The judicial process hit a snag this week as a plea deal between Hunter Biden's legal team and the Department of Justice (DOJ) hung in the balance. The uncertainty arose from a federal judge's queries about the extent of prosecution immunity Hunter could obtain from the agreement.
Under the proposed deal, Hunter, President Biden's son, would plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and concede to the facts of a gun charge. The arrangement, widely scrutinized by Republicans for being overly lenient, could see Hunter avoid jail time, the Daily Wire reported.
The agreement seemed on the brink of collapsing as Federal District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika in Delaware demanded further details on Hunter's investigation and the immunity granted to him during Wednesday's court session.
Judge Noreika particularly questioned whether the immunity extended to potential charges associated with the Foreign Agent Registration Act. The discussion led to a recess, allowing for further negotiation between lawyers.
Adding to the complexity was the disagreement over the ongoing status of the investigation into Hunter. Federal prosecutor Leo Wise stated that there would be "no deal" if the investigation was assumed to be concluded.
Post-recess, the plea deal resumed after intense lawyer-to-lawyer negotiation. The agreement, though still subject to changes, seemed to suggest future immunity for Hunter for actions related to tax offenses, gun possession, and drug use from 2014-2019.
The deal's immunity component faced criticism, with Republican Missouri attorney general candidate Will Scharf being a notable detractor.
“Hunter wants to walk away from a decade of criminal activity, including potential FARA violations and other serious criminal charges, with a slap on the wrist,” he said, adding, “It's a scandal that Biden's DOJ was willing to agree to this kind of a deal," Scharf said, expressing his relief that Judge Noreika seemed to agree.
Last month, following the plea deal's announcement, Hunter's lawyer Chris Clark expressed that the investigation was resolved. Clark acknowledged that Hunter was ready to take responsibility for two instances of misdemeanor failure to file tax payments. Clark also referred to a firearms charge which would be the subject of a pretrial diversion agreement.
Earlier reports mentioned that Hunter Biden's hefty tax liability, over $2 million, had been settled by high-profile Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris, who had also assisted with Hunter's art career.