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Judge Weighs Hunter Biden Plea Deal amid Criticism

A federal judge in Delaware is scheduled to hold a hearing on Wednesday to consider the plea deal reached by Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, in a tax and foreign lobbying case.

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Hunter Biden talks with guests during a State Dinner for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House in Washington, June 22, 2023. Susan Walsh/AP, FILE

 The plea deal, which was announced last week, calls for Hunter Biden to plead guilty to one count of willfully failing to file a tax return and one count of engaging in a single transaction of foreign lobbying without registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. In exchange, prosecutors will drop the remaining counts against him, which include three counts of failing to file foreign bank account reports and one count of making a false statement.

The plea deal has enflamed critics of Hunter Biden, who have accused him of getting special treatment because of his father's position in the White House. They have also questioned the timing of the deal, which was announced just days before the midterm elections.

Hunter Biden's lawyer, George Mesires, has defended the plea deal, saying that it is "a fair and just resolution" of the case. He has also said that Hunter Biden is "deeply sorry for the mistakes he made" and that he is "committed to putting this matter behind him."

The judge in the case, Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke, is not bound by the plea deal, and he could reject it if he believes that it is not in the best interests of justice. He is also expected to consider the arguments of prosecutors and defense lawyers at the hearing on Wednesday.

If the judge approves the plea deal, Hunter Biden is expected to be sentenced to probation and community service. He could also be fined.

The case against Hunter Biden was brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware in 2019. Prosecutors alleged that he failed to file tax returns for several years, and that he failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act when he was working as a consultant for a Ukrainian energy company.

The plea deal comes after a long and controversial investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings. The investigation was launched by then-President Donald Trump and his allies, who alleged that Hunter Biden used his father's position to enrich himself. However, no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden has been found.

The plea deal is a significant development in the case, but it is not the end of the story. The judge will still need to approve the deal, and Hunter Biden could still face additional consequences, such as a fine or probation.

The case has also raised questions about the potential for conflicts of interest in the Biden administration. Hunter Biden's business dealings have been the subject of intense scrutiny, and some critics have argued that they could pose a conflict of interest for President Biden. However, President Biden has said that he has never discussed his son's business dealings with him, and that he has no involvement in them.

The plea deal is a step towards resolving the case against Hunter Biden, but it is likely to continue to be a source of controversy. The judge's decision on whether to approve the deal will be closely watched, and the case could have implications for the Biden administration.

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