In Hunter Biden Case, Abbe Lowell Enters His Appearance

In Hunter Biden’s filing responding to David Weiss’ motion to vacate Judge Maryellen Noreika’s order for more briefing on the form of the plea deal, Abbe Lowell signed the response, pending his entry of appearance.

His appearance is as significant as what appears inside the response filing.

Chris Clark, who had been leading Hunter Biden’s team for years, is a very good lawyer and had been quite accommodating with the prosecution, even deferring on issues of discovery in the plea hearing he might not have otherwise, given the things the IRS Agents had disclosed about undue influence and Sixth Amendment problems with the case between the filing of the deal and the plea hearing. Lawyers often will do that to maintain cordiality to help craft a plea deal.

Abbe Lowell — who led Jared Kushner through the Mueller investigation unscathed, and got Robert Menendez acquitted, and got the Tom Barrack aide charged alongside him in a FARA case acquitted — is something else entirely.

I fully expect Weiss to do some outrageous things with his new Special Counsel status. Prosecutors always have a lot of tools, and Merrick Garland unwisely just gave Weiss more tools, including the impunity to engage in abuses like John Durham did.

But Lowell’s appearance and this filing — which asserts that the government “renege[d] on the previously agreed-upon Plea Agreement” — both implicitly and explicitly signal that Hunter’s team will take a far more confrontational view with prosecutors going forward.

As part of that, the Hunter filing makes clear they intend to hold Weiss to the already-signed diversion agreement on the gun charge. Hunter’s team filed it, per Noreika’s order — signed by both the prosecution and defense — on August 2.

The Defendant’s understanding of the scope of immunity agreed to by the United States was and is based on the express written terms of the Diversion Agreement. His understanding of the scope of immunity agreed to by the United States is also corroborated by prosecutors’ contemporaneous written and oral communications during the plea negotiations.

Fourth, the Defendant intends to abide by the terms of the Diversion Agreement that was executed at the July 26 hearing by the Defendant, his counsel, and the United States, and concurs with the statements the Government made during the July 26 hearing,1 and which the Government then acknowledged in its filings agreeing to the public disclosure of the Plea and Diversion Agreements2 —that the parties have a valid and binding bilateral Diversion Agreement.

1 The Government stated in open court that the Diversion Agreement was a “bilateral agreement between the parties” that “stand[s] alone” from the Plea Agreement, and that it was “in effect” and “binding.” (Hr’g Tr. 46:9–14) (Government: “Your Honor, I believe that this is a bilateral agreement between the parties that the parties view in their best interest.”); id. at 91:6–8 (Government: “Your Honor, the Diversion Agreement is a contract between the parties so it’s in effect until it’s either breached or a determination [sic], period.”); id. at 41:12–15 (“Your Honor, the United States[’] position is that the agreements stand alone by their own terms … ”); id. at 89:12–14 (Government: “[T]he statement by counsel is obviously as Your Honor acknowledged a modification of this provision, and that we believe is binding.”).

2 (D.I. 24 in No. 23-mj-00274-MN); (D.I. 20 in No. 23-cr-00061-MN) (stating that the Diversion Agreement was a “contract[] between the Government and a defendant” and that Government assented to public filing because “the Government and the Defendant expressly agreed that this diversion agreement would be public”).

If Noreika upholds the diversion, it not only avoids a felony on the gun charge itself, but a false statement charge that prosecutors told Noreika they waived filing as well. It would take one piece of leverage Weiss had off the table.

If she upholds the diversion, that leaves the tax and any FARA (or related) charges, and potentially an attempt to go after Hunter’s benefactor, Kevin Morris (though once DOJ charges Hunter, he will have the ability to start a legal defense fund that will be opaque to regulators).

As the filing notes and as Lowell noted in a relentless Face the Nation appearance yesterday: The prosecutors were the ones who approached Hunter’s team — in May, the same month the IRS removed Gary Shapley’s entire IRS team from the case — to make a deal to avoid trial. [my emphasis]

First, in May 2023, the Defendant, through counsel, accepted the prosecutors’ invitation to engage in settlement discussions that the Defendant and counsel understood would fully resolve the Government’s sprawling five-year investigation.

Second, as is customary in negotiated resolutions, prosecutors (and not the Defendant or his counsel) proposed and largely dictated the form and content of the Plea and Diversion Agreements. This is true with respect to the form in which the documents were presented to the Court (i.e., as two separate and independent agreements), as well as the express language of paragraph 15 of the Diversion Agreement (the so-called immunity provision). Throughout the settlement process the Defendant and his counsel negotiated fairly and in good faith with the prosecutors.

