Updated Jul 26, 2023, 2:38pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to tax charges after plea deal unravels

Hunter Biden walks to the motorcade after arriving at Fort McNair, after U.S. President Joe Biden spent the weekend at Camp David, in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2023.
REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson/File Photo

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The News

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to two federal tax crimes for the time being after a plea deal on the charges fell apart during a court hearing Wednesday, according to multiple news outlets.

Biden was charged with failing to pay federal taxes and one felony count of unlawful possession of a gun while addicted to a substance. According to a June court filing, he had reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to plead guilty to the two tax charges and avoid being prosecuted for the firearm charge.

But that deal is now on hold after a Donald Trump-appointed judge voiced concerns about the scope of the agreement Wednesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika had questions Wednesday about whether the deal would protect the president’s son from prosecution on future charges.

The prosecution and Biden’s legal team seemed to disagree on that front. Prosecutors said there is still an ongoing investigation into Biden, and it could in theory lead to future charges.

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An attorney for Biden then declared that the deal was off at that point.

After the recess, Biden’s team said they could agree to a narrower scope that would only cover specific tax, drug, and firearm charges, CNN reported.

But the deal was still subject to the judge’s approval and she did not agree to accept it, giving the lawyers 30 days to show why she should sign off on the initial deal, The Associated Press reported.

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The View From The White House

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre kicked off a press briefing Wednesday by saying that Hunter Biden is a “private citizen and this was a personal matter for him.”

“As we have said, the president, the first lady, they love their son and they support him as he continues to rebuild his life,” Jean-Pierre said.

She directed any questions to the DOJ and Hunter Biden’s lawyers.

— Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report.