Hunter Biden Appears in Federal Court for Past Charges

[Source: Fox] 



Host: This, as the President‘s son headed to court today, but a potential plea deal that could help keep Hunter Biden out of prison may now be in jeopardy. Republicans in Congress are trying to intervene and some last minute legal drama has now embroiled Hunter’s legal team. I now want to turn over to Chris Melcher, who is ranked as a best family law attorney in the Los Angeles area. He has the very latest following this case on really what’s going on and what we should expect out of today’s hearings.

What is the latest that we understand after some of those allegations that came out yesterday? What does the judge want to know about the potential involvement of Hunter’s attorneys in this case?

Hunter Biden’s Attorneys


“A filing was made by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee imploring the judge to hold off on approving this plea deal because of these whistleblower allegations that are still being investigated and saying, ‘Hey judge, take your time.’ That’s basically what that brief was asking for.

 Now, attached to that brief were documents that Hunter Biden’s team felt were inappropriate to include in the court records (some testimony and tax return evidence). A request was made by Hunter Biden’s attorneys to withdraw that filing or at least filing it under seal, and they said, ‘no, we wouldn’t do that.’ The next thing that happens then is a call to the court clerk from Hunter Biden’s lawyers, one of the lawyers asking that it be removed. Now, the clerk says that they went ahead and removed it from the court system because the caller had identified herself as being part of the committee that had submitted this filing, and which obviously is not true.

Now Hunter Biden’s legal team has come back and said, ‘no, that representation was not made to the clerk,’ that this was some kind of unfortunate misunderstanding, but the clerk stands by what was represented. And so the judge reacted immediately in doing what’s called an order to show cause, which is an order to the lawyer to come into court and explain herself as to what exactly she represented. So it is a extraordinarily serious allegation because obviously as lawyers we need to tell the truth, but it also pits this court clerk (who the judge works with every day and obviously has to believe) versus an attorney who’s coming in there saying something else,” states Christopher C. Melcher, a top family law attorney.

Host: Now tell me what were the original charges that were brought against Hunter and then what deal was made between him and federal prosecutors?

Charges Made Against Hunter Biden


“So the charges were failure to report substantial income on two years of tax returns and having a possession of a firearm when he was addicted to drugs. So these were very serious charges that were brought and they went ahead and charged him with these things. But when they announced the charges, they had also announced a plea deal. So there was already an agreement made with the prosecutor that was assigned to that case to go ahead and accept what a lot of people say is a sweetheart deal or a slap on the wrist. On the gun charges that would be a diversion, meaning that as long as he complies with certain conditions, that charge goes away. On the tax charges, there is a $2 million taxes and penalties and interests that he’s paid, and there would be no jail time. So it would be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and no jail time.

These are the kind of things that would land most of us in jail. And as a taxpayer, I’m offended by the plea bargain because what we’re told is taxpayers is it’s our obligation of course to pay taxes on our income that it’s our obligation to accurately report our income on our tax returns. A lot of this is an honor system that we’re on and we pay through the nose, but the threat of not doing that is that we are going to be held to severe consequences.

And when it gets to the point of owing $2 million in taxes, I’m not talking $2 million in income, $2 million in taxes, penalties, and interest, you would ordinarily think you’re going to jail for that because that’s not something that we would just forget about. We’re talking millions of dollars in income. So again, as a taxpayer I’m offended, and the court should be looking at it from that lens that it’s not just approving an agreement between the prosecutor and the defense. This affects everyone in the US who’s a taxpayer because again, what’s the point of paying taxes? What’s the point of even filling out these taxes returns is if we get caught, we just have to pay our taxes and that’s it,” explains celebrity lawyer Chris Melcher.

Host: Now, the judge in this case though, does not have to accept that agreement made between both the prosecutor’s, right, and Hunter Biden as well as his attorneys. Is that correct?

“That’s right. The judge is not bound by that agreement. So this is all conditioned on the court’s approval. What happens is the prosecution and defense make a deal, and again, ordinarily we respect that because they’re adversaries. So if they come to a judge and say, ‘Hey, we’ve worked this out. We’ve made an agreement,’ it is subject to court approval. And the court would be looking at ordinarily from the defense standpoint, is this agreement made voluntarily with an informed consent? So they know what they’re doing, they’re not being pushed into it.

