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Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow

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Hunter Biden, DOJ should both lose on tax charges

Dec 19, 2023

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The Department of Justice is moving forward with nine new charges against Hunter Biden relating to alleged tax fraud and evasion. The allegations carry a maximum total prison sentence of 17 years. Hunter Biden was previously indicted on gun charges in September.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ben Weingarten warns that it’s all a hoax. Weingarten argues that the DOJ is controlled by Joe Biden, that these indictments deliberately ignore the most serious allegations, and that the only good outcome would be if Hunter Biden and the DOJ could somehow both lose at the same time.

First, Hunter’s lawyers argue their client is the victim of a selective and vindictive prosecution. No, really. Their contention is that the very Joe Biden DOJ that slow walked and systematically obstructed the investigation into the Biden family and then refused to prosecute Hunter despite having developed evidence of myriad chargeable offenses, right up until the point IRS investigators blew the whistle on it all, want you to believe the president’s son is the victim of a witch hunt.

The Joe Biden DOJ, according to Hunter Biden’s attorneys, has been weaponized by House Republicans who, in violation of the separation of powers, are forcing it to prosecute him. As outlandish as this argument is, Biden’s lawyers have put prosecutors in a bind. They can’t admit they were being political and protecting the Bidens before. They would also never say they were shamed into bringing charges because IRS whistleblowers accused them of sabotaging the case, or because Republicans pressured them to do so. Now, how will AG Garland’s mop-up man finesse his way out of this one?

The unfolding drama between Joe Biden’s DOJ and Hunter Biden’s lawyers brings to mind a line attributed to the late Henry Kissinger on the Iran-Iraq War: “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose.” Special Counsel David Weiss finally made good on his promise to bring tax charges against the president’s adult son, a promise made months earlier, following the collapse of the sham plea deal his office had hastily concocted with hundreds of lawyers in a bid to blunt IRS whistleblower claims. The DOJ attacked the case that would have showed the charges. The DOJ hit Hunter Biden with a nine-count indictment covering offenses like tax evasion and fraud. If convicted, the President’s adult son could face 17 years behind bars. Yet despite its gravity, the indictment should be seen as still another ruse in a Hunter Biden case full of them. The important issue has never really been Hunter’s unpaid income taxes, but the ill-gotten income. Hunter remains unindicted for the gravest alleged crimes associated with that income, with a nexus to the president, serving as an unregistered foreign agent, money laundering, and bribery. Like the plea deal they had slapped together giving Hunter Biden a global immunity Get Out of Jail Free card to try and make the sort of scandal of the Biden’s went crimes and the Justice Department’s cover up go away, this indictment is another DOJ inadvertent admission of guilt. Ironically, Hunter Biden’s lawyers are planning to make a similar argument to get the DOJ off their client’s case. Three days after Weiss issued the California indictment and two days before he defied impeachment investigators by refusing to sit for a deposition, back in Delaware, Biden’s lawyers filed a series of motions to get the gun charges brought there dismissed. They telegraphed a similar coming offensive in California that could cause the DOJ to twist itself in knots defending a mess of its own making. First, Hunter’s lawyers argue their client is the victim of a selective and vindictive prosecution. No, really. Their contention is that the very Joe Biden DOJ that slow walked and systematically obstructed the investigation into the Biden family, and then refused to prosecute Hunter despite having developed evidence of myriad chargeable offenses, right up until the point IRS investigators blew the whistle on it all, want you to believe the president’s son is the victim of a witch hunt. The Joe Biden DOJ, according to Hunter Biden’s attorneys, has been weaponized by House Republicans who, in violation of the separation of powers, are forcing it to prosecute him. As outlandish as this argument is, Biden’s lawyers have put prosecutors in a bind. They can’t admit they were being political and protecting the Bidens before. They would also never say they were shamed into bringing charges because IRS whistleblowers accused them of sabotaging the case, or because Republicans pressured them to do so. Now, how will AG Garland’s mop-up man finesse his way out of this one? Second, Hunter Biden’s team is claiming that as I argued at the time the special counsel was illegitimate because he was appointed in violation of DOJ regulations. What’s more, Biden’s lawyers argue Congress hasn’t appropriated funds for Weiss’s office. Therefore, they say the indictment quote should be dismissed as without proper authority to have been sought and brought. DOJ will likely argue that other special counsels have come from within government despite regulations to the contrary. But Hunter Biden’s worries are hanging in absurdity around the neck of the Justice Department. There may only wriggle its way out of with great embarrassment. AG Garland put the fox in charge of the hen house, the least independent candidate imaginable to preside over the Hunter Biden case and Weiss, who had allegedly tanked the case. It will no doubt be the prosecutor’s chagrin to have to defend this appointment. Third, Hunter Biden’s team maintains that the sweeping immunity provision central to the collapsed plea deal inserted into a diversion agreement for which he should have been ineligible remains in effect. This it argues nullifies not only the three charges in the Delaware gun case, but also bars the DOJ from bringing the recently filed tax charges in California. When presented with this argument back in August, prosecutors contended the diversion agreement was withdrawn, never went into effect. It was non-binding, as the Court never signed off on it. It’s not clear how Hunter Biden’s team will win on this count, but it surely seems like they’re teeing this argument up for trial in California as well. So they must see some merit to it. Last but not least, and perhaps most laughably, Hunter Biden’s team wants to get the gun charges kicked by making an originalist argument in favor of his second amendment rights, relying on a Supreme Court ruling Joe Biden himself said he was quote, deeply disappointed in. The joke’s on us. Hunter Biden’s pugnacious lawyers who threatened prosecutors with career suicide to intimidate them out of bringing charges and if sought to attack the IRS whistleblowers are exploiting conditions the DOJ created by its own Jackanory. A pox on every house!

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