Third, consistent with their terms, the Defendant signed both agreements, was willing to waive certain rights, and to accept responsibility for his past mistakes. As was required as part of the Plea Agreement, he was prepared to plead guilty to the two misdemeanor tax charges in open court and he truthfully answered Your Honor’s questions, including those regarding his understanding of the promises that had been made to him by the prosecutors in exchange for a guilty plea. The Defendant’s understanding of the scope of immunity agreed to by the United States was and is based on the express written terms of the Diversion Agreement. His understanding of the scope of immunity agreed to by the United States is also corroborated by prosecutors’ contemporaneous written and oral communications during the plea negotiations. [my emphasis]

Part of that is just bluster. As Lowell noted on FTN, obviously Hunter wanted to avoid trial, too. The reasons why Hunter would want to avoid trial, though, are all obvious.

But the press has shown zero curiosity about why Weiss’ team would have wanted to avoid a trial, even after Joseph Ziegler explained some of what that was.

And when asked whether there will be trial, Lowell reminded that now there’ll be discovery and motions and maybe the prosecutors will decide they want to avoid a prosecution in the end too.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The US Attorney said, due to this impasse, a trial is in order. Is a trial going to happen? Can you avoid one?

LOWELL: Well, the answer to the second question is you can but let me answer the first question. When you do not have a resolution and somebody pleads not guilty, as Hunter did, then two things happen. A judge put together a scheduling order, the end of which would be a trial. There’d be discovery and motions, etc. So that’s why that statement was made.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So it’s not inevitable?

LOWELL: It’s not inevitable. And I think what–

MARGARET BRENNAN: And you’re trying to avoid one?

LOWELL: Yes, we were trying to avoid one all along. And so were the prosecutors who came forward to us, and we’re the ones to say, “can there be a resolution short of a prosecution?” So they wanted it and maybe they still do want it. [my emphasis]

Even as noting that a prosecution would entail discovery and motions, Lowell noted that the only explanation for DOJ reneging on the plea agreement was if something besides the facts and the law had infected the process.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So let’s start with why this plea deal hit the impasse.

LOWELL: So if you were in court or read about what happened on July the 26th, you have to ask yourself, as you just asked me, “why?” And there are only a few possibilities. Remember, it were the prosecutors who came forward and asked if there was a resolution possible. They’re in charge of figuring out the form, the document, and the language. They did that. And so the possibilities are only, one, they wrote something and weren’t clear what they meant. Two, they knew what they meant, and misstated it to counsel. Or third, they changed their view as they were standing in court in Delaware. So to answer that question, I’ll ask you a question. And everybody else who’s paying attention, what group of experienced defense lawyers would allow their client to plead guilty to a misdemeanor on a Monday, keeping in mind that they knew that there could be a felony charge on a Wednesday? That wouldn’t happen.


LOWELL: –Because I know we were a little rushed. So to answer your question squarely. People should keep in mind that while Mr. Weiss’ title changed last week, he’s the same person he’s been for the last five years. He’s a Republican U.S. attorney appointed by a Republican president and attorney general, who had career prosecutors working this case for five years, looking at every transaction that Hunter was involved in. So whether it was tax or the gun, or possible any other charge, if anything changes from his conclusion, which was two tax misdemeanors, and a diverted gun charge. The question should be asked: what infected the process that was not the facts and the law?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Or new evidence? I mean, are you confident your client won’t face new criminal charges?

LOWELL: I’m confident that if this prosecutor does what has been done for the last five years, look at the facts, the evidence and the law, then the only conclusion can be what the conclusion was on July 26. It’s new evidence, there’s no new evidence to be found. Some of these transactions are years old. They’ve had people in the Grand Jury, they’ve had data that was provided to them. I don’t know the possibility exists after this kind of painstaking investigation for them to be “oh, my gosh, there’s a new piece of evidence which changes.” The only thing that will change is the scrutiny on some of the charges, for example, the gun charge.

Already, Ziegler, who did nothing as he obtained one after another piece of evidence that people were hijacking Hunter Biden’s digital identity, revealed that there is documentation of undue influence on this prosecution in the case file. And now Lowell is suggesting that the only explanation for any change in Weiss’ posture from May would reflect similar undue political influence on the case.

And that’s the kind of thing that might make motions and discovery more painful for Weiss than the press currently understands.

128 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Many thanks. I wonder why Weiss doesn’t want to comply with Noreika’s motion for more briefing on the plea deal, which would inherently reveal something about why it fell apart. Has he something to hide he doesn’t want in the public record?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The idea that the plea deal is moot because the govt no longer intends to seek a plea agreement, while a normal issue, seems irrelevant here. Its shortcomings and why it fell apart seem much more relevant to the govt’s good faith, and why the govt is seeking to try issues that are normally settled in the vast majority of cases.

    • sohelpmedog says:

      Do you mean Norieka’s “motion” or her order? (Judges don’t make motions, of course.) And how does Weiss have a choice not to comply with the judge’s order?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Correct about Noreika’s “order.” Weiss claims the issue is moot, which is why he argued he shouldn’t have to comply with it in his “motion.” Lowell agrees with him.

    • scroogemcduck says:

      Both sides believe that further briefing on that is moot, so I would be surprised if the judge spends more time on it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Correct, presumably for very different reasons, but it doesn’t answer Noreika’s questions.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          Judge Norieka made it clear no plea deal will be approved without answers to the questions posed. If Lowell is correct in his filing that the gun charge component is off the table, what possible ‘new’ evidence could there be?

