On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware announced that it had reached a plea deal with Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden. Hunter Biden will plead guilty to two charges of misdemeanor failure to pay taxes, and one felony charge of possessing a gun while using drugs.
As NBC News reports, that Hunter Biden is facing these charges at all is highly unusual. When it comes to the tax charges, Biden had already paid the missing taxes in 2021. It’s very unusual for the IRS to file any sort of criminal charge against a first-time tax offender, and it’s difficult to find any situation where such charges have been filed after the taxes were paid. The statute against possessing a weapon while using drugs is also rarely applied, and is generally limited to cases where defendants are facing other charges involving gun violence or drug sales.
Even though Republicans are whining that Hunter Biden has been let go with a slap on the wrist, the truth is that he’s facing charges that are much stiffer than are usually applied to anyone in his situation. And the reason seems to be simple enough: The man in charge of Hunter Biden’s case, U.S. Attorney David Weiss, was not just appointed by Donald Trump, but was one of the candidates Trump bragged about as being among the most supportive of MAGA positions.
Even as Republicans are complaining that the Department of Justice is somehow doing Joe Biden’s bidding in this matter, Weiss issued a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan making it clear that everything about Hunter Biden’s case—from the investigation to the charges and penalties—was entirely his decision.
“I want to make it clear that, as the Attorney General has stated, I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges, and for making decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution, consistent with federal law, the Principles of Federal Prosecution, and departmental regulations.”
Weiss issued this letter while turning down Jordan’s demand that the U.S. attorney produce information that would violate the privacy of both Hunter Biden and others interviewed in the investigation, which Republicans are naturally seizing on as yet more “proof” of a corrupt DOJ.
That includes Trump, whose reaction to the news that Hunter Biden is getting a sentence above and beyond what would be applied to the average person in such a position is exactly as might be expected.
However, as CNN reports, Weiss isn’t just any Trump-appointed attorney. He’s one of Trump’s hand-picked inside circle.
In 2018, the Senate confirmed Weiss to serve as US attorney for the District of Delaware. At the time of his nomination, he was serving as the acting US attorney for the district and was one of nine candidates whom Trump said shared his “vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.’”
Weiss actually began his investigation of Hunter Biden under Trump. Rather than seeking a replacement for Weiss after Joe Biden became president, Garland not only kept Weiss in place, but gave him extraordinary power to oversee every aspect of the case, freeing him to investigate, and prosecute, as he saw fit.
Biden, Garland, and everyone else at the DOJ gave Weiss free rein over every aspect of the case. If he didn’t charge Hunter Biden with more, it’s because he didn’t find more. This was the most Trump-aligned attorney doing his worst, punishing Hunter Biden in a way most people would not be punished for, with charges most would not face, and still the Republicans are screaming.
Because they were never interested in the truth, or really in Hunter Biden. They just need someone to vilify. It doesn’t really matter who.
We are joined by Christina Reynolds of Emily’s List. Reynolds is the Senior Vice President of Communications and Content at the progressive organization that works on getting women elected to office. Reynolds talks about what she is seeing up and down the ballot this election cycle on the anniversary of the outrageous Supreme Court Decision to take away the reproductive protections of Roe v. Wade.