Hunter Biden's fate will be decided by a Trump-appointed judge

Wilmington, Delaware - Hunter Biden’s plea deal case has been assigned to a federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump. The judge will have ultimate authority over the decision by prosecutors to allow President Joe Biden's son to avoid jail time.

Hunter Biden (r.), President Joe Biden's son, will have his case decided by a Trump-appointed federal judge.
Hunter Biden (r.), President Joe Biden's son, will have his case decided by a Trump-appointed federal judge.  © Credit Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

US District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who won confirmation in 2018 with bipartisan support, will preside over the case in which Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for a prosecution recommendation that he be sentenced to probation.

He will also avoid prosecution on a gun charge by agreeing to undergo treatment and monitoring for substance abuse.

If Noreika approves the deal, it would effectively end a sprawling five-year probe into wild allegations of impropriety involving Biden’s overseas business dealings and various lurid claims stemming from his battle with drug addiction.

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Noreika has not yet set a date for a hearing at which Biden would have to plead guilty and admit to knowingly failing to pay $1.2 million in federal taxes. He has since made restitution.

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Joe Biden has not commented on the plea deal struck by his son after two misdemeanor tax charges
Joe Biden has not commented on the plea deal struck by his son after two misdemeanor tax charges  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Noreika's appointment means both the prosecutor and the judge handling the Biden case are Donald Trump appointees, blunting shrill Republican attacks on what they call a sweetheart deal for the Democratic president’s son.

US Attorney David Weiss, appointed by Trump, has overseen the probe from the start in 2018, and was invited to stay on under President Joe Biden to complete it.

President Biden, who has not been credibly linked to any of the allegations against his son, has stayed at arm's length from the investigation and avoided commenting on the plea deal.

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"I'm very proud of my son," Biden said Tuesday after the deal was announced.

Republicans have lashed out at the deal and vowed to keep pushing their own investigations into Hunter Biden, and have made no secret of their desire to exploit Hunter Biden’s missteps to tarnish his father ahead of his 2024 reelection bid.

Cover photo: Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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