It was Halloween of 2022, and Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Chris Clark, didn’t sound happy. Just three weeks earlier, news had leaked that federal agents believed they had enough evidence to charge his client with illegally buying a gun as a drug user.
The leak was “illegal,” the lawyer wrote to the U.S. attorney overseeing the probe. The prosecution, he argued, would be seen as purely political, and it might even violate the Second Amendment.
Then he issued a warning: If the Justice Department charged the president’s son, his lawyers would put the president on the witness stand.
“President Biden now unquestionably would be a fact witness for the defense in any criminal trial,” Clark wrote in a 32-page letter reviewed by POLITICO.
That letter, along with more than 300 pages of previously unreported emails and documents exchanged between Hunter Biden’s legal team and prosecutors, sheds new light on the fraught negotiations that nearly produced a broad plea deal. That deal would have resolved Biden’s most pressing legal issues — the gun purchase and his failure to pay taxes for several years — and it also could have helped insulate Biden from future prosecution by a Republican-led Justice Department.
The documents show how the deal collapsed — a sudden turnabout that occurred after Republicans bashed it and a judge raised questions about it. The collapse renewed the prospect that Biden will head to trial as his father ramps up his 2024 reelection bid. [Continue reading…]