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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Judge Rejects Hunter Biden’s Attempts to Toss Out Felony Tax Charges

'Defendant fails to present a reasonable inference, let alone clear evidence, of discriminatory effect and discriminatory purpose...'

(Headline USA) A judge refused Monday to toss out a tax case against Hunter Biden after the defense filed eight motions attempting to portray President Joe Biden’s son as a helpless victim who had been treated unfairly due to his elite status.

“Defendant fails to present a reasonable inference, let alone clear evidence, of discriminatory effect and discriminatory purpose,” wrote U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi in denying the motions to dismiss.

The indictment accuses Hunter Biden of scheming to avoid paying $1.4 million in taxes while living an extravagant lifestyle. He has pleaded not guilty to the nine felony and misdemeanor tax offenses filed in Los Angeles.

After a sweetheart plea deal exposed by IRS whistleblowers led to widespread public outrage and ultimately imploded, Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, now claims the prosecution was politically motivated, among other arguments

He responded to the latest defeat by suggesting that the judge, an appointee of former president Donald Trump, may be in on the conspiracy as well. “We strongly disagree with the court’s decision and will continue to vigorously pursue Mr. Biden’s challenges,” Lowell said in a statement.

The ruling came after a three-hour hearing last week where Scarsi seemed skeptical of the defense. Prosecutors, for their part, framed the claims as far-fetched.

Scarsi also dismissed claims related to the timing of the charges, leaks from IRS agents who testified before Congress, and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of the special counsel overseeing the case.

Some Republicans argue that Garland’s appointment of special counsel David Weiss—the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case and had slow-walked it to the point of letting many of the seven-year statutes of limitations expire—was not designed so much to empower Weiss as to thwart the possibility of an outside investigation by House Republicans, which would have forced the Justice Department to hand over any subpoenaed documents.

Biden has also been charged in Delaware with lying on a federal form to buy a gun in 2018. He claims he wasn’t using or addicted to illegal drugs, even though he has acknowledged being addicted to crack cocaine at the time. He has pleaded not guilty in that case, which also accuses him of possessing the gun illegally.

Both cases are overseen by Weiss and now have tentative trials scheduled for June, though defense attorneys are also trying to get the Delaware gun charges tossed out.

The two sets of charges come from a yearslong federal investigation that had been expected to wrap up over the summer with a plea deal, in which Biden would have gotten two years of probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax charges. The president’s son—who has since repaid the back taxes with a loan from his so-called sugar brother, billionaire Kevin Morris—also would have avoided prosecution on the gun charge if he stayed out of trouble.

But the deal unraveled after a federal judge in Delaware began to question it.

Defense attorneys had argued that immunity provisions in the deal were signed by a prosecutor and are still in effect, but Scarsi sided with prosecutors who said it never got the required approval of a probation officer.

If convicted of the tax charges, Hunter Biden, 53, could receive a maximum of 17 years in prison.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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