agreement and diversion agreement will be contested, and Mr. Clark is a percipient witness to those issues," reads the Tuesday filing.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer moves to withdraw as counsel. The reason?— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) August 15, 2023
“it appears that the negotiation and drafting of the plea agreement and diversion agreement will be contested,” and he is a witness to those issues. pic.twitter.com/QACCy0mqfL
Last week federal prosecutors announced that the had reached an impasse on Hunter's plea deal related to tax offenses and a "diversion agreement" to take care of a gun possession charges.
After the deal unraveled, the feds asked Judge Maryellen Noreika to withdraw a late August deadline to renegotiate the plea deal, after she said she was not ready to accept it & asked both sides to file additional briefs explaining the legal structure of the revised deal.
Noreika also called the deal federal prosecutors reached with Hunter over his gun possession offense "unusual," and that it contained some "non-standard terms," such as "broad immunity" from other potential charges.
Under the original plea agreement, Biden intended to plea guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes committed in 2017 and 2018, and would avoid prison on the gun possession charge.
As part of the conditions for Hunter's release, he must not consume alcohol or prohibited drugs, or possess a firearm, must submit to random drug tests as required, must actively seek employment and not violate any laws.
For context-— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) August 15, 2023
The attorney would be a witness to a disputed issue: the scope of Hunter's plea deal, and whether it provides broader immunity to Hunter. pic.twitter.com/1tmHcXL2PO
On Sunday, Biden attorney Abbe Lowell blamed prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge wouldn't approve.
Biden’s lawyers said Sunday they believed the gun diversion deal was still “valid and binding.” Abbe Lowell, one of the attorneys, placed blame on prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge took issue with. -CNN
After the plea deal unraveled, US Attorney David Weiss requested and was granted "special counsel" status by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
According to prosecutors, there is still an ongoing investigation which may carry future charges outside the scope of the plea deal.
Biden pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes, and will avoid prison charge for possessing a gun while addicted to an illegal drug.
The deal sought to cap a five-year investigation into Hunter's tax affairs and business dealings, which federal prosecutors say Hunter failed to pay over $100,000 of income tax on at least $1.5 million in income between 2017 and 2018.