Aug 14, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden lawyers demand DOJ honor part of plea deal

Hunter Biden arrives at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C., on June 25. Photo: Julia Nikhinson/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lawyers for Hunter Biden in a Sunday court filing said that the Justice Department had reneged on part of the plea deal that would have allowed him to avoid prosecution on a gun charge.

The big picture: Newly appointed special counsel David Weiss said Friday that Hunter Biden's plea agreement had reached an impasse and was likely heading to trial.

Driving the news: Hunter Biden's attorneys wrote that the "parties have a valid and binding bilateral Diversion Agreement," referring to the deal on the gun charges.

  • A judge's approval typically isn't required for a diversionary agreement, but "some key terms of the two-part deal between the president's son and the prosecutors were contained in the diversion, rather than the guilty plea agreement," The Washington Post notes.
  • The plea deal hit a snag during a court hearing last month because the two parties couldn't agree on whether it guaranteed the end of the investigation.
  • The plea deal to avoid jail time included a guilty plea to two tax misdemeanors for failing to pay taxes and a diversionary agreement on a gun-related felony for owning a weapon while using drugs.

A spokesperson for the special counsel's office declined to comment on the filing.

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland last week elevated Weiss as special counsel to lead the investigation into Hunter Biden. Weiss had been overseeing the case since the Trump administration.

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