President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors over unpaid income tax and a gun-related charge.
Details: A federal investigation found Hunter Biden failed to pay his total federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, he purchased a firearm while he was an active user of crack cocaine, lying on a purchase form for the gun that he was not an unlawful drug user.
Per the details of the agreement with prosecutors, Biden, who paid the missed taxes in 2021, will plead guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax. For the gun charge, Biden agreed to participate in a Pretrial Diversion Agreement.
The president's son is expected to avoid prison time with the deal, but it's unclear if this concludes his legal troubles. His attorney stated, "it is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved," but David Weiss, the prosecutor leading the investigation, said the case was "ongoing."
House Republicans confirmed the plea deal will not deter their probes into Hunter Biden's time on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. The House Oversight Committee, led by Rep. James Comer (R-KY), is investigating an allegation that President Joe Biden accepted a $5 million bribe from a Burisma executive.
How the Media Covered It: Coverage of the plea deal focused more on reactions to the news than the news itself.
Many right-rated voices and Republican lawmakers labeled the agreement a "sweetheart" deal and framed it as more evidence of a double standard in the justice system, following the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump earlier this month.
Left-rated voices were not exactly supportive of Hunter Biden, but often cast doubt on the validity of the investigation, which was launched during the Trump administration. Some, like the Associated Press (Lean Left bias), focused on how Joe Biden was managing the situation as a father.
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- Opinion from the Center: "For those who are less than excited by the upcoming eighteen months of uninterrupted discussion of Joe Biden’s age and Donald Trump’s court calendar, it may or may not be helpful to know that the 2028 presidential campaign is already underway."
Snippets from the Center
"No evidence exists that the president involved himself with the probe in any way. Some have noted, counter to claims that the president attempted to make the case go smoothly for his son, he in fact allowed a Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney to oversee the case so as to avoid any appearance of preferential treatment."
"Republican lawmakers for months have pushed allegations based on anonymous sources that Biden received preferential treatment from the Internal Revenue Service and was involved in a bribery scheme with a Ukrainian energy company. But those thinly sourced claims were left unaddressed."
Snippets from the Left
"Frankly, DOJ would have taken just as much criticism if Garland had removed the original Trump-appointed prosecutor and declined to bring any criminal charges. Now the DOJ will simply wait for the inevitable calls for hearings into the plea deal and the likely summoning of the prosecutor to Capitol Hill to face questions."
"Time and time again, Republicans have tried to take one piece of salacious or intriguing material related to Hunter Biden and manufacture a narrative of deep criminality by the first son or, worse, public corruption by the 46th president. But they have always spectacularly and embarrassingly failed."
Snippets from the Right
"The personal and ethical contrasts Joe Biden struck against Donald Trump in 2020 are going to be that much harder to make in 2024. If the Republican Party sees fit to nominate anyone other than Trump, the implicit contrast between a scandal-free candidate and a president dogged by a cloud of suspicion will benefit the GOP."
"In any case, is that all there is? What about the Biden family’s income windfall from Hunter’s foreign business deals? House and Senate Republicans have documented dozens of suspicious financial transactions related to Hunter’s overseas business while his father was Vice President."