The Hunter Biden plea agreement reached Tuesday “enhances” the congressional probe digging into the Biden family’s alleged influence peddling, in closing the Justice Department’s argument of an ongoing investigation, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday.
The plea agreement filed in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday came as the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, led by Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has increased scrutiny of Biden family financial transactions. The investigations include an alleged $5 million bribe to President Joe Biden while he was serving as vice president.
“This does nothing to our investigation,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Tuesday. “Actually, it should enhance our investigation because the DOJ should not be able to withhold any information now saying that it is a pending investigation. They should be able to provide Chairman Comer with any information that he requires.”
However, a press release from Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ office said, “The investigation is ongoing.”
The agreement wraps up a five-year probe by Weiss, who charged President Joe Biden’s son on a misdemeanor tax charge and a felony gun charge. The agreement allows Hunter Biden to go through a two-year diversionary program to have the felony removed from his record.
Specifically with regards to the gun law, the federal statute says an offender “shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both.”
In April, in a case with similar circumstances, a 27-year-old woman in Iowa provided false information about her drug use when buying seven guns. She was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison after pleading guilty, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The tax charges do not carry a prison sentence but do carry a $25,000 maximum penalty.
McCarthy also compared the plea deal with the indictment of former President Donald Trump over alleged mishandling of classified information.
“If you are the president’s leading opponent, the DOJ literally tries to put you in jail,” McCarthy said. “If you are the president’s son, you get a sweetheart deal.”
Last month, President Biden told MSNBC, “First of all, my son has done nothing wrong. I trust him. I have faith in him.”
On Tuesday, with the president’s son now admitting guilt, White House spokesman Ian Sams, who has been the point man to comment on Biden investigations, said Tuesday in a public statement, “The President and First Lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment.”
But Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asserted the deal “cannot be the final word given the significant body of evidence that the FBI and Justice Department has at its disposal.”
In September 2020, Grassley, who then was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., then-chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, released a report that showed Hunter Biden received millions of dollars in wire transfers from foreign companies that U.S. authorities flagged for possible criminal activity.
In May, the House Oversight Committee issued a report showing the Biden family members got more than $10 million from foreign entities and individuals from China, Ukraine, and Romania. The money was sent to various shell corporations.
The Justice Department has this information, Grassley noted.
“Since the FBI’s investigation into Hunter Biden began nearly five years ago, I and my colleagues in Congress have uncovered extensive government and bank records indicative of money laundering as well as foreign business schemes that, in any other circumstance, would raise serious criminal and counterintelligence concerns,” Grassley said in a public statement Tuesday.
“Hunter’s laptop, which the FBI has had since 2019, contains records corroborating much of this evidence, as well as evidence of other serious criminal violations,” Grassley continued. “On top of all of that, whistleblowers at the Justice Department and IRS have warned that the FBI and Justice Department have sat on additional verifiable information about criminal conduct that involves other Biden family members and have failed to follow normal investigative procedures to run that information to the ground. All of this information has been provided to the Department.”
Prosecutors made one two-page court filing that says Hunter Biden received taxable income in 2017 and 2018 of more than $1.5 million for each year, and owed more than $100,000 in income taxes that he did not pay.
Prosecutors filed a one-page court document that says Hunter Biden lied on a gun form in 2018, and that he agreed to enter a pretrial diversion agreement.
In a tweet thread, Johnson said the deal resulted from a “sham investigation.”
“When @POTUS lied and said Hunter ‘has done nothing wrong,’ what he really meant to say was: ‘Hunter will never be held accountable for his actions,’” Johnson tweeted. “Today’s announcement that Hunter will plead guilty to low-level charges will further reduce confidence in federal law enforcement.”
“Is sealing investigatory records part of the plea agreement?” he added. “U.S. Attorney Weiss said the 5-year-long investigation is ongoing. Will they use that excuse to keep information and records of Biden family wrongdoing from public scrutiny, as well?”
However, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, contends this should wrap up the investigation.
“The U.S. Attorney for Delaware, who was appointed by former President Trump and kept on by President Biden, has investigated and now criminally charged the son of the sitting President with two misdemeanor tax counts and a firearms count,” Raskin said in a public statement.
“This development reflects the Justice Department’s continued institutional independence in following the evidence of actual crimes and enforcing the rule of law even in the face of constant criticism and heckling by my GOP colleagues who think that the system of justice should only follow their partisan wishes,” he added.