As part of the "sweetheart" plea deal previously offered to Hunter Biden that crumbled under the scrutiny of a federal judge, the president's son was set to plead guilty in Delaware to a pair of misdemeanor counts of failure to pay income taxes.
Those two tax charges have now been dismissed by the same federal judge at the request of prosecutors working for Special Counsel David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware who offered the now-scuttled plea deal following a five-year investigation, Fox News reported.
However, the dismissal of the charges does not mean that Biden is off the hook, but rather is little more than a formality necessary for prosecutors to file similar or greater federal charges against the president's son in other jurisdictions outside of Delaware.
In a one-page order signed by U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, it was noted that a motion from prosecutors for the dismissal of the two misdemeanor tax charges had been granted.
"The United States has represented that venue for the offenses that are the subject of the information filed in the above-captioned matter 'does not lie in Delaware,'" the judge wrote, and, "the United States has moved 'to voluntarily dismiss the information filed in the above-captioned matter without prejudice so that the United States can bring tax charges in a district where venue lies.'"
Judge Noreika, whose probing questions about dubious aspects of the prior plea deal on the tax crimes and related diversion agreement on a felony gun charge led to the deal's demise, also noted that the defendant, Hunter Biden, did not oppose the motion for dismissal that she has now granted without prejudice, meaning the same charges can be filed again at a later date.
NBC News reported that the dismissal of the two tax charges was expected and not at all indicative of Hunter Biden getting a pass or receiving preferential treatment -- in fact, it is the opposite of that, as the dismissal of the charges was necessary in order for those and other alleged crimes to be fully prosecuted in other jurisdictions aside from Delaware.
In a filing last week that referenced the now-defunct plea agreement, prosecutors said, "After the hearing, the parties continued negotiating but reached an impasse. A trial is therefore in order."
Indicating the likelihood of impending charges in jurisdictions like California and Washington D.C., the filing added, "The Government, in the exercise of its prosecutorial discretion, is considering what tax charges to bring in another district and may elect to bring the same charges set forth in the instant information or different ones."
In the meantime, questions still remain about the separate but related diversion agreement on the felony gun charge -- which would have allowed Hunter Biden to avoid any prison time if he stayed out of trouble for two years -- in that Biden's attorneys insist that separate agreement is binding while prosecutors claim it never actually went into effect because a probation officer never signed off on it.
Fox News noted that Special Counsel Weiss separately blasted Biden's attorneys in a filing this week for falsely asserting that his prosecutors "reneged" on the felony gun charge diversion agreement and pointed out that Biden "chose to plead not guilty at the hearing on July 26, 2023, and U.S. Probation declined to approve the proposed diversion agreement at that hearing. Thus, neither proposed agreement entered into effect."
"Seeing that the parties were at an impasse, the Government informed the Defendant, in writing on August 9, 2023, that it was withdrawing the most recent version of its proposed plea and diversion agreements," Weiss added. "That is why the Government has asked the Court to vacate its briefing order and has moved to dismiss the criminal tax information."
CNN reported that while it is certainly possible that Special Counsel Weiss could simply file the same exact misdemeanor tax charges in different venues, it is also quite possible that, based on the under-oath assertions of IRS whistleblowers, Biden could potentially face up to "six federal felonies, including tax evasion and filing false tax returns."
Additionally, he could also face a felony gun charge for lying about his drug use during a 2018 purchase of a handgun, not to mention possible violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act in relation to the lobbying work he clearly did on behalf of foreign governments and entities as part of his international business dealings.