          I suspect the answer to that question is rooted in the GOP snivelfest after the Weiss SC appointment. Comer, et al keep blaring into the press ether about ‘recordings’ and ‘whistleblowers’ and ‘witnesses’ that never seem to be located or even exist in the first place. Maybe Weiss will try to get the laptop introduced even though he and Lowell know perfectly well that there is nothing resembling a legally defensible chain of custody. Then, the Weiss SC investigation can grow uncontrollably like the Whitewater one did and maybe something will pop out like Lewinski did. Since the other stuff is financial and already corrected to boot, I really don’t see any other avenue for Weiss to go.

          How long would a legal brawl over the laptop take, assuming it would be a fight over admissibility?

          • jdmckay8 says:

            Weiss will try to get the laptop introduced

            I seriously doubt that. By now, he knows it is badly tainted.

            • Rugger_9 says:

              If Weiss channels his inner Durham and kowtows to the RWNM pressure, he would. As noted by many of the commenters, Weiss really doesn’t appear to have many other places to go with the things in the plea deal between the gun deal (probably moot now as a crime) or the finances (already corrected). So, something else has to be made up and really the only known option is the laptop in spite of its many flaws as evidence.

              Maybe that’s why we’ve seen the new ‘whistleblowers’ parading into Comer’s committee because even the GOP knows the laptop is pretty useless.

              • jdmckay8 says:

                Perhaps. Its all speculation now, but IMO trying to do that would move him for somewhat respected jurist/prosecutor to Sydney Powell “she’s nuts” category, or at least a sold out, die hard MAGA.

                And again, Lowell said yesterday that a settlement is still possible. Weiss must also know HB’s team is well prepared on facts wrt the laptop.

                We shall see.

              • John Paul Jones says:

                If Weiss decides to go “Full Durham,” he will go after the person who loaned Biden the money to pay off the taxes, claim it wasn’t actually a loan, and threaten to prosecute – IANAL, so I don’t know what the charge would be: obstruction (of Hunter’s charges?). And then those charges would magically go away, if the loaner will testify to something bad Hunter did.

            • ExRacerX says:

              …and that there never was a “laptop.”

              [FYI – username edited; pretty sure you didn’t mean to use your email address. 0_0 /~Rayne]

    • scroogemcduck says:

      I don’t think Garland is playing 4-dimensional chess. He was reported as having previously said that he would give Weiss SC status if Weiss asked. When Weiss asked, Garland granted it.

        • scroogemcduck says:

          I haven’t seen any evidence in Garland’s time as AG of him playing 4-d chess. His actions appear straightforward to me. He’s no Bill Barr.

          • David F. Snyder says:

            With Trump, it’s gotta be checkers. I still think MG has outplayed Trump, and I’m hoping for the same with this Weiss move. As importantly, he’s defending the institutional integrity of DOJ. For one thing, this move shows that Barr’s precedent setting appointment of Durham was a rotten precedent.

      • emptywheel says:

        I think Garland naively held up his side of an earlier agreement, without first reviewing what Weiss had been doing in the interim.

        • David F. Snyder says:

          Sure. It would not be the first time Weiss pulled a fast one. On the other hand, while a straight player, I find it difficult to believe MG would be that naive after all these years not to get an update on Weiss’ investigation status. Maybe I’m the naive one.

          • Theodora30 says:

            Weiss has to have special counsel status for the case to go to trial because that can only happen in DC or California. As a US Attorney from Delaware he can only try cases in that state but as Special Counsel he can try a case in any state.

  2. Greg_03AUG2023_0908h says:

    I daresay that way too much of the press do not understand this. Kudos to FTN and thanks also to you for bringing this to our attention.

    Do you have an opinion with regards to how the recent decision by the 5th Circuit Court striking down the gun law restricting domestic abusers from access to guns might play into this?


    [Welcome to emptywheel. SECOND REQUEST: Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too common (there are several community members named “Greg”) it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. You have published a couple comments as “Greg Schorr” previously. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • boloboffin says:

      I don’t know Hunter’s domestic situation, but, on hearing his girlfriend had disposed of the gun by dumping it in a river, my complete assumption was Hunter was not a danger to her, but to himself.

      • zscoreUSA says:

        His “girlfriend” threw the gun away in a dumpster near a grocery store which was near a school. During the questioning by law enforcement, they tried to convey the first concern was of suicide and then downplay that scenario.

        It is a scary thought that he purchased the gun. If you take Hunter’s name out the of the equation, and focus on the behavior, there are tons of red flags.

        For example, if a woman you know told you her boyfriend cheated like crazy yet throws around angry accusations whenever she talks to a man, abused drugs including in front of her daughter, sent abusive texts and emails, uploads her phone content to his laptop to monitor or whatever, takes a dozen pictures of all of her call records the night before purchasing the gun, then poses with the gun in a selfie…

        Describe that scenario to a domestic violence counselor and see how they react to news that the boyfriend purchased a gun.

