During Wednesday’s daily press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shut down questions from reporters regarding the collapse of Hunter Biden’s plea deal. Jean-Pierre began the briefing by attempting to discourage questions related to Hunter’s ongoing legal issues, stating that he is a private citizen, and the matter is personal for him, directing inquiries to his legal representation instead.
Reporter’s Query: President Biden’s Involvement
However, reporters persisted with their queries, seeking answers on whether President Biden and his attorneys had been in touch with Hunter’s legal team and if they were keeping tabs on the proceedings. Jean-Pierre responded by stating that she didn’t have anything to share on the particular issue and referred reporters to Hunter’s representative and the Department of Justice for further information.
Response: Independence of the Investigation
The reporter noted that it is extremely rare for such a high-profile plea deal to fall apart and questioned if President Biden believed that federal prosecutors had acted appropriately and competently in Hunter’s case. Jean-Pierre reiterated that it was an independent investigation overseen by the Department of Justice, and they give them the space to do their work. She firmly stated that she wouldn’t comment further and referred to Hunter’s representatives for additional details.
Addressing Firearms Possession Allegations
Another reporter pointed out President Biden’s support for stricter gun laws throughout his political career and asked whether someone charged with possessing a firearm illegally should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, referencing Hunter. Jean-Pierre responded by saying that she wouldn’t speak about the case in Delaware, reiterating that it is an independent matter, and matters related to the legal process should be left to the Department of Justice.
Further Inquiry on Firearms and the President’s Position
The reporter pressed further, referencing Biden’s previous work on gun legislation and his comments on getting illegal firearms off the streets, and asked what the president believes should happen when someone possesses a firearm illegally. Jean-Pierre maintained her stance, emphasizing that the president has been clear about his position and policies but declined to comment on the specific case as it is an ongoing independent investigation overseen by the Department of Justice.
Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Falls Apart
Earlier that day, Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart during his first court appearance, leading to his “not guilty” pleas as federal prosecutors confirmed that he is still under federal investigation. The plea deal was expected to involve two misdemeanor tax counts to avoid a felony gun charge.
However, Judge Maryellen Noreika did not accept the agreement, raising concerns about its constitutionality, specifically regarding the diversion clause and the immunity Hunter Biden would receive.
White House Maintains Silence Amid Ongoing Investigation
As questions surround the case, the White House remains tight-lipped and reiterates that it is an independent legal matter being overseen by the Department of Justice.