Judge skeptical of Hunter Biden's move to dismiss charges

 March 28, 2024

Hunter Biden's narrative about being the victim of a Justice Department witch hunt failed to move a federal judge at an important hearing in California on Wednesday.

Biden attorney Abbe Lowell has argued that charges for tax evasion should be dropped because they were the result of a political pressure campaign from Republicans and President Trump.

Hunter rejected in court

Hunter was initially set to receive a generous plea deal from Special Counsel Daivd Weiss that unraveled in court last summer.

Weiss later filed felony charges against Hunter for dodging taxes as he led an extravagant lifestyle fueled by his income from shady international business dealings.

The increased pressure on Hunter came after IRS whistleblowers had begun sharing allegations that the DOJ probe into his finances was being slow walked, fueling an uproar among Republicans who said Hunter was getting favorable treatment.

California Judge Mark Scarsi told Lowell that he had shared no concrete evidence that politics impacted the prosecution, beyond the timeline.

“It’s a timeline,” Lowell said, "but it’s a juicy timeline.”

"Connect the dots"

Prosecutors pushed back on the "outrageous" claim that they were acting under pressure from Trump and dismissed IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler as "hyenas baying at the moon."

Lowell urged Scarsi to "connect the dots" but he appeared reluctant to do so.

"One of the big hurdles that this motion has it that it’s not filed with any evidence,” Scarsi said.

Lowell has also argued that a sweeping immunity agreement that was part of the collapsed plea deal is still in effect. But Scarsi didn't seem to buy that either.

Trial approaches

The tax charges come up with up to 17 years in prison.

The judge will decide before April 17 whether to dismiss the charges, with a trial date set for June 20. Hunter is also facing a June trial in Delaware for gun charges.

The trials could be politically damaging for Hunter's father Joe Biden, who is facing a close battle for re-election dogged by doubts about his age, poor approval ratings and the cloud of scandal surrounding his family's influence peddling.

Hunter's business partners have told Congress that Joe Biden was involved in his son's dealings, but Democrats have dismissed Republicans' impeachment inquiry as a sham.

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