A chorus of Republican lawmakers raced Tuesday to condemn Hunter Biden’s plea agreement, in which the first son appears poised to avoid jail time for alleged tax and firearm violations.
As part of the deal, the 53-year-old will plead guilty to misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax for 2017 and 2018 and enter a pre-trial diversion on a felony gun possession charge, meaning that charge could be dropped if he meets certain requirements, per court documents filed in Delaware.
Prominent Republicans quickly contrasted the Biden scion’s treatment by federal prosecutors with that of former President Donald Trump, who was arraigned last week on a 37-count indictment stemming from his alleged classified document hoarding.
“Wow! The corrupt Biden DOJ just cleared up hundreds of years of criminal liability by giving Hunter Biden a mere “traffic ticket.” Our system is BROKEN!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.
An allied Super PAC was even more forceful.
“As President Trump predicted, Biden’s Justice Department is cutting a sweetheart deal with Hunter Biden in order to make their bogus case to get Trump’ appear fair. Meanwhile, Biden’s DOJ continues to turn a blind eye to the Biden family’s extensive corruption and bribery scheme,” Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for Make America Great Again Inc., said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Trump predicted, “They’ll hit Hunter with something small to make their strike on me look ‘fair.’”
On the Hill, many of Trump’s allies echoed similar sentiments at the news of the plea agreement.
“It continues to show the two-tiered system in America. If you are the president’s leading political opponent, the DOJ literally tries to literally put you in jail, give you prison time. If you are the president’s son, you get a sweetheart deal,” contended Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“Now this does nothing to our investigation. It actually should enhance our investigation because the DOJ should not be able to withhold any information now,” added McCarthy, referring to an ongoing probe of the first son by the House Oversight Committee. “They should be able to provide Chairman [James] Comer with any information he requires.”
Comer himself decried the development as a “slap on the wrist.”
“Let’s be clear: the Department of Justice’s charges against President Biden’s son Hunter reveals a two-tiered system of justice,” he said in a statement. “Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling, and possibly bribery.”
“These charges against Hunter Biden and sweetheart plea deal have no impact on the Oversight Committee’s investigation,” Comer added. “We will not rest until the full extent of President Biden’s involvement in the family’s schemes are revealed.”
“This is the epitome of the politicization and Weaponization of Joe Biden’s Department of Justice as they give a slap on the wrist to President Biden’s son — a tax fraud and corrupt pay-to-play criminal,” House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said in a statement.
“It’s never been more clear that we have a two tiered system of justice when you have the son of the sitting President of the United States selling our country out to the highest bidder, laundering money, committing tax fraud, accepting bribes, illegally obtaining a firearm, and shamefully avoiding child support.”
“Hunter Biden pleading guilty to a gun charge and misdemeanor tax charges with no jail time is a stunt to make him look like he is just cooperating with the DOJ,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted. “Oh but hey, look at Jack Smith trying to throw President Trump in jail for 100 years for legally possessing documents he’s allowed to posses under the Presidential Records Act.“
“Hunter Biden is getting off with a plea deal and no jail time. President Trump was right again, and again, and again, and again,” said Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas).
“Hunter pleading guilty to tax evasion is only the first crack in the Biden corruption cover-up,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) tweeted. “This isn’t case closed. Anyone can see Biden’s DOJ went easy on Hunter Biden.”
Several contenders in the 2024 GOP presidential primary similarly bristled at the news.
“This plea deal only raises further questions about Hunter Biden’s crimes and the double standard of justice in our federal government. There is clearly a lot more the Biden family has to answer for,” former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.
“Looks like Hunter received a sweetheart deal and is not facing any charges on the massive corruption allegations. If Hunter was not connected to the elite DC class he would have been put in jail a long time ago,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
“The Hunter Biden plea deal is a joke. It’s a feigned retreat & reveals they’re even more scared than ever of scrutiny for the real crimes. The real target is the audio tapes of the alleged bribe for Hunter & Joe Biden from the Ukrainian executive of oligarch-owned Burisma. And the hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer funds kicked back to Ukraine to make good on the favor. Don’t buy the deflection, it’s just a smokescreen,” multimillionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy tweeted.
Meanwhile, the White House underscored that the president is keen on supporting his son.
If Hunter is convicted, he faces up to 12 months in prison per tax charge and a maximum of 10 years for the firearm charge, according to a statement from Delaware US Attorney David Weiss. However, if the plea deal is approved, no jail time is likely on the tax charges and the firearms charge is likely to be expunged if the first son completes the diversion program.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” Weiss’ office stressed in its statement.
Meanwhile, Chris Clark, the criminal counsel for the younger Biden, released a statement of his own that said: “It is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved.”