Special counsel indicts Hunter Biden

US Attorney David Weiss speaks during a press conference on May 3, 2018, at his district office in Wilmington, Delaware.
US Attorney David Weiss speaks during a press conference on May 3, 2018, at his district office in Wilmington, Delaware. Suchat Pederson/The News Journal/AP

David Weiss, the Trump-appointed US attorney who has been investigating Hunter Biden, was given special counsel status just over a month ago.

The special counsel designation, which gave Weiss more powers than a typical US attorney, came after plea talks between the Justice Department and the president’s son fell apart.

In a two-pronged agreement, Hunter Biden planned to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and prosecutors would drop a separate felony gun charge in two years if he stayed out of legal trouble and passed drug tests. Federal prosecutors also agreed to recommend probation, and no jail time, for Hunter Biden.

But at a court hearing in July, the deal nearly collapsed under scrutiny from the federal judge overseeing the case. District Judge Maryellen Noreika said the intertwined deals to resolve the tax and gun charges were “confusing,” “not straightforward,” “atypical” and “unprecedented.”

“After the hearing, the parties continued negotiating but reached an impasse,” prosecutors wrote. “A trial is therefore in order.”

By naming Weiss as a special counsel, Garland gave him further independence from the Justice Department as he embarks on an unprecedented trial against the son of the sitting president, and as Republicans claim the department is politicized.

A senior Justice Department official said Weiss will write a report, which the attorney general is expected to publicly release when the probe is over. 

SOURCE

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