Hunter Biden’s plea agreement with the Justice Department appeared to unexpectedly crumble during an initial hearing on the case on Wednesday.
Hunter is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax, as part of plea deal to avoid jail time on a felony gun charge.
But U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Trump appointee, expressed concerns about the terms of the agreement, according to CNN and the Associated Press.
NBC reported lawyers for both sides were continuing to huddle nearly two hours after the plea hearing began.
Fox News is reporting that Judge Noreika “pressed federal prosecutors on the investigation and questioned whether there was the possibility for future charges.”
CNN is reporting that the deal is now “dead and off the table” after Hunter’s lawyers said if there was any chance of FARA charges coming later.
Noreika also threatened to sanction Biden’s lawyer for lying to the court.
Rep. Jason Smith the Republican chair of the House Ways and Means Committee tried to scuttle Hunter’s plea deal by adding recent claims from IRS whistleblowers to the file.
“The Defendant appears to have benefited from political interference which calls into question the propriety of the investigation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Smith’s attorney wrote in a court filing, which went on to say, “it is critical that the Court consider the Whistleblower Materials before determining whether to accept the Plea Agreement.”
So a member of Hunter Biden’s legal team called the court clerk and “represented that she worked with” Smith’s attorney and “requested the amicus materials be taken down.”
JUST IN — Hunter Biden plea deal is “dead and off the table.” pic.twitter.com/lIfHillKXr
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) July 26, 2023