UNITED STATES NEWS

Delaware judge orders status report on felony gun charge against Hunter Biden

Aug 31, 2023, 11:10 AM

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A federal judge in Delaware ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys on Thursday to provide a status report regarding a felony gun charge against Hunter Biden.

Judge Maryellen Noreika directed lawyers to provide the report by next Wednesday, including any steps they believe the court needs to take.

Attorneys for Biden have argued that a “diversion agreement” sparing him from prosecution on the gun charge is still in place, even though it was inextricably linked to a plea deal on misdemeanor tax offenses that imploded during a court appearance in July.

Noreika dismissed the tax case, and prosecutors have indicated they plan to pursue tax charges against President Joe Biden’s son in another district, perhaps California or Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, prosecutors maintain that the agreement on the gun charge, which contains unprecedented immunity provisions against federal prosecutions for other potential crimes, never took effect and is no longer valid.

The two-part deal on tax and gun charges was supposed to have largely wrapped up a years-long investigation overseen by Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss. The deal fell apart after Noreika raised questions about its terms during a hearing in July. Among other issues, prosecutors were unable to resolve the judge’s concerns about offering Biden immunity for certain crimes as part of the diversion agreement, instead of in the plea deal.

Typically, a non-prosecution agreement is not presented to a judge and requires no court input. A plea deal, on the other hand, must be presented to a judge, but prosecutors tried to structure Biden’s tax plea deal in a way that left Noreika with no discretion to accept or reject it. The judge expressed concern that attorneys were asking her to simply “rubber stamp” the deal, which she refused to do.

Pressed by Noreika, prosecutor Leo Wise said he could find no precedent for agreeing not to prosecute Biden for crimes that have nothing to do with the gun case or the charges being diverted. Wise also acknowledged that he had never seen a diversion agreement in which the agreement not to prosecute is so broad that it encompasses crimes in a different case. Nor could he offer any precedent for requiring prosecutors to first obtain court approval before prosecuting Biden for certain crimes in the future.

“These agreements are not straightforward and they contain some atypical provisions,” Noreika noted.

Prior to the hearing, Republicans denounced Biden’s plea agreement as a “sweetheart deal.” The deal called for Biden to be sentenced to probation in exchange for pleading guilty to failing to pay taxes on more than $1.5 million in income in both 2017 and 2018. According to prosecutors, Biden’s income during those two years included roughly $4 million in business and consulting fees from a company he formed with the CEO of a Chinese business conglomerate, and from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

The diversion agreement, meanwhile, was aimed at sparing Biden from prosecution on the felony crime of being a drug user in possession of a gun in 2018 if he kept out of trouble for two years. Hunter Biden’s history of drug use and financial dealings have trailed the political career of his father.

Following the collapse of the plea deal, Attorney General Merrick Garland named Weiss as special counsel, a status that confers broad powers to investigate and report out his findings.

United States News

Associated Press

Chicago shooting kills 7-year-old girl and wounds 7 people including small children, police say

CHICAGO (AP) — Eight people were shot including a young girl who was killed in what Chicago police believe was gang-related violence on the city’s South Side on Saturday night. The 7-year-old girl was shot in the head and died, while a 1-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy were each shot multiple times and listed […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A jury of his peers: A look at how jury selection will work in Donald Trump’s first criminal trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s history-making criminal trial is set to start Monday with a simple but extraordinary procedural step that is vital to American democracy. A group of regular citizens — Trump’s peers, in the eyes of the law — will be chosen to decide whether the former president of the United States […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Authorities say 4 people are dead after a train collided with a pickup in rural Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Four people are dead after the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a train in rural Idaho Saturday, authorities said. Idaho State Police said the pickup was carrying a 38-year-old man, 36-year-old woman and two children, who were all from Nampa. The vehicle was traveling on a private road […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Woman with history of DUIs sentenced to 15 years to life for California crash that killed mom-to-be

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman with a history of convictions for driving under the influence has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for a crash that killed a 23-year-old pregnant woman and left her baby in critical condition. Courtney Pandolfi, 44, pleaded guilty to second degree murder earlier […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Utah school board member who questioned a student’s gender loses party nomination for reelection

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A conservative Utah State Board of Education member who faced calls to resign after lawmakers said she bullied a student on social media lost her nomination for reelection Saturday. Natalie Cline needed at least 40% of the delegate votes at the Salt Lake County Republican Convention, but she fell short […]

9 hours ago

An Iranian demonstrator chants slogans while attending an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (P...

Associated Press

The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday, prompting internal discussion among U.S. leaders.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Delaware judge orders status report on felony gun charge against Hunter Biden