In 2017, President Trump appointed David Weiss to the position of U.S. attorney for Delaware. Weiss was adamant that he shared the vision of “Making America Secure Again” and began investigating allegations of criminal conduct by Hunter Biden in 2018. Trump wrote on his social media page that the corrupt Biden DOJ had cleared hundreds of years worth of criminal liability when they gave Hunter Biden just a ‘traffic citation’. Rep. James Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee, denounced the agreement as a “sweetheart deal.” Rep. Elise Stefanik asserted that giving “a slap on the wrist” to Hunter Biden “is the epitome of the politicization and Weaponization of Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy claimed that if you compare Hunter Biden “to other individuals in America that have the same accusations against them, same crimes that they have been guilty of … I think there’s a difference of justice.”
Hunter Biden is certainly not a paragon of virtue. But the accusations by Republicans about him and Weiss’s handling of the investigation are unsullied by facts.
Refuting claims that Attorney General Merrick Garland and DOJ officials constrained him, Weiss informed Congress that “I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges.”
Since 2018, the number of federal government tax fraud offenders sentenced under federal government guidelines has decreased by 22.4 percent, in part because Republicans have cut appropriations for IRS investigators. First-time offenders, who pay back taxes and penalties, as Hunter Biden has, are rarely prosecuted.
For example, in 2020, after asserting that billionaire private equity investor Robert F. Smith “knowingly and willingly” concealed income for 15 years in one of the largest tax fraud cases in U.S. history, the Trump DOJ allowed him to pay $140 million in unpaid taxes and penalties and avoid a trial that would likely result in a prison sentence. Last year, the Biden DOJ negotiated a tax fraud settlement in which Roger Stone, a close Trump ally, and his wife paid $2 million in a civil case that never resulted in a criminal indictment.
Criminal prosecutions of individuals who lie (about felony convictions, domestic abuse, drug use or addiction) on the ATF gun purchase Form 4473 are extremely rare. Hunter Biden bought his gun in 2017, but only kept it for 11 days. In that year, 112,000 applications were rejected, 12700 investigated, and twelve individuals were prosecuted. This was in an era when over 25,000,000 gun background checks had been conducted in America. In 2019, the U.S. attorney in Delaware opted to not bring charges against any of three Form 4473 violations. ATF officials and prosecutors concentrate on “straw buyers” seeking to acquire a firearm for someone who would not pass a background check, and not nonviolent individuals who do not pose a danger to public safety.
Moreover, the vast majority of Republican critics of Hunter Biden’s “sweetheart deal,” probably agree with the National Rifle Association that some background check provisions “deprive individuals of due process of law” and their Second Amendment rights. The majority of Republican critics of Hunter Biden’s “sweetheart deal” likely applauded a decision by a three judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeals that struck down a ban on gun sales to “nonviolent drugs users.” In September, the president’s son was indicted for lying on Form 4473.
Although the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees have not uncovered any credible evidence that Hunter Biden has committed a crime, Republicans doubled down on their click-bait diatribes. Matt Gaetz,
Rep. “To get Hunter charged with a gun offense is the same as getting Jeffrey Dahmer charged with littering.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene asked, “Where are the charges for tax fraud? FARA abuse? Money laundering and sex-trafficking?” Hunter Biden is getting a “sweetheart deal”, or not? Hyperpartisan Republicans prevent him from receiving what every American is entitled to: an outcome based on his actual actions or inactions. He is the co-author (with Stuart Blumin) of “Rude Republic: Americans and Their Politics in the Nineteenth Century.”
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.