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A lawyer for Hunter Biden said it is “not inevitable” that the investigation into the US president’s son will go to trial, as he blamed federal prosecutors for the collapse of plea negotiations last month.
In a court filing on Friday, prosecutors said the government had reached an “impasse” with Hunter Biden and that the US Department of Justice “now believes that the case will not resolve short of a trial”.
But in a Sunday interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Hunter Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell pushed back on this assertion.
“It’s not inevitable,” said Lowell. “We were trying to avoid one all along. And so were the prosecutors who came forward to us and were the ones to say, can there be a resolution short of a prosecution? So, they wanted it, and maybe they still do want it.”
Last month, Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanours for failing to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018, and admit he lied about his drug use when he purchased a firearm in 2018. But the deal unravelled after the judge questioned how it would relate to immunity for potential future charges.
Lowell said on Sunday prosecutors “changed their decision on the fly”. He also argued that David Weiss, a Trump appointee who had been investigating Hunter Biden for years, and who was appointed special counsel in the case on Friday, should not bring any new criminal charges against his client.
“I’m confident that if this prosecutor does what has been done for the last five years — look at the facts, the evidence and the law — then the only conclusion can be what the conclusion was on July 26,” said Lowell. “There’s no new evidence to be found.”
The collapse of the plea deal has thrust Hunter Biden’s long-running legal woes back into the spotlight, threatening to imperil his father’s re-election bid. Despite his own mounting legal entanglements, Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, has relentlessly attacked Hunter Biden in an attempt to damage his father.
“Weiss has been investigating Hunter for 4 years, giving him the ‘sweetheart’ deal of all sweetheart deals,” Trump said on Saturday on his social platform Truth Social. “But a brilliant Judge in Delaware saw through it all.”
Republicans in the House of Representatives have also called for a hearing with Weiss.
“This action by Biden’s DoJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy posted Friday on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “If Weiss negotiated the sweetheart deal that couldn’t get approved, how can he be trusted as a special counsel?”
“House Republicans will continue to pursue the facts for the American people,” he added.