  3. Shadowalker says:

    RE: FARA

    So I looked at the FARA statute’s definitions. I’ve looked at them every which way and the only place I could find clearly states that it MUST be on American soil AND more importantly with an agency or official. Unless Weiss is trying to tie Burisma while Joe was Vice President, but that would be beyond statutes of limitations, besides there being no official evidence linking that with FARA. Anything that happened after January 20, 2017 would not be chargeable because Joe was no longer in office. I think Weiss is using that to block a FOIA request, and why Lowell called the deal off when he found out the case would be still open. Weiss can’t drag this out too long or he risks a judge’s order to start handing stuff over, and if he charges he opens it up to discovery.

    “ (iv) within the United States represents the interests of such foreign principal before any agency or official of the Government of the United States”

    • emptywheel says:

      I agree that most everything (except the circumstances of how Hunter paid off his taxes) should be off the table bc of SOLs.

      But I don’t rule out Weiss trying to make something of 2018.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        That’s why I’m thinking laptop as a source of places to dig, but I also expect Lowell to take no prisoners in any attempt to use it since FWIW it’s not even clear it was Hunter’s and also it is saddled with the problem of additional crap Hunter had no opportunity to add. Thus, my question above.

        • Narpington says:

          The FBI have had “Hunter’s” laptop and external drive since December 2019. Even if they didn’t succumb to the undoubtedly yuge pressure to investigate quickly during Trump’s time they’d surely have finished their analysis by now and taken any evidence into account.

          Trump’s side have had a copy since at latest September 2020. Anything provably genuine and damaging has been released by now. Remember the October Surprise, the only copy lost in the mail to Tucker, oh, Hunter takes drugs and sleeps with prostitutes? A bombshell on a par with the extravaganza at the Four Seasons [Total Landscaping parking lot] though its evidence-free echoes continue with the dull drumbeat of Biden Crime Family.

          • RegCliff says:

            Hunter Biden’s is suing Mac Isaac computer store arguing the 90-day abandonment provision in the repair contract is not in compliance with Delaware law, and moreover, that the line is in “small-print font at the bottom of the page, well below the signature line.” The counterclaim asserts that Delaware law states that tangible property is not deemed abandoned until a full year has elapsed, and before another party takes possession, a court must send a notice to the owner and post notice “in five or more public places,” and advertise the petition “in a newspaper.”
            The laptop was obtained via a subpoena to the computer store owner to produce it. From what I understand, a warrant should have been used, as it was not within the storeowner’s right to produce it. Could that make everything on the laptop inadmissible? See this article:

      • Susan Murnane says:

        Statute of limitations for Sec. 1001 false statements in 5 years. The Gun purchase false statement is dated October 1918 so doesn’t run until October 2023. Soon but not yet.

      • Shadowalker says:

        “ But I don’t rule out Weiss trying to make something of 2018.”

        How can he? Weiss would have to first establish such meetings or communications occurred. And he can only do that with official records, and Biden’s team states there are none, which I’m inclined to believe since that would have been charged long ago under Barr.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          It’s not like AG Barr was ever squeamish about going after flimsy evidence in support of his agenda. In this case the absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

  4. Lurks123 says:

    Am I the only (stupid) one to be wondering quite what the trial would be about? The basic facts don’t seem much in dispute. Is it to test a “paid taxes late while high” defence? I must have missed something….

    • scroogemcduck says:

      As Marcy says, discovery will be very interesting if it reveals the Trump DOJ was off doing highly questionable, politically-motivated stuff. Even if the facts are clear, if the evidence gathering process is heavily tainted the prosecution may have a lot of trouble getting the evidence admitted in court. That’s if they get around the statute of limitations issues that they are going to have with filing this as a new case in a new venue. And if they get around all of that, they will have to convince a unanimous jury that a guy who has now paid all of his taxes deserves to go to jail.

      But, in my view, this isn’t really about Hunter. The dangerous stuff for Joe Biden will be in the SC report which Weiss will drop on Garland in the lead up to the election. If he follows the Durham playbook, that will be a conspiracy-driven propaganda pamphlet which the GOP will use to tarnish Joe Biden as the “Big Guy” heading up the “Biden Crime Family”.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        Since Biden is running as incumbent, the economy next year will be the deciding factor for 2024 (see 2020 for Trump). This stuff will pale in comparison, unless the economy goes to middling to bad growth rates.

        • scroogemcduck says:

          I’d like to agree with you, but the economy is good right now, and Biden seems to be getting zero credit!

          Also, the Fed is on an interest-rate tear. Don’t assume they won’t overdo it and trigger a slowdown.

          • David F. Snyder says:

            Well, he’ll get plenty of credit if it goes bad. The point of him getting credit now for a good economy isn’t a factor really. It’s the state of the economy a year from now will be the major deciding factor. Incumbency is a big plus here (“don’t change what ain’t broke”).

