The recently imploded sweetheart plea deal for Hunter Biden was even more sugar-infused than previously known, weekend stories by Politico and The New York Times revealed. But rather than condemn the Department of Justice for interjecting itself in the case against the president’s son to pressure Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to end the investigation, the lengthy articles by Politico and the Times attempted to spin that fact and many more as evidence that Hunter Biden was being unfairly targeted.
The narrative, however, just won’t fly. Instead, it exposes more troubling details and provides further proof the House of Representatives needs to open impeachment inquiries against President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney Weiss (and possibly the D.C. and California U.S. attorneys), and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Collapse of a Plea Deal
A little over a week ago, news broke that Hunter Biden’s plea deal had collapsed and Garland had named Weiss as a special counsel to continue the investigation and prosecution of Hunter Biden. The news came after the president’s son appeared in late July before federal Judge Maryellen Noreika to plead guilty on two misdemeanor tax counts and to resolve a gun charge with a pretrial diversion agreement.
Things didn’t go according to plan, however, with Noreika instead quizzing the parties on the unusual inclusion in the pretrial diversion agreement of a broadly worded promise of immunity, as well as the parties’ relative understanding of the deal, and then ordering the parties to further brief the question of the propriety of the arrangement. The hearing concluded with Hunter Biden pleading not guilty, pending the additional briefing.
The briefing never came, though, with Weiss, after obtaining special counsel authority, instead filing a motion to “vacate” the court’s order to brief the issues, noting the parties were at an impasse and a trial would likely be needed. Weiss later filed a motion to dismiss the tax charges, noting his office was “considering what tax charges to bring in another district and may elect to bring the same charges set forth in the instant information or different ones.”
Judge Noreika granted that motion last week, dismissing the tax charges; the gun charge remains pending in the federal court in Delaware, with the parties disputing the validity of the pretrial diversion agreement — an issue on which we will likely see further developments this week.
Full Court Press
Thursday’s dismissal of the tax charges, coupled with Weiss’s earlier representation that he planned to refile those charges — or possibly others — in a different federal court, seemingly pushed Hunter Biden’s legal team into the arms of its more reliable ally: the left-wing press. The results? Two nearly identical articles, one at Politico and one in The New York Times, hit the internet on Saturday, both of which spun Hunter Biden’s legal problems as Trump and Republican-created.
But rather than exonerate the president’s son, the details revealed in the articles — which were purportedly based on documents, emails, and interviews with Hunter Biden’s legal team — deepen the scandal, while also providing a laughable defense to the alleged criminality.
Spinning a Devastating Timeline and a Sugary Sweetheart Deal
When news broke that U.S. Attorney Weiss had agreed to a plea agreement with Hunter Biden — which included only the two misdemeanor tax charges with a recommendation of no jail time, and a separate pretrial diversion agreement on the felony gun charge with a grant of broad immunity — Republicans were outraged. They weren’t outraged enough, however, because thanks to Hunter Biden’s team feeding Politico and the Times the backstory of the deal, we now know it was much worse, and Biden’s DOJ is likely responsible.
According to The New York Times, on Monday, May 15, 2023, Lesley Wolf, a high-up lawyer in the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office “with whom Mr. Clark had developed a rapport over the previous two years,” called Biden’s legal team with a proposition: Hunter Biden need not plead guilty to anything, but instead they could end the investigation by entering into a deferred prosecution agreement.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers were, according to the Times, “amenable” to the agreement, with his lead attorney, Christopher Clark, telling Wolf “he would draft language for such an agreement…”
While the Times article, “Inside the Collapse of Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal,” portrayed Wolf’s call to Clark as a mere four-month follow-up to an earlier meeting between Hunter’s legal team and U.S. Attorney Weiss in January, Politico added some helpful additional details.
According to Politico, from the fall of 2022 through the spring of 2023, Clark, on behalf of Hunter, sought meetings with high-level Justice Department officials, including the head of the Criminal Division, the head of the Tax Division, the Office of Legal Counsel, the Office of the Solicitor General, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and the attorney general himself. Clark finally succeeded in his efforts to meet with a higher-up at Main Justice, when on April 26, 2023, Clark met with Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer and Delaware U.S. Attorney Weiss.
What Could Have Prompted That Breakthrough Meeting?
Just one week earlier, Mark Lytle, a partner at the law firm Nixon Peabody, had penned a letter to key House and Senate committees informing them that his client, a career IRS criminal supervisory special agent, sought to make “protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress,” concerning an investigation into a politically connected individual. Those whistleblower disclosures, the letter explained, would “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee,” would show the “failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interests,” and would provide “examples of preferential treatment” and improper political influence. While the whistleblowers did not identify the politically connected taxpayer, Just The News confirmed the allegations concerned Hunter Biden.
So that means that after Hunter’s lawyer spent some six months trying to swing a meeting with top DOJ officials, a meeting materialized a week after news broke of the whistleblowers’ claims that political favoritism prevented them from properly investigating Hunter Biden.
The Timeline Gets Worse
Soon after Weiss, Hunter’s attorney Clark, and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer met in late April 2023 to discuss the Hunter Biden investigation, the House Ways and Means Committee met on May 5, 2023, and received a “proffer” from the whistleblowers’ attorney concerning the testimony their client would provide Congress about the political interference into the Hunter Biden investigation.
