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Judge rejects Hunter Biden’s bid to dismiss federal tax charges: court docs

The motions filed by the first son’s defense attorney Abbe Lowell in February alleged in part that the prosecution of President Biden’s 54-year-old son was “selective and vindictive” and that the indictment should be thrown out because of “outrageous government conduct” by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.

US District Judge Mark Scarsi found none of the arguments convincing.

“Defendant fails to present a reasonable inference, let alone clear evidence, of discriminatory effect and discriminatory purpose,” Scarsi wrote in his 82-page ruling. “Accordingly, the selective prosecution claim fails.”

“Defendant offers only conjecture about animus motivating the prosecutorial decisions in this case,” the judge added. “The circumstantial allegations of animus he offers are thin.”

Lowell charged that prosecutors had been influenced by “Republicans in Congress and whistleblowers from the IRS,” but Scarsi found that the defense provided “no facts indicating that the Government undertook charging decisions in any respect because of public statements by politicians, let alone based on Defendant’s familial and political affiliations.”

“Politicians take credit for many things over which they have no power and have made no impact,” the judge noted, referring to public statements made by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.).

“Just because someone says they influenced a prosecutorial decision does not mean that they did,” he added. “Public statements by politicians hardly serve as evidence disturbing the ‘presumption of regularity”’ that attaches to prosecutorial decisions.”

Lowell also alleged in the motions that special counsel David Weiss was “unlawfully appointed” by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

But Scarsi found that Hunter Biden’s defense offered “no convincing reason” for why it was improper and that Weiss’s position was “lawfully funded.”

Regarding defense claims that the IRS whistleblowers’ testimony to Congress and public statements amounted to “outrageous government conduct,” the judge found that Hunter Biden’s lawyer offered “no facts to suggest that the information Shapley and Ziegler shared publicly had any prejudicial effect on the grand jury’s decision to return an indictment.”

“That Shapley and Ziegler’s public statements brought notoriety to Defendant’s case is not enough to show prejudice,” Scarsi ruled, adding in a footnote that Hunter Biden “himself brought notoriety to his conduct though the publication of a memoir.”

The first son’s attorneys also argued that Weiss’ team reneged on a June 20, 2023 plea agreement that would have granted Hunter Biden  broad immunity from prosecution, but the judge ruled that because a signature block on the agreement, reading, “APPROVED BY,” was left blank by Chief US Probation Officer of the District of Delaware Margaret Bray, it “never existed as a binding contract.”

Scarsi also rejected attempts to dismiss some of the charges against Hunter Biden on the grounds that they were “untimely” and “lack of specificity,” duplicitous, and brought in an improper venue.

The first son’s attorneys also argued that Weiss’ team reneged on a June 20, 2023 plea agreement that would have granted Hunter Biden  broad immunity from prosecution, but the judge ruled that because a signature block on the agreement, reading, “APPROVED BY,” was left blank by Chief US Probation Officer of the District of Delaware Margaret Bray, it “never existed as a binding contract.”

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to nine charges – including three felonies – in part for allegedly dodging $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2019 –  a period during which he lived a hard-partying life, allegedly spending millions of dollars on drugs, prostitutes and exotic cars.

The trial is due to start in June, and he faces a maximum penalty of 17 years in prison.

The first son also faces criminal charges out of Delaware related to his alleged purchase of a handgun while he was addicted to cocaine. He has pleaded not guilty in that case as well and has sought to dismiss charges on similar grounds.

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