Hunter Biden has told a federal judge he intends to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges as part of a ‘sweetheart deal’ slammed as a slap on the wrist.
The president’s scandal-hit son said ‘yes, your honor’ when asked by the judge if he was going to plead guilty, and admitted he’s been to rehab six times in 20 years for addiction to drinking and drugs.
He said he was first treated for alcohol abuse in 2003 and was last in an in-patient facility in 2018, but insisted he has been sober since 2019 when warned he faces random drug testing under the conditions of his release.
Prosecutors recommended probation for Hunter for not paying between $1.1 million and $1.5 million in federal taxes in 2017 and 2018, despite his substantial income from Ukrainian and Chinese energy companies.
They also scolded him for continuing to ‘spend wildly’ on his lavish lifestyle while he had the funds to pay back what he owed.
Hunter could have faced up to 12 months in prison for the tax crimes, and ten years for lying about his crack cocaine addiction on a federal form when buying a gun.
But the agreement that will likely see him spend no time behind bars has sparked fury from Republicans who have demanded the judge block it.
Hunter walked into the federal court in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, alongside his ‘sugar brother’ and lawyer Kevin Morris – who was seen smoking a bong during a visit from the president’s son last week.
President Joe Biden’s scandal-hit son Hunter has arrived in federal court to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges as part of ‘sweetheart deal’ to likely avoid jail
Hunter walked into the federal court in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, alongside his ‘sugar brother’ and lawyer Kevin Morris (left) – who was seen smoking a bong during a visit from the president’s son last week
He stepped out of a motorcade in silence with a police escort and walked across the sidewalk alongside his legal team and surrounded by Secret Service agents.
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika will likely accept the plea deal less than 24 hours after she threatened Hunter’s attorneys with sanctions over allegations they lied to a clerk in her office to try and get stunning whistleblower allegations pulled from the case.
A member of Hunter’s legal team allegedly called the court to try and get information on testimony from IRS whistleblowers who claimed the president’s son got preferential treatment in the criminal probe removed from the docket.
His lawyers claimed it was a simple mistake.
The deal has also been under intense scrutiny over bombshell testimony from the whistleblowers claiming he got preferential treatment during the five-year investigation from U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
Former IRS and FBI agents have come forward to claim the were blocked from conducting a proper investigation into Hunter.
They also alleged that senior officials tipped off Secret Service agents that they wanted to interview the president’s son.
A Secret Service agent stands by as Hunter Biden makes his way into court to face the judge
Kevin Morris, the lawyer who helped Hunter pay off $2million in delinquent taxes, walks behind the president’s son on the way into the courthouse
Law enforcement secure the area outside the federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, ahead of Hunter Biden’s court appearance on Wednesday
Hunter allegedly lied on a firearm report (above) required for his gun transaction. A photo of the form shows he answered ‘no’ when asked if he was an ‘unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance
Last Thursday, Hunter’s attorney Kevin Morris was seen smoking from a bong in public view. He has been revealed as one of the buyers of Hunter’s artwork
The misdemeanor charges stem from the unpaid taxes, and he is expected to avoid prosecution for lying about his drug use when he bought a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver in October 2018.
On Tuesday night, he flew alongside Morris in a private jet from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.
Judge Noreika was at the center of drama on Tuesday night after she threatened Hunter’s lawyers with sanctions.
It was alleged that Hunter’s lawyers sought to remove testimony from IRS whistleblowers about the Justice Department’s lackluster criminal investigation into his tax offenses from the court docket.
But Hunter’s lawyers blamed allegations they conspired to a lie simply to an ‘unfortunate misunderstanding’.
A picture from Hunter Biden’s leaked hard drive shows him posing naked while holding a semi-automatic handgun by his side
‘The matter under consideration appears to stem from an unfortunate and unintentional miscommunication between a staff member at our firm and employees of the Court. We have no idea how the misunderstanding occurred, but our understanding is there was no misrepresentation,’ Matthew Salerno wrote to Judge Noreika on Tuesday evening.
He claimed that Jessica Bengels, the Latham staffer accused of pretending to be from another law firm, has a phone number which should show up as ‘LATHAM’ on the clerk’s caller ID, indicating she was calling from the legal firm Latham & Watkin
The White House has avoided discussing Hunter’s legal troubles by claiming he is a private citizen or referring questions to the Department of Justice.
Salerno attached an affidavit from Bengels, in which she claimed she initially called a different court clerk called ‘Julia’, from her Latham phone, identified herself truthfully, but was later called back by the first a different clerk, Samantha.
‘At around 11.54am, another Court employee called my Latham & Watkins phone number (which I believe she knew through caller ID) to let me know she would be removing the material from the docket,’ Bengels wrote. ‘She did not ask which law firm I was affiliated with, and at no time during this call did I mention anything about my law firm affiliation.
‘I believe there may have been some confusion when Julia passed the information on to the other Court employee, resulting in a mistaken understanding that I had called from Mr. Kittila’s firm.
‘I am completely confident that I never indicated that I was calling from Mr. Kittila’s firm or that I worked with him in any way.’
When Hunter was charged, the president and first lady said they were ‘proud’ of him.
Hunter Biden’s many controversies have been a headache for his father’s presidential term and could be weaponized by Republicans in the 2024 race. The president and his son are pictured together in August 2022
His lawyer Christopher Clark said last month: ‘I know Hunter believes it is important to take responsibility for these mistakes he made during a period of turmoil and addiction in his life.
‘He looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward.’
The gun charges stemmed from a firearms form Hunter had to fill out to buy the revolver.
Delaware, where the First Son purchased the 0.38 caliber pistol, makes any buyer answer a series of questions before they can lay their hands on a weapon.
One from the 2018 application asks if the applicant uses or is addicted to drugs. The box is clearly checked ‘no.’