            You’re right, a Fed overcorrection would be a gut punch to Biden’s reelection campaign.

            • Shadowalker says:

              There was a President who won reelection even though the nation was in a recession, the jobless rate was 7.2% on election day and he even raised taxes. That President was Ronald Reagan, and while Biden is no Reagan, Trump is a worse candidate than Mondale was in 1984. Another thing to remember is Biden has many years experience in seeking reelection for public office.

      • Bobster33 says:

        Garland can always pull a Bill Barr. Garland can accept the SC’s report, write a publicly released memo that says the report is a nothing burger and then release the SC’s report two weeks later on a Friday afternoon.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Like Durham, Weiss must think he earns GOP street cred for going after the Bidens, being obtuse, and pursuing such an expensive, frail, and unusual case, which seems unlikely to go to trial – and never would in ordinary circumstances. Lowell is likely to point out every weakness and frailty to Weiss, Noreika, and the press.

      • Drew in Bronx says:

        While that is true, there are gigabytes if not terabytes of exculpatory evidence in discovery. Much moreso than in the Sussman case. The facts that would come out about the possible tampering with Hunter’s digital presence and the awareness of that by DOJ, could not just make the wheels fall off the prosecution, but cause a media disaster for the trumpists.

    • DinnerAtAntoine’s says:

      FWIW, I always thought tax cases were pretty easy to prove. Prosecutor shows the income, show the reports, case closed. But recently in my city the DA – who ran & won under indictment- was tried in federal court. The primary witness was his business partner, but the partner would never provide culpatory testimony against him. A somewhat friendly jury district may have helped. So the DA was acquitted. Point is I’m not so sure even a tax evasion or failure to file case is easy to win, & with all the alleged intrigue I don’t think anyone has examined the boring details of the tax evasion case.

      & oh the 5th Circuit just obliterated the gun law that Hunter is to be charged on.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Prosecutors don’t usually spend the time or money on cases where the defendant has already taken responsibility, corrected filings, and paid overdue tax with interest and penalties, as is true in Hunter’s case. The gun case now seems moot. And, there’s all the other shit that would come out. No, Weiss, like Durham, seems to be pursuing a vendetta.

      • Lurks123 says:

        I assume Lowell calculates that there never, ever will be a trial. I mean, what is the defence to late payment of taxes?

        Wouldn’t the judge be pretty pissed off if, after numerous hearings/motions, HB changed his plea to guilty? (I understand why he’s currently pleading not guilty).

        So when cable news reports say that this matter is proceeding to trial, perhaps they need to add “but will probably never arrive”.

  5. Upisdown says:

    I don’t know what there is left to investigate. The IRS people admitted the tax case was more than 90% wrapped up a year ago. It’s been more than three years since Barr, Brady, and Trump gave up on the 1023 form. FARA? Hunter left Burisma in 2018. There has to be some SOL on that. Plus, anything that may have fallen under FARA was handed off to Blue Star and they are a registered firm.

    Weiss must be afraid of Comer and Jordan grilling him if he closes down the investigation and reports there was nothing but minor tax and gun stuff. Or perhaps it involves this new FBI whistleblower who is claiming that his superiors shut down every attempt to look at interference by the Trump WH and Giuliani. That could get interesting if the Senate shows similar interest that the House showed their dubious whistleblowers.

    • Shadowalker says:

      There is nothing with Burisma that would tie it to FARA. In order to establish a FARA violation, official records would have to show that such meetings or discussions occurred while his father was Vice President.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Actual records, no, but that is why Comer and Jordan have been hyping the latest Devan Archer ‘evidence’ as being the smoking gun. Except Devan wasn’t playing along and cut the legs out of the claim.

        • Shadowalker says:

          Official records, which would have been accessible under the PRA. Without an official record linking what a witness states legally means nothing. It would be nothing more than he says vs what he says.

          Even if Hunter used his father’s position to make money that is not illegal. Especially when you consider that the only illegal act would be not registering as a lobbyist for a foreign entity.

          Steve Winn received $8 million from the Chinese to lobby Trump (while he was President) on their behalf, DoJ knew it was a FARA violation because of official records. DoJ is now appealing the judge’s decision that Winn does not have to register after the fact, since he is no longer working on the Chinese behalf.

  6. DinnerAtAntoine’s says:

    Thank you for all the great coverage. If it hasn’t been addressed already:

    – Can you or someone please explain how this case was originally founded in the Delaware District? If I’m not mistaken, there have been no alleged criminal acts in DE, Hunter never lived as a resident in Delaware during the alleged time periods under investigation, & the predicate discussed by testimony was not in Delaware. All acts were in DC or L.A. – So how did Weiss get this case in 2018 instead of DC District (USA Liu) or SDCA (USA?)? Thanks!

  7. Shadowalker says:

    The firearm related charge happened in Delaware. The plea deal tried combining the tax related (out of jurisdiction) charges by getting the defendant to waive jurisdiction on those charges.

