U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika made headlines last month when she shut down Hunter Biden's sweetheart plea agreement on tax and gun charges.
Some of the consequences of her decision played out this week when one of Biden's attorneys asked to be removed from the case on the grounds that he will be a witness at his client's expected trial.
According to Breitbart, defense lawyer Chris Clark submitted the request to Noreika on Tuesday, citing the conflict of being both an attorney and a witness.
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) August 15, 2023
"Pursuant to Delaware Rule of Professional Conduct 3.7(a), 'a lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness unless… disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client,'" Clark was quoted as writing in his filing.
Clark also made reference to his role in helping draft the now-scuttled plea bargain agreement whose withdrawal will now be contested.
"Based on recent developments, it appears that the negotiation and drafting of the plea agreement and diversion agreement will be contested, and Mr. Clark is a percipient witness to those issues," Clark's filing continued.
Former national security prosecutor and federal public defender Kash Patel told Breitbart that Clarks request for removal is expected giving the circumstances.
"Any possible conflict of interest that involves counsel becoming a witness is automatic grounds for removal (unless the client waives any conflicts). Whether it’s pre-trial or during trial makes no difference," Patel explained.
"Here — it looks as if the Biden team will be challenging the withdrawal of the plea agreement. However, a plea agreement is never final until accepted by the judge," the former government attorney pointed out.
"The DOJ can renege at any time — they often do. And with pre-trial diversion agreements, that is in the sole province of the DOJ. It’s a program outside the function of the court. A judge has no role in it," Patel added.
Meanwhile, Breitbart noted that Clark is not the only one making moves, as prosecutors expressed a desire on Friday to have the case tried elsewhere.
Fox News reported that the prosecution's motion seeks to transfer Biden's prosecution to either California or Washington, D.C.
"On June 20, 2023, the United States filed a criminal information charging the Defendant with two counts of failure to pay taxes, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203. ECF 2. Venue for these offenses does not lie in Delaware. Rather, venue for these offenses and any other related tax offenses lies either in the Central District of California or in the District of Columbia," it read.