And then from the prosecution side, they would be looking at why did you bring these charges and why are you essentially walking away from them? What happened here? What’s the disconnect that I’m not getting? Also looking for the public interest at large, that point about, ‘we’re all taxpayers and what message does this send?’ And then if there’s any particular victims involved, they look at it from that perspective also, and they’re a stakeholder here. Judges have denied it in saying that, that it’s too light and say no. And if that happens, then the plea is withdrawn. So he is not bound by this, and then they would just end up having to go to trial or work out another deal that involves a higher degree of penalty,” states high net worth divorce attorney Chris Melcher.

Host: Now obviously there has been some arguments from the other side of quite a bit of criticism from Republicans specifically about this deal, saying that it’s really not fair. But these types of deals, at least plea bargains, they are worked out between federal prosecutors all the time whenever they’re working on these types of cases. And my understanding is actually federal cases, many of them don’t actually even go to trial, especially when you have the DOJ involved in that. So talk to me about this actual deal. Does it appear to be something in the norm of what prosecutors might do?

Hunter Biden’s Sweetheart Deal


“Well, absolutely. The goal is, in all disputes, is to settle them and to work it out and not take it to a trial. And so there’s nothing unusual about that aspect of it. The thing that I find unusual is that the magnitude of the offense versus the no jail time deal, because again, this is not somebody who mistook something on their tax return, innocent unreporting of income. Obviously they’re not even going to get charged there. This is to the level of owing $2 million in penalties, interests, and taxes, and serving no jail time. So that’s what is confusing to me that it could be such a high amount of taxes. I know when I was sworn in as a lawyer many years ago, I was told I’m now held to a higher standard because as an attorney, I should know better.

I know the law, I am obligated to follow it, and I know the consequences. So Hunter was a lawyer when he did this. Hunter was also obviously a member of a prominent political family where you know that he’d be held to a high degree of scrutiny. So when you put all that together, it is confusing why there wouldn’t be a higher consequence, because the question that I would be asking the prosecution is, why did you even bring it as a criminal case? Why didn’t they just send a notice that states, ‘ Hunter, you owe $2 million. Write us a check and we’re done.’ If that was the outcome that was acceptable, then why even bring it as a criminal case to simply walk away from it?” said the family law expert.

Host: What do you expect is happening right now as folks go into federal court as the case begins, and do you expect that we may have answers soon?

Hunter Biden’s Dispute with Clerk


“It’s unfortunate for Hunter Biden himself that his legal team is now embroiled in this dispute with the clerk-that’s a huge distraction. It affects credibility. There may be a hearing today about that. I know the court wanted information immediately about it, so that could be a focus of today or set up for another day. We also have the GOP Amicus Brief filing, meaning that they’re not a party to the action obviously. It’s the prosecution defense that are parties, but they were allowed to intervene and make this pitch to the judge.

And so the judge will allow that filing to occur. So the judge would be thinking about, ‘do we really need to go forth today?’ And there’s really no rush to do it today. And so one question is, what’s the harm of allowing a little bit more time seeing if these allegations are developed a little bit further to understand  how this plea bargain arose. So the judge may say (because of all these things that have swirling around here within the last day or two) kicking it off another 30 days could be a wise outcome, or the court can just dive in and get it done today,” states Christopher C. Melcher, international family law attorney.

Even if the plea bargain is approved today by the judge, obviously the investigations and the questions are going to continue and rightfully so, because to me as a lawyer, it’s not the outcome, it’s the process that matters. We as lawyers don’t control the outcome. Judges and juries do that, or deals are made, but it’s the process that’s important to us to make sure that everyone’s treated equally under the law. That Hunter Biden is not unfairly charged or aggressively prosecuted because of his status here and who his Dad is. And also on the other side of the coin, that he’s not given a sweetheart deal because of who his Dad is. These are legitimate questions that we as the public should be asking and get answers for, and whether this plea bar bargain is approved or not, those questions will continue.

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