Hunter Biden Plea Bargain

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This page will be for documents relevant to the 2023 Hunter Biden criminal case, and to the plea bargain in particular.

Hunter Biden failed to file tax returns in many tax years, also failed to pay his taxes (a separate crime, since sometimes people file without including a check), and also lied on his tax return (e.g., reporting payments for a sex club, for prostitutes' air travel, and for health insurnace for the mother of his illegitimate child as business expenses). After he was under investigation, a lawyer paid something like $2 million of his unpaid taxes for him as a gift.

The IRS investigated, with the Justice Dept. following along. The Justice Dept. cut out the IRS from many key discussions, and warned the investigation's targets in advance so they couldn't be surprised by visits from agents asking questions or arriving with a search warrant for a building suspected of housing documents. The Justice Dept allowed the statute of limitations to lapse on prosecutions for 2014 and 2015. In 2023, IRS agent Shapley, feeling disgusted and betrayed, testified about all this in a hearing of the House of Representatives. The Justice Dept. then moved quickly to indict Hunter Biden for his tax offenses, charging him with two misdemeanors and recommending probation, no jail time, in exchange for a guilty plea. The prosecutor also accused him of gun crimes, but agreed to pre-trial diversion-- that is, not to prosecute-- if Hunter agreed not to possess a gun in the future. The Diversion Agreement and Plea Bargain were presented to a judge in July 2023, but blew up there because Hunter Biden's lawyer said the fine print of the Diversion Agreement would prevent future prosecution of him for the unrelated crime of being an unregistered foreign agent but the Justice Dept. said it would not.

The Heritage Foundation and Rep. Jason Smith filed papers as amici curiae (friends of the court) to bring under judicial notice the Shapley hearing transcript and other facts kept hidden by the Justice Dept. in the documents filed by the Prosecutor.

Note the section below titled "Flacks". It contains news stories in defense of Hunter Biden. Do not believe those stories. The New York Times, for example, refers to non-filing and failure to pay as "failure to meet filing deadlines" (because people got him to file and paid his taxes with their own money later) and to his deduction of sex-related payments as "improperly claimed $30,000 in deductions for business expenses." I include these stories as indicating the spin the White House is trying to put on the story, and the dishonesty of Democratic news reports. If you doubt this, read the primary sources-- in particular, the Shapley transcript and the Plea Agreement.

I later wrote up my version of the story in three parts on Substack: Part I of "Hunter Was Too Clever by Half": The Plea Bargain and Part II of Hunter Was Too Clever by Half: Judge Noreika and Part III of Hunter Was Too Clever by Half: After the Special Counsel Appointment. I hope to write a Part IV in light of the conflict between Justice and Hunter after the Special Counsel appointment over whether the Diversion Agreement is valid. The NYT and Politico August 19 stories below are part of that.

Court Documents

  • July 26 hearing transcript (not available via PACER]

Statutes and Rules

  • The Tax Code, via Cornell. Hunter is charged with 26 (7203), though the fine does not match up with what the Plea Bargain says.
  • Justice Dept. regulations for plea bargains," .e.g. "in accordance with JM 9-27.630, United States Attorneys may not make agreements which prejudice civil or tax liability without the express agreement of all affected Divisions and/or agencies. For additional discussion regarding plea agreements, see the Principles of Federal Prosecