Special counsel David Weiss announced this week that he was against a plan to have Hunter Biden plead not guilty to federal firearms charges remotely. The special counsel’s opposition could mark a departure from his earlier course of action, which included a failed plea deal this summer.
The special counsel stated that he was against any plan to have Hunter Biden plead not guilty to the firearms charges, except in person.
He stated the same in a court filing Wednesday, writing that the “government opposes the defendant’s request to hold a virtual initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment that was returned by a grand jury on September 14, 2023.”
“Fifteen months ago, the Court’s standing order authorizing virtual proceedings during the pandemic expired,” Weiss wrote.
The special counsel wrote that given the “serious felony gun charges at issue in this case,” the court should accept the plea “in a live setting.”
The president’s son has been charged with felony counts of making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm, making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
The news also comes as Weiss is reportedly considering further tax charges against Hunter Biden. The failed plea deal earlier this summer included one firearm and several tax-related misdemeanor charges, which would have likely resulted in Hunter Biden serving no jail time.
Weiss’ opposition also came as U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testified before Congress on Wednesday.
Garland had previously stated that Weiss had full authority to charge the younger Biden during his initial investigation. However, during questioning from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Garland stated that other U.S. Attorneys had the power to “refuse to partner with him.”
AG Merrick Garland just admitted that David Weiss did NOT have full authority during the Hunter Biden investigation.
"They could refuse to partner with him."
This directly contradicts Garland's previous claims about Weiss' authority. pic.twitter.com/xZYJhz2PWG
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) September 20, 2023
Garland had earlier stated that the Department of Justice was not involved in any interference in the investigation into the president’s son.