Special counsel David Weiss officially ruled the Hunter Biden plea deal dead, withdrawing it Tuesday in an official court filing and firing back at Biden attorneys’ allegations that the deal was “valid and binding.”
“The government did not ‘renege’ on the ‘previously agreed-upon Plea Agreement,’ as the defendant inaccurately asserts in the first substantive sentence of his response,” Weiss wrote in a seven-page notice to vacate filing.
“The defendant chose to plead not guilty at the hearing on July 26, 2023, and U.S. Probation declined to approve the proposed diversion agreement at that hearing. Thus, neither proposed agreement entered into effect.”
Hunter Biden’s lawyers said that the idea to enter their client into a “diversion agreement” was “valid and binding.” But the allegations of a felony gun possession might ultimately be investigated.
Margaret Bray, the U.S. probation officer for the District of Delaware, never signed the plea deal amid ongoing negotiations and a contentious hearing before U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in late July.
“In sum, Ms. Bray, acting in her capacity as the Chief United States Probation Officer, did not approve the now-withdrawn diversion agreement, it never went into effect and, therefore, none of its terms are binding on either party,” the filing concluded.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers sought to parlay a plea agreement on two misdemeanor tax charges into a diversion agreement on allegations of felony gun possession, but Judge Noreika’s hearing exposed a disagreement between prosecutors and Biden’s defense on whether the plea deal would clear him on future investigations and potential charges.
Noreika ordered the teams to continue their negotiations before returning to court, and now the agreement is officially dead.
The news comes just days after President Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland granted Weiss’ request to be give him special counsel investigative authority.
Weiss’ filing Tuesday made specific note of Hunter Biden’s lawyer’s footnote in their past filing, which argued the “government stated in open court” the diversion deal was a “bilateral agreement between the parties” and that it “stand[s] alone” from the plea on misdemeanor tax charges
That footnote attempted to make the argument the diversion agreement was therefore “in effect” and “binding.”
But Weiss rejected that footnote as cherry-picking “various parts of the transcript.”
“Those cobbled together snippets do not add up to a statement that the proposed diversion agreement was in effect,” he wrote. “In fact, the government said the opposite.”
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack is a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016, starting on the first night of the Republican National Convention. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a former New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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