Attorneys for Hunter Biden filed a motion Monday afternoon in federal court in Delaware to dismiss the indictment against him over gun charges, saying it ‘violates’ the collapsed plea agreement, and maintain it is ‘still in effect’ between the president’s son and federal prosecutors.
Special Counsel David Weiss charged Hunter Biden with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
The president’s son pleaded not guilty to all counts in October. At the time, his attorney Abbe Lowell hinted that the defense planned to file a motion to dismiss due to the diversion agreement on the gun charges, which he said he believed was still in effect.
The diversion agreement was included as part of the original plea deal that collapsed in July. Biden was set to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax, which would allow him to avoid jail time on a felony gun charge. That deal fell apart during his last court appearance. The president’s son, in July, was then forced to plead not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge when the deal collapsed in court.
‘The Indictment against Mr. Biden must be dismissed because it violates a Diversion Agreement that is in effect between Mr. Biden and the prosecution,’ Lowell argued in the filing. ‘In exchange for Mr. Biden giving up various rights—including his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent by agreeing to the Statement of Facts drafted by the prosecution and numerous restrictions on his liberty—the prosecution agreed to provide him immunity for any offense concerning his purchase of a firearm (among other offenses).’
Citing the initial agreement, which Republicans have billed as a ‘sweetheart plea deal,’ Lowell said prosecutors, in July, said they could not bring firearms charges ‘based on the firearm identified in the factual statement to the Diversion Agreement.’
‘Nevertheless, the prosecution did just that, by subsequently bringing this Indictment charging Mr. Biden with three felony firearm offenses, which all relate to the firearm identified in the Diversion Agreement’s factual statement,’ Lowell continued Monday. ‘Because Mr. Biden gave up valuable rights as part of this contract, in exchange for the prosecution’s promise not to prosecute him, such promise must be fulfilled.’
‘Mr. Biden, one party, struck a deal with the prosecution, the other party, through the Diversion Agreement,’ the filing continues. ‘As part of that Agreement, he sacrificed valuable rights in exchange for the prosecution’s agreement not to prosecute the very sort of Indictment that it has brought here.’
Lowell said that the ‘prosecution’s desire to take political cover from the criticism leveled against it does not provide a legal basis for them to renege on the Diversion Agreement it explained to the Court it had made.’
‘The Court should require the prosecution to honor its agreement and dismiss the Indictment,’ Lowell stated.
Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance in October. With all counts combined, the total maximum prison time for the charges could be up to 25 years. Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke, who presided over the hearing, laid out the conditions for Hunter Biden’s release, which required the president’s son to seek employment and communicate all international travel plans. Biden also is prohibited from possessing a firearm and using alcohol and drugs, and he is required to get drug tested randomly and participate in a substance abuse counseling program.
Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018, when a gun owned by Hunter was thrown into a trash can outside a market in Delaware.
A source with knowledge of the Oct. 23, 2018, police report told Fox News that it indicated that Hallie Biden, who is the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, and who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, threw a gun owned by Hunter in a dumpster behind a market near a school.
A firearm transaction report reviewed by Fox News indicated that Hunter purchased a gun earlier that month.
On the firearm transaction report, Hunter answered in the negative when asked if he was ‘an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.’
Hunter was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.
The federal gun charges were the first charges Weiss brought against Hunter after being granted special counsel status by Attorney General Merrick Garland in August.
But the move by Biden’s defense on Monday is separate from the charges the president’s son faces in California, also stemming from Weiss’ investigation.
Weiss charged Biden late Thursday, alleging a ‘four-year scheme’ when the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports. Weiss filed the charges in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The charges break down to three felonies and six misdemeanors concerning $1.4 million in owed taxes that were since paid.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.