    • susan murnane says:

      The IRS “whistleblowers'” transcripts said that Bill Barr sent the tax investigation to Delaware to merge it with a FBI investigation.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Bill Barr is a great believer in the Dick Cheney motto that personnel is policy. He would have picked Delaware because of who was US Attorney more than to consolidate two investigations.

      • DinnerAtAntoine's says:

        Right, and I think Marcy somewhere recapped the testimony on the opening of the investigation. But it still doesn’t explain why there would’ve been an FBI investigation or any in Delaware to begin with.

    • DinnerAtAntoine's says:

      This is still confounding. I get the waiver point, that wors for the plea deal, but it doesn’t explain how the investigation and the prosecution landed in Delaware in the first place. The DOJ had a predicate for the gun charge first? Or the tax charges came first? I’d think the tax charges.

      • Shadowalker says:

        Because that’s where Barr put it. Barr most likely made Weiss a Special Attorney or Assistant, which would have given Weiss the ability to do most things in all jurisdictions except bring charges. The gun charge had to be brought in Delaware because that was where the gun was purchased. The tax charges are misdemeanors which do not require a grand jury, but more importantly can be brought by the prosecutor. Only Weiss couldn’t do that in other jurisdictions until he was given Special Counsel powers (both Barr and Garland just overlaid the Special Counsel regulations on top of an existing Special Attorney).

      • John Colvin says:

        I think Barr wanted the Hunter Biden investigation in Delaware, perhaps on the hope that it would blossom into an investigation of Joe Biden.

  8. jdmckay8 says:

    I watched that interview yesterday. I only know of Lowell’s reputation by what you and bmaz have said here. So I watched carefully, several times. I though he was explicit and clear, w/out being accusatory. Given what I’ve seen from Trump Lawyers a lot, that was refreshing.

    I wonder why gun-purchase-while-on-crack is still being discussed given recent SCOTUS decision mentioned here a few days ago. Seems to me that should now be moot.

    I was also struck that Lowell said a settlement is still possible. He said it very matter of factly, not aspirationally

    You mentioned yesterday Weiss pulled-some-fast-ones along the way, I’m not sure what those were. I took that to mean Weiss may have some CYA motive (???).

    But (IANAL) I wonder maybe I’m wrong about that. As I understand, there’s 2 primary areas of suspected (at least here) taint:
    a) the laptop
    b) work of IRS agents, especially Shaply.
    Unless I missed something (or somethings) Weiss had nothing to do with either of those. So he could endure some embarrassment, but wrongdoing?

    When Comer began announcing his stream of whistle blowers, I though Weiss considered all that as a noxious sideshow as did so many others. He said he would testify before the committee at an appropriate time to clear things up. No better time then the present!!!

    Did Weiss ever get Shapley’s emails? What’s to stop Weiss from exposing Shapley, and laptop malfeasance? Sure seems to me this would be in the public interest.

    I fully expect Weiss to do some outrageous things with his new Special Counsel status.

    I’ve come to give elevated status when you say stuff like this (keep in forefront of my thoughts). Still… I am always gleefully optimistic that someone, somewhere could surprise the world and actually stand up and do the right thing. Cause this thing so far is not much more than a case study in political bull shit.

    • jecojeco says:

      I heard an earlier interview w Lowell and thought this guy has got an “A” game. Never any accusations of impropriety against the prosecutor or judge, cool never hot, always leaving the other side a graceful way out of the situation they created. After 5 years investigation it looks like Maryellen and Weiss have caved to GOP pressure to keep the case alive, try to create false equivalencies to trump’s mushrooming felonies. Weiss is probably concerned he’ll be personally & professionally embarrassed as a partisan hack, Martellen might not care.

      No matter what the Dems do in terms of appointing prosecutors, FBI directors, you name it, it’ll never be enough to shield them from accusations of “weaponizing” when a GOP pol gets charged or a Biden gets less than the death penalty.

  9. DaveVnAz says:

    Why hasn’t Levl Parnas’ letter to Comer not been taken serious by the media? He outlines his own efforts to seek negative information about the Bidens from several Ukrainian sources in 2019. He also claims that the LapTop drive was copied while Hunter was on a bender. He said he is willing to testify to Congress that there is no merit to Biden(s) allegations in Ukraine. And wasn’t the laptop improperly accessed by DOJ in their initial investigaion?

  10. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    David Weiss begged AG Garland for Special Counsel status so that he could have the SC title while testifying to the House Republican Chaired Committees this October. That October 2023 hearing date was approved and scheduled by the DOJ more than thirty days ago.

    Now, newly titled SC David Weiss is trying to appease Leonard Leo, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito while, at the same time, trying to save his own face.

    The USA is just beginning to learn how crooked Leonard Leo, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are and have been for decades. Their goal is to ensure that the Hunter Biden case significantly cripples Joe Biden’s and/or a Democrat’s chances of defeating the Republican Presidential nominee in 2024.

    This case is 100% about Republican politics and their 2024 Presidential, Senate and House races to regain power in the Executive and Senate/House Legislative Branches of Government. The Republicans are working overtime to get the Hunter Biden case through the appellate process and into the SCOTUS next year during the Fall 2024 election.

