On Wednesday, Hunter Biden was expected to plead guilty and accept a plea deal for a felony gun possession charge and two misdemeanor tax crimes. However, the deal fell through when Delaware U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika expressed concerns about the scope of the agreement. National Review reported:
Noreika described the deal struck with U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware as “unusual” and questioned why the deal contained some “non-standard terms,” such as “broad immunity” from other potential charges.
When she asked prosecutor Leo Wise if there was precedent for the kind of deal proposed, he replied, “No, your honor,” according to the New York Times.
Noreika asked prosecutors if Biden would be immune from prosecution for possible crimes such as violations related to representing foreign governments without registering. When they responded “no,” Hunter Biden’s legal team said the agreement was “null and void.”
The judge called a recess during which the prosecution and the defense agreed to revise the scope of the plea deal. Under that revised agreement, the deal would only cover the period from 2014-2019 and would only include conduct related to tax offenses, drug use and gun possession, CNN’s Manu Raju reported.
However, Judge Noreika could not accept the revised agreement. Fox News explained:
Ultimately, Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty because Noreika could not accept the plea deal as it was constructed. She repeatedly expressed her concerns about the constitutionality of the diversion deal related to the felony gun charge, specifying that the main issue with the agreement was that if Hunter Biden breached the deal, the judge would need to make a finding of fact on the matter before the government could bring charges.
Judge Noreika said she saw that as being "outside of my lane," noting that if the diversion agreement might be unconstitutional, then the entire plea deal would be unconstitutional, meaning that Hunter Biden would not be getting the immunity he thought.
BREAKING: Judge Maryellen Noreika is not messing around as she is now threatening to have Hunter Biden arrested if he fails to comply with new conditions.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) July 26, 2023
If Hunter consumes alcohol or drugs including marijuana, he will be arrested & be prosecuted for contempt of court.
I’ve been saying for months that Hunter Biden should have been registered as a foreign agent.@GOPoversight will continue to follow the Biden money trail to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens and if President Biden is compromised. https://t.co/14yTxA5ZHd— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) July 26, 2023