Hunter Biden told a federal judge late Sunday that the Justice Department was trying to renege on a major part of his deal with the government — his agreement to enroll in a diversion program for gun offenders — that he signed and granted him broad immunity from future federal prosecutions.
The move, included in a court filing by Mr. Biden’s lawyer, Christopher Clark, is the latest salvo in the back and forth between Mr. Biden and David C. Weiss, a Trump appointee who is leading the long-running investigation into the president’s son’s conduct.
Shortly after Attorney General Merrick B. Garland elevated Mr. Weiss to special counsel, government lawyers said in court papers on Friday that they and Mr. Biden were at an impasse over plea negotiations and that no agreement had been reached. Under the deal, Mr. Biden would plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and enroll in the diversion program, which would have allowed him to avert prosecution on a gun charge.
But in the filing late Sunday, Mr. Biden rebutted prosecutors’ claim, saying that he had signed the agreement in court last month and that he planned to abide by it.
The investigation appeared to be coming to a close in June, when both sides announced that they had reached a deal. But at a hearing before a federal judge in Delaware last month, where the agreement was supposed to be finalized, Mr. Biden’s lawyers and Mr. Weiss’s prosecutors indicated drastically different views of a provision that offered Mr. Biden some level of immunity. The judge put the matter on hold.
In the weeks that followed, both sides tried to salvage the deal, and Mr. Weiss, in court papers on Friday, raised the possibility that he would take Mr. Biden to trial on the tax charges.
Michael S. Schmidt is a Washington correspondent covering national security and federal investigations. He was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018 — one for reporting on workplace sexual harassment and the other for coverage of President Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia. More about Michael S. Schmidt
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