Heritage Foundation Urged to Stop Hunter “Sweetheart” Plea Deal

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Heritage Foundation Urged to Stop Hunter “Sweetheart” Plea Deal; GOP Claims Major Crimes and Political Interference, But Refuses to Act

Hunter Biden’s “Sweetheart” Plea Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 24, 2023) – There is now very strong documentary evidence that Hunter Biden committed many very serious crimes which ordinarily would require substantial time behind bars, and that the investigation of his possible criminal activities and the decision to offer him a no-jail “sweetheart” plea deal was corrupted by political interference, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Yet although Republicans have obtained much of this evidence and have loudly complained about what they criticize as an unfair “sweetheart” no-time plea deal, they are refusing to provide the existing documentary evidence to federal judge Maryellen Noreika so that she can knowledgeably decide, as the law requires, whether accepting the plea deal is truly in the public interest.

Banzhaf, who is apolitical, provided the evidence against Donald Trump in a formal legal complaint which triggered the current criminal investigation in Georgia of the former president.

So Banzhaf has just asked the Heritage Foundation – which has gone to court to seek other valuable information about this case, but so far without success – to take this very strong documentary evidence which already exists, and present it to the judge before the Wednesday hearing.

Faced with this powerful evidence – which clearly presents at least a prima facie case of criminal wrongdoing by both Hunter and various government officials – it is likely that Judge Noreika would refuse to approve the plea as presented.

At the very least, suggests Banzhaf, the evidence should be sufficient to require her to postpone her decision on the plea deal until she can examine the hundreds of pages of documentary evidence, and also provide additional time for the Heritage Foundation to obtain the additional incriminating documents it is seeking under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA].

Evidence Of Illegal Political Interference

The law professor notes that House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer claims that there is already a “ton of evidence” backing up Republican claims of felonies committed by Hunter, as well as illegal political interference with the investigation and plea bargaining, and that much of it is already in the public domain – so that it can be presented to the judge, and she can legally take judicial notice of most of the official documents.

This evidence includes, at the very least, testimony under oath by two FBI whistleblowers, emails incriminating not just Hunter but possibly even his father, numerous Treasury Suspicious Activity Reports showing multi-million dollar payments to Hunter and other Biden family members from companies in China, Romania, and Ukraine, shell company-related findings, encrypted messaging application missives, many documents recovered from a laptop computer conceded to belong to Hunter Biden, and now an authenticated but previously secret FBI FD-1023 form about Hunter and various business dealings.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, who also helped to assemble much of this evidence, claims that placing the attached materials into the record is critical because the testimony provided by the two IRS whistleblowers brings new and compelling facts to light, and because it is essential for the Judge in this matter to have relevant information before her when evaluating the plea agreement.”

The Foundation has gone to the Court of Appeals in an attempt to obtain more than 2,500 pages of documents it had requested under FOIA for internal communications about the five-year probe into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax and financial crimes. It is also seeking records, arguably not exempt under FOIA, relating to any requests for special counsel status by Delaware US Attorney David Weiss, who led the Hunter investigation.

But whether or not the Foundation is ultimately successful in obtaining the information it is seeking, Banzhaf agrees with Congressman Smith that it is “crucial” and “essential” for the judge to have whatever information already exists – especially that of which she can legally take judicial notice – before she makes a final decision which would close the chapter regarding Hunter Biden.

Banzhaf notes that there are many situations where judges have refused to accept a negotiated plea agreement. For example:

  • “if judges believe the agreements do not adequately address the nature of the crimes, the rights of victims, or the interests of the public,”
  • the plea agreement “falls short given the backdrop of the parties’ motivation, [the defendant’s] trusted employment position, and the threats to national and global security . . . that [the parties’] actions caused,”
  • because the judge was inclined to give the defendant a longer sentence,
  • “[i]t was not in the best interest of the community, or the country, to accept the[] plea agreements,” etc.

Perhaps most tellingly, a judge once rejected a negotiated plea deal simply because, as he explained: “[i]t is contrary to justice. Justice in this society cannot be seen as being able to buy oneself out of a felony conviction.”

So, if key members of the Republican Party refuse to present this documentary evidence, already a matter of public record, to the judge before Wednesday, a grave miscarriage of justice may occur if Hunter Biden is allowed to receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist apparently because of his father’s clout, argues the activist law professor, who also filed information before another federal judge which helped lead to the appointment of special prosecutors for then-president Richard Nixon.