WILMINGTON, Delaware (LifeSiteNews) — Hunter Biden has pleaded “not guilty” to all charges against him after the “sweetheart” plea deal that would have allowed him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for avoiding prosecution for a felony gun charge apparently fell apart Wednesday.
The court is set to reconvene at a later date – likely within the next four to six weeks – following what NBC has characterized as a “surprise development.”
CBS reported that Trump-appointed district Judge Maryellen Noreika refused to sign off Wednesday on the plea agreement that would have allowed U.S. President Joe Biden’s scandal-ridden son to enter a “diversion” program to avoid prosecution for a felony gun charge that carries a maximum sentence of ten years behind bars.
If the deal were to be successful, Hunter, who has been the subject of a years-long investigation, would presumably complete two years of probation for the gun-related felony and avoid prison time altogether. Following the completion of his probation, he could see the gun charge removed from his record entirely.
However Wednesday’s court proceedings threw that outcome into question as Judge Noreika requested additional information about the extent of legal immunity that would be afforded to the president’s son.
Judge Noreika’s concerns were reportedly connected to the fact that, as confirmed by federal prosecutors, the younger Biden is still under investigation. She also asked prosecutors whether the plea deal would block future charges against Hunter for alleged failure to register as a foreign agent.
Federal prosecutors and Hunter’s defense attorneys “were seen huddling during a break in the hearing after being given the opportunity to salvage the deal,” CBS reported.
Following the disagreement, Hunter Biden entered a plea of “not guilty” on all federal charges. Prosecutors have said they have no plans to bring additional charges against the president’s son.
The news comes after Republican lawmakers urged Noreika to scrap what they called a “sweetheart deal” allowing Hunter to plead guilty to misdemeanors and likely avoid any jail time. Conservatives have argued the arrangement showed the Biden administration’s Department of Justice was protecting the Biden family amid emerging evidence that Joe and Hunter engaged in multi-million dollar overseas influence peddling and corruption.
Republican Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, praised Judge Noreika’s refusal to greenlight the plea deal in a Wednesday tweet.
“Today District Judge Noreika did the right thing by refusing to rubberstamp Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal,” he said. “But let’s be clear: Hunter’s sweetheart plea deal belongs in the trash. The DOJ must be held accountable for its Biden family coverup.”