In 2018, the feds launched an investigation into Hunter Biden, which the son of the now-president publicly disclosed in December 2020, following his father’s election. On Tuesday, news broke that Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts and had entered a pretrial diversion agreement on a separate firearms count, unleashing outrage from the right over the absence of any money-laundering or bribery counts. But even worse is the U.S. attorney’s failure to file these charges against the Biden son in 2019, which suggests shielding Joe Biden from scandal is the operative principle of the Department of Justice and FBI.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware filed criminal charges against Hunter, simultaneously notifying the federal court that prosecutors had entered into a plea agreement with the president’s son on two misdemeanor tax offenses and had agreed to pretrial diversion on a felony firearms offense.
The two tax misdemeanor charges spanned only a page-and-a-half and alleged in count one that the president’s son, during the 2017 calendar year, received taxable income exceeding $1.5 million and willfully failed to pay income taxes on that amount in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203. Count two mirrored count one but charged Hunter with failing to pay the income taxes due on his 2018 calendar year earnings.
Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss filed separate information charging Hunter with violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(3) and 924(a)(2), for knowingly possessing a firearm, “knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance…” Sources say, however, that under the pretrial diversion agreement, Hunter Biden will not plead guilty to that felony gun charge, with prosecutors instead dismissing the count “if he remains drug-free and doesn’t commit additional crimes for two years.”
Soon after news of the charges broke, Republicans condemned the Delaware U.S. attorney for giving the president’s son a slap on the wrist, while ignoring the still accumulating evidence that the Biden family had engaged in a widespread pay-to-play scheme. Weiss’s decision to charge Hunter with two tax misdemeanors only weeks after Americans learned that a “highly credible” confidential human source had reported that the Ukrainian owner of Burisma paid the father-son duo each $5 million in bribes looked like an obvious attempt to quell the growing scandal that threatened to engulf the president.
But it is not merely the middling nature of the charges that reeks of political favoritism. It is the fact that Weiss sat on those charges before the 2020 election that points to the top Delaware prosecutor protecting the Biden family.
The charges filed against Hunter Biden concerned conduct from 2018, with the latest date of relevance ending by mid-April 2019. Investigating and proving a case over a failure to file a tax return is straightforward, as is a gun charge, which is why the two charging documents were so abbreviated.
Why then did the Delaware U.S. attorney fail to charge the Biden son in 2019 with those crimes? The answer seems clear: politics.
And if politics drove the U.S. attorney to refrain from charging Hunter before the 2020 election, how could politics not also affect every aspect of the investigation into the now-president’s son, including evidence implicating President Joe Biden?
Thus two scandals stem from Tuesday’s announcement. One scandal involves the president’s son and his illegal behavior. But the second scandal is more significant: namely the DOJ and FBI’s apparent failure to fully and fairly investigate Hunter and Joe Biden.
The country can survive a slap-on-the-wrist injustice, but it cannot withstand the upheaval caused by a corrupted DOJ and FBI that interferes in elections by burying and then throwing criminal cases against politically favored individuals, while prosecuting their political enemies.
Thus, while Tuesday’s indictment may have ended the case against Hunter Biden, for our country’s sake the investigation into the weaponization and political favoritism of the DOJ and FBI must continue. That appears to be precisely what House and Senate Republicans plan to do.