Federal tax charges against Hunter Biden were dismissed by judge Maryellen Noreika on Thursday, but the ruling doesn’t mean a lasting reprieve for the son of President Joe Biden. Soon, Hunter is expected to be slapped with the same — or potentially new charges — in a different district in the days ahead.
According to NBC News, the decision from Judge Noreika “had been expected” after the sweetheart plea deal for the First Son fell apart under the most basic of scrutinizing questions from the judge.
It turns out that, due to the unexpected failure of the plea agreement, there are now “venue problems” that wouldn’t have arisen if Hunter had plead guilty to receive his slap on the wrist from federal prosecutors as planned.
The court order dismissing the charges explained:
WHEREAS, 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”…
WHEREAS, 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”…
WHEREAS, Defendant does not oppose the United States’ motion…
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the United States’ motion to dismiss…is GRANTED. The information in the above-captioned matter is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Since Hunter was forced to enter a not guilty plea, there’s now set to be a trial afoot when charges are refiled. Prosecutors in the case, NBC News reported, have indicated they are “most likely” to charge Hunter in California or Washington, D.C. as Weiss had requested in 2022 before having those attempts denied by others within the Justice Department.
Now, Hunter and his legal team will have to wait and see what and where charges are filed. One attorney for Hunter seemed to be concerned that new or additional charges could be filed following the collapse of the sweetheart plea agreement. In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the attorney appeared to lay the groundwork to argue that any additional charges — now that Hunter’s apparent protection from serious consequences has been pierced — would mean “something other than the facts or the law…has been infecting the process.”
More on where things stand with Hunter’s developing legal woes via NBC News’ report:
The judge has not ruled on an issue involving the separate gun charge, a felony alleging Biden illegally owned a Colt Cobra .38 Special handgun during a period when he was using drugs. Under the terms of the scuttled plea deal, the charge would have been dropped in two years had Biden honored the terms of a diversion agreement with prosecutors.
Biden’s attorneys said last week they consider that deal — which included a passage protecting him from some other possible charges — was still in effect because both sides had signed it.
Prosecutors say the deal was not in effect, because the agreement also needed to be signed off on by the probation office and it had not been.
One of Biden’s lawyers, Chris Clark, moved to withdraw from the case during the back and forth, saying he expected to be called as a witness in the dispute. Noreika signed off on his withdrawal in a separate order late Thursday.