CNN acknowledges Hunter Biden in 'felony territory' with new indictment that could have been avoided under failed plea deal
Hunter Biden was just criminally indicted on felony tax law violations that, in the view of CNN legal analysts, could have been avoided if a judge hadn't previously questioned a dubious plea deal offered by federal prosecutors to the president's son, according to Breitbart.
Now, rather than skirting accountability for his alleged crimes with two years of probation and deferred prosecution plus blanket immunity, Hunter is facing the prospect of actual prison time if convicted of the several felony charges pressed against him.
Biden now in "felony territory" after collapse of plea deal
Thursday evening on CNN's "The Source," host Kaitlan Collins discussed the just-released criminal indictment of Hunter Biden with two of the network's legal analysts and correspondents, Elie Honig and Even Perez.
"For Hunter Biden, this has to be one of the most frustrating parts of this experience, obviously," Perez said. "He was minutes away from having this entire ordeal put behind him. And instead, he’s now facing these charges, all because a judge asked him very, frankly, appropriate questions."
"She simply asked whether Hunter Biden and his lawyers understood what the terms of this deal entailed and everything sort of fell apart after his lawyer said, essentially, we don’t have a deal anymore, your honor," he added. "And so, that’s how we are here. This was going to be put to bed with a simple misdemeanor deal."
Honig chimed in and said, "The stakes are much higher now with this new indictment than they were before, on the tax counts out of California. The original deal or near-deal that they had … that fell apart only would have charged Hunter Biden with failure to pay his taxes, which is a misdemeanor. Now, we’re into felonies, there [are] three felonies here because of evasion and fraud.
"And the difference is, if you owe taxes but you intentionally don’t pay, just a misdemeanor, you’re not going to jail in all likelihood," he added. "If you’re convicted of a felony because, as this indictment alleges, there was specific fraud they allege Hunter Biden intentionally took steps to try to fool, essentially, tax collectors. Now you’re into felony territory. It’s much more serious. If he gets convicted here, the guidelines will recommend a prison sentence of some nature."
Biden indicted in California by special counsel on tax crimes
The Associated Press reported that Hunter Biden was indicted on nine criminal counts out of California, including three felonies and six misdemeanors, that arose out of Special Counsel David Weiss' years-long investigation into the president's son.
Covering the period of 2016 to 2019, the indictment alleges that Biden spent millions of dollars on "everything but his taxes" -- including drugs, prostitutes, exotic vehicles, and luxury hotels, among other things -- and failed to pay the taxes he owed or even file required returns on the income he earned from his dubious foreign business deals, including his lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.
The charges include felony counts of filing false returns and tax evasion as well as misdemeanor counts of failure to file returns and failure to pay what was due. These new charges come in addition to federal gun charges Weiss previously filed against Biden over his alleged lies on a federal form about his habitual drug use to purchase a firearm he was barred from possessing in 2018.
Prior "sweetheart" plea deal collapsed under scrutiny of judge
As the CNN legal analysts observed, all of those tax and gun charges could have been avoided if a "sweetheart deal" Biden was offered by prosecutors earlier this year hadn't crumbled under the scrutiny of a federal district judge who refused to "rubber stamp" the plea deal, according to a July report from ABC News.
The deal would have had Biden plead guilty to a pair of tax law misdemeanors, for which he would likely have received two years of probation, and the gun charges would have been deferred and ultimately dropped altogether if he abided by certain conditions and stayed out additional trouble for a set time.
However, District Judge Maryellen Noreika began to raise serious questions about various aspects of the deal, including an apparent blanket immunity against an assortment of potential future charges on other alleged crimes, and the entire thing fell apart as the Justice Department's subterfuge and favoritism for the president's son was publicly exposed.
Now, instead of walking away with mere probation and immunity, the AP reported that Biden could face up to 17 years in federal prison if convicted for his alleged tax crimes and, notably, still faces the prospect of additional federal criminal charges as Special Counsel Weiss made it known that his broader investigation of Biden remains open and ongoing.