Headline RoundupJuly 26th, 2023

Hunter Biden Pleads Not Guilty to Tax Crimes After Deal Collapses

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Hunter Biden unexpectedly pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal tax crimes after a plea deal with prosecutors fell apart.

Key Details: U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika asked prosecutors whether future charges could be brought, sparking disagreement among the prosecution and defense. Prosecutors said Hunter remains under federal investigation, but didn't say why. Hunter was expected to plea guilty to the tax charges while entering a diversion agreement for a felony gun charge, and prosecutors were expected to recommend two years probation. Without the deal, Hunter could face up to 12 months in prison and a $25,000 fine for each tax violation, plus up to 10 years in jail for the gun felony.

For Context: In June, Hunter's lawyers reached a deal with Justice Department prosecutors for him to plead guilty to charges of failing to pay income taxes in 2017 and 2018. That deal, labeled by some a "sweetheart deal," is now on hold. The decision comes after IRS whistleblowers claimed the Justice Department obstructed its Hunter Biden investigation.

How the Media Covered it: The unexpected developments led to key differences in coverage. NBC News (Lean Left bias) said "prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s lawyer both said there were not" more serious charges that could be brought. Conversely, Wall Street Journal (Center) reported that prosecutors said Hunter "could face additional foreign lobbying charges," and Fox News (Right) reported that prosecutors said "pleading guilty to the two misdemeanor tax offenses would not immunize him from future charges." Updated 1:42 pm ET with new developments.

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