Less than a week later, on May 11, 2023, Weinsheimer “thanked Clark for the meeting and told him Weiss would handle the next steps.” Then, on May 15, 2023, “at the request of the Department of Justice,” the two whistleblowers and their entire elite team of IRS investigators were removed from the Hunter Biden investigation. It was the same day, according to the Times’ weekend reporting, that Wolf proposed resolving the investigation into Hunter Biden with only a deferred prosecution agreement.
Biden’s legal team presented a first draft of a proposed diversion agreement to Wolf on Thursday, May 18, 2023, which reportedly included a sweeping grant of immunity for “any other federal crimes relating to matters investigated by the United States” the president’s son may have committed. After additional negotiations, the pledge of immunity was changed to the government promising not to prosecute Hunter “for any of the offenses ‘encompassed’ in the statement of facts” that would accompany the diversion agreement.
In sending a revised agreement to Clark, Wolf made clear that she “had not discussed or obtained approval” from Weiss about “the terms of the final agreement.” Weiss apparently refused to approve the deal Wolf had attempted to carve out with Hunter’s attorney, telling Clark on Tuesday, May 23, that Weiss required “Hunter Biden to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his taxes.”
“Erupting in anger, Mr. Clark accused Ms. Wolf of misleading him,” the Times reported, but Hunter Biden nonetheless agreed to the deal, which is the sweetheart plea agreement the public would learn about on June 20, 2023.
Some Crazy Spin
So had U.S. Attorney Weiss not objected, the sweetheart plea deal gifted to Hunter Biden would have included no guilty pleas at all and just the pretrial diversion agreement on the gun charge. Now Hunter Biden’s legal team, with the assistance of Politico and The New York Times, is spinning Weiss’s refusal to go along with Wolf’s proposed diversion agreement as politically motivated and stemming from pressure from Republicans.
Now that’s some chutzpah given the facts and the timing — including all of the facts revealed by the whistleblowers that Politico and the Times basically ignored, such as the political interference that prevented the IRS investigators from conducting a thorough investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and evidence connecting Joe Biden to those affairs.
But equally damning is the timing, which suggests that as soon as the whistleblowers alerted Congress to their evidence of political favoritism toward the president’s son, Biden’s DOJ intervened, with Weinsheimer meeting with Weiss and Hunter’s attorney. Then the whistleblowers were quickly booted from the case, and Wolf promptly proposed resolving the entire investigation through the pretrial diversion agreement.
It wasn’t Republicans playing politics that doomed that agreement, however; it was the whistleblowers’ exposure of the political favoritism behind the Hunter Biden investigation that led to Weiss offering Hunter Biden a sweetheart deal that was just not quite as sugar-infused as the one Wolf baked up.
The Scandal Is So Much Bigger
While Hunter Biden’s spin failed to launch, the inside story nonetheless proved explosive. It provided further proof that both Weiss and Garland misled Congress when they claimed Weiss was totally in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation. Furthermore, Garland claimed the investigation was insulated from political interference because Weiss was a Trump holdover.
As the weekend reporting revealed, Hunter Biden’s attorney continuously contacted high-level DOJ political appointees, including Garland, seeking someone to rein in Weiss. And Associate Deputy Attorney General Weinsheimer finally answered his call and arranged the meeting with Weiss that led to what would have been a done deal if not for the federal judge questioning the parties on the irregularities in the agreement.
But Clark did more than solicit the intervention of Biden’s DOJ. According to Politico, Clark threatened Weiss with a promise to put President Joe Biden on the stand in any trial of Hunter Biden and thereby cause a “constitutional crisis.”
That threat came in a 32-page letter Clark sent Weiss on Oct. 31, 2022, according to Politico. “President Biden now unquestionably would be a fact witness for the defense in any criminal trial,” Clark wrote in the letter reviewed by Politico. “This of all cases justifies neither the spectacle of a sitting President testifying at a criminal trial nor the potential for a resulting Constitutional crisis,” the letter continued, suggesting “a trial of the president’s son would create political and constitutional chaos by pitting the president himself against his own Justice Department.”
The moment Clark leveraged President Biden as a witness to negotiate a plea deal on behalf of his son, Weiss should have advised the attorney general of the need for a special counsel. And the moment Clark contacted DOJ political appointees to discuss any impending charges against Hunter Biden, Garland should have appointed one.
Instead, both Weiss and Garland represented to the American public and Congress that Weiss had ultimate authority over the investigation and that there was no political interference. Yet even after making those public pronouncements, Weinsheimer intervened, prompting Wolf to push forward with a diversion-agreement-only deal, only to be trumped by Weiss.
For the Love of All That Is Holy, Launch an Impeachment Inquiry
While Wolf is now reportedly removed from the Hunter Biden case and Weiss currently holds special counsel status, the weekend backstory to the plea negotiations provides further proof that Weiss is both incompetent and untrustworthy and must be removed from office. The articles also further implicate Garland.
The House must act now and launch impeachment inquiries for Weiss and Garland, as well as President Biden and Christopher Wray for their roles in the scandal. Anything less will create a real constitutional crisis.