Prosecutors will seek Hunter Biden indictment by end of September

Prosecutors will seek Hunter Biden indictment by end of September
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Special counsel David Weiss will seek to indict Hunter Biden before the end of this month, the prosecutor said in a court filing updating a judge on his investigation into the president’s son’s failure to pay taxes.

“The Speedy Trial Act requires that the Government obtain the return of an indictment by a grand jury by Friday, September 29, 2023, at the earliest,” Weiss wrote.

“The Government intends to seek the return of an indictment in this case before that date.”

The filing from Weiss comes as a plea deal with Biden fell apart before it could be approved by a judge.

Biden was prepared to plead guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay taxes as well as enter a diversion program relating to a failure to acknowledge drug use when purchasing a gun.

But the agreement collapsed as it was reviewed by a judge, with prosecutors and attorneys for Biden left unclear of the extent the president’s son would be immune to prosecution on other matters.

Weiss — the U.S. attorney for Delaware who was shortly thereafter appointed as a special counsel in the case — subsequently notified the court he may seek to file charges against Biden in other venues, including Washington, D.C., and California.

Both locations were pointed to by IRS officials who have since spoken with congressional investigators as whistleblowers as locations where the Justice Department was able to gather stronger evidence of tax crimes.

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Biden’s attorneys have argued federal prosecutors opted to “renege on the previously agreed-upon Plea Agreement” and argued that the diversion program to avoid jail time agreed to previously should remain in place.

In a Wednesday court filing, Biden’s attorneys said he “has been following and will continue to follow the conditions of that Agreement.”

The development of and collapse of the previous plea agreement has the attention of congressional Republican investigators.

Also on Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) sent Hunter Biden’s lawyers a letter requesting copies of internal documents and communications referenced in a New York Times article and a Politico article about how the deal collapsed.

The stories describe the Justice Department being close to reaching a deal with Biden’s attorneys that would not require him to plead guilty to tax charges, but then prosecutors changing course to develop a plea deal after the IRS whistleblowers went public. Republicans have argued that even the plea deal developed at that point was a “sweetheart deal” for Biden.

“The information contained in these articles reinforces serious concerns regarding whether the Department has handled a case involving President Biden’s son in an impartial manner that is consistent with other prosecutions,” the Republicans’ letter read.

Among those 300 pages of documents that the House chairs are interested in are a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation from Biden’s lawyers that argued any prosecution would be the result of succumbing to political pressure by Republicans; communications between a prosecutor and Weiss about the wording of the agreement to shield him from further prosecution; and an Aug. 7 plea agreement proposal sent by prosecutors that had completely removed any immunity provisions.

“Given that these disclosures have been made to two media outlets and this information has been widely publicized, no basis exists to withhold these documents and communications from the Committees, including on the basis of any purported duty of confidentiality, work product, or other privilege interest,” the chairmen said.

—Updated at 5:04 p.m.

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