Attorney for Hunter Biden asks judge to remove him from case, citing possible witness conflict

 August 16, 2023

Hunter Biden's criminal defense attorney Chris Clark requested Tuesday to withdraw from representing his client, citing a conflict of interest in continuing to represent the president's son in a prospective trial where he may be called as a witness.

In July, legal scrutiny caused the collapse of Hunter Biden's "sweetheart" plea bargain, as Breitbart News reported.

The prosecution expects Hunter Biden's case for tax and firearm violations to proceed to trial.

What the Attorney Said

Clark, who was a partner at the same law firm in Washington, D.C. as Liz Cheney's husband, filed a motion on Tuesday asking the judge to enable him to recuse himself from the case. Clark cited a Delaware rule prohibiting attorneys from advocating on behalf of their clients if it is probable that an attorney will be called as a witness.

“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 wrote in his filing.

Clark's filing also stated that the prosecution, represented by special prosecutor David Weiss, will "contest" aspects of the plea agreement in which Clark served as a witness.

“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,” the filing said.

Unknown is who will replace Clark as the primary defense attorney for Hunter Biden against the newly appointed Weiss.

Possible Implications for Trial

Former national security prosecutor and federal public defender Kash Patel told Breitbart News that Clark's request to recuse himself from the trial incorporates all pre-trial motions.

“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,” he said:

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 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.

Sunday, Hunter Biden's attorneys fought to preserve the provisions of the "diversion agreement" in their failed plea agreement. The diversion agreement would have granted Hunter Biden immunity against any future charges.

The filing was in response to Delaware Judge Maryellen Noreika's request, made after Weiss requested dismissal of the case. Last month, it was anticipated that Hunter Biden would plead guilty.

As a result of Judge Noreika's scrutiny of the irregular plea agreement, the prosecutors stated on Friday that they expected the case to go to trial, indicating that they wish to attempt the case elsewhere, outside Delaware and away from the judge.

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