    Attorney Abbe Lowell knows that, too; consequently, he’ll use his immense political power to neutralize Leonard Leo, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in the Hunter Biden case.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Since Lowell made some his bones within the fever swamps, one would think he also knows where a few skeletons and pressure points are for leverage.

  11. jdmckay8 says:

    I suspect Hunter’s legal team has grounds for a significant tort claim. In last week I’ve seen a few legal commentators say the same thing in passing. There’s good reason to think so. Riggleman has dropped a few hints. And to me, fact he (Riggleman) as invested +/- 9 months working on that team strengthens that perception: Riggleman I think has better things to do then assist in Hunter’s defense unless there was something more worthwhile… like Marcy said yesterday: … ‘to insist on truth as best as we can discern it.”

    The US public really has yet to get even an introduction to ‘truth as best we can discern it’ wrt this entire Barisma/laptop/Biden ‘crime family’ saga.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      USAs are political appointees, whom the President can fire at any time. Doing so at the beginning of his term would have been routine. Doing so now would appear to be politically corrupt. There’s also whether he would have the Senate votes to replace him.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      He’s actually staying on as DE USA. That’s one of the more pungent aspects of the appointment…

  12. Stacy (Male) says:

    One item you left off Lowell’s cv, Marcy, is his getting the prosecutor to chicken out of charging Karl Rove in the Scooter Libby matter.

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  13. Molly Pitcher says:

    On MSNBC just now, Barbara McQuade just referenced the Santobello v New York case as to why Lowell is appearing so confident.

    “New York, 404 U.S. 257 (1971), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the sentence of the defendant should be vacated because the plea agreement specified that the prosecutor would not recommend a sentence, but the prosecutor breached the agreement by recommending the maximum sentence.”


    • scroogemcduck says:

      Was the remedy in that case to hold a new trial? If so,.what bearing does it have on Biden? Sorry if I’m being stupid, but I’m not seeing it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        There was no trial. The case involved enforcement of a plea agreement, after a new prosecutor failed to live up to the arrangement agreed by his predecessor.

        It was remanded for the trial court to determine a remedy, which presumably involved a reduced sentence in exchange for the original plea.

        • Shadowalker says:

          I’m wondering if Weiss couldn’t get a true bill on the felony. May of last year there was a lot of noise about charges being imminent from the grand jury. The only thing he could charge Hunter on is the gun charge. Tax charges and even FARA would be out of Delaware. I know the courts don’t like it when prosecutors keep bringing the same charges before a grand jury unless there is new evidence. And if he did get a true bill back then and was only sitting on it to apply pressure risks a Rule 48b dismissal if Team Hunter can prove the delay was used to apply unreasonable pressure and it prejudiced the case.

          Rule 48. Dismissal
          (b) By Court. If there is unnecessary delay in presenting the charge to a grand jury or in filing an information against a defendant who has been held to answer to the district court, or if there is unnecessary delay in bringing a defendant to trial, the court may dismiss the indictment, information or complaint.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Santobello involved a plea agreement accepted as valid, which a successor prosecutor failed to abide by, and which resulted in defendant receiving a lengthier sentence than he expected. The S.Ct. vacated the sentence and remanded the case to the trial court to craft a remedy, presumably a lower sentence, in line with the expectation in the plea agreement.

      Hunter Biden’s case involves an arguably faulty agreement, which should not be enforced. The trial court refused to accept it, because defendant seemed unsure about what he was pleading to. Unless Lowell wants to enforce that questionable agreement, Santobello doesn’t seem to be a big help.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    According to the Guardian and the NYT, Fulton Co., grand jury issues 10-count indictment. Before the judge. Remains sealed. More to follow.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Indictments to be filed and made public tonight. The Don is likely to lose a little sleep. Hope his local McD’s is open late.

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pathetic Trump enabler, Lindsey Graham: “This should be decided at the ballot box, not a bunch of liberal jurisdictions trying to put the man in jail.” What Graham avoids saying is that “this” is whether Trump committed multiple serious felonies that merit prison time. Let me know when Lil’ Lindsey says that about the guy who robbed a bank in South Carolina.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Guardian, as it does, misinterprets what brought about the investigation in Georgia. It says it was Trump’s January 2, 2021 phone call to GA Sec.State Bud Raffesnperger. It was really a concerted attempt by Trump and several individuals over several days to corruptly lobby state election officials to overturn the vote.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      His indictment may be improbable, but Lindsey Graham will have to sweat out his own potential liability in Georgia for helping Trump subvert the vote. So, he has reason to be critical of those attempting to enforce GA law. But can’t wait for him to argue that SC voters – rather than courts, prosecutors and jurors – should determine whether a SC politician should go to Washington or go to prison.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pulling off the Guardian live feed, Neal Katyal thinks there were zero “no bills,” meaning the GJ indicted on all cases submitted to it by the DA. He implies that makes the evidence superficially persuasive and says that’s bad for the Don and/or anyone indicted.

    • Shadowalker says:

      They also called one witness in (was sitting waiting next to former Lt. Gov) and after awhile told him his testimony was no longer needed. Think he happened on the fake electors while they were in their cosplay meeting.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump’s frequent criticism of Fani Willis and every other prosecutor and judge he’s faced is that only a partisan Trumpist Republicans could legitimately have the authority to challenge the legality of his conduct. An unusual, deeply authoritarian and exceptionally anti-democratic opinion. And not one he would follow when, if he regains the White House, he proceeds to exact his revenge.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The indictment is 98 pages and includes Trump’s name, as well as 10 others, including Rudy Guiliani, Don Eastman, Mark Meadows, Geoffrey Clark, Ray Smith and Robert Cheley, CNN reports.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Can’t find the indictment itself online yet. But this seems likely to be an exceptionally unwieldy case, leading to severance and individual plea deals. But I smell a cutthroat defense in the offing.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Unfortunately it appears that the gentleman from South Carolina has dogged an indictment, unless he is one of the Georgia unindicted co-conspirators.

  19. punaise says:

    That’s the night the indicts went out in Georgia
    That’s the night that they booked a non-innocent man
    Well, don’t trust your case to no backwoods Southern lawyers
    ‘Cause the DA in the town’s got evidence in her hands

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      “The devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin’ for a VOTE to steal
      He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind
      And he was willin’ to make a deal”

      Apologies to Charlie Daniels

  20. paulka123 says:

    IANAL, thankfully, but it seems to me you have to a special kind of criminal for your indictment to have a table of contents.

  21. Yohei72 says:

    Meanwhile, every right winger on the internet is spraying spittle all over denouncing Weiss as a Biden operative who gave Hunter a “sweetheart deal” and has now been tasked with covering up the Bidens’ crimes. These peoples’ ability to look at black and see white has no limits.

  22. zscoreUSA says:

    Here’s something I found curious about the “Diversion Agreement”
    and in light of the articles on this site about tainted investigations and whether or not the laptop was properly verified.

    On the last page of the Diversion Agreement:
    [Hunter] enrolled in an additional rehabilitation program in California from August 16-27, 2018, and then lived with a sober companion from August 27-September 2, 2018. He relapsed shortly thereafter, and his crack cocaine use continued when he returned to the East Coast in the fall of 2018."

    The reason I find this curious, is that it seems to avoid any connection to the laptop, like the information must be coming directly from Hunter to Weiss.

    Information from the laptop:
    * 8/16/18, Hunter is in Las Vegas
    * 8/20/18, Hunter leaves Las Vegas
    * 8/23/18, Hunter texts family he is on day 13 of rehab
    * 8/25/18, hotel rental in Santa Barbara
    * 8/27/18, stay at Air BnB for 2 nights, where left bag behind, owner Ubered to return to him
    * 8/28/18, lost iPhone in Venice
    * 9/1/18, flight scheduled LAX to Hawaii, new laptop “Bobby’s Macbook Pro” access to Apple ID , Apple ID recovery
    * 9/2/18 hotel near Santa Barbara

    So, was Hunter’s “rehabilitation program” virtual? Could he attend from Vegas? When he did return to California from was the program a live in program? Could he stay in various locations around LA then attend during the day? Was the sober companion in a fixed location?

    If the information from the laptop is considered, its difficult to to conclude Hunter was staying in a live-in rehab program during the dates mentioned in the agreement, which just says “enrolled in”, which leaves a vague impression and leaves open that there was 0 attendance in a program. And if laptop is considered, the relapse definitely happened before he returned to the East Coast from LA.

    Does this mean anything towards whether or not Weiss was using the laptop during plea negotiations? or whether Hunter was under the impression Weiss was using the laptop, but couldn’t because of some sort of taint?

  23. Franktoo says:

    Weiss, as Special Counsel who will be writing a report, could be very useful to to Bidens – if the facts are on their side. Since before the 2020 Election, the Republicans have been whining about the $3.5M check Baturina (spelling?) sent to (the wrong) Rosemont Seneca account without citing David Archer’s information claiming the money belonged in and was re-directed to a real estate investment account only he controlled and was invested NYC real estate in Baturina’s name. It appears as if the Republicans have subpoenaed bank records of every foreign investor who attended a dinner with Joe or who is mentioned in Hunter’s “laptop” and suggesting every payment was illegal, without mentioning that some payments for Hunter’s legal services, salary earned while on the board of Burisma (and what he did to “earn” that salary), profits from investments, profits Hunter distributed to others etc. The bottom line would show the income that the IRS and Hunter agreed was reported on his tax returns. In theory, there would be no cash flows left over that could have been bribes. Or that could have ended up in the non-transparent Celticcapri S corp Joe allegedly used to report his book and speech income. As best I can tell, Republicans intend to impeach Joe over the money flowing into the “Biden Crime Family Business” and an honest SC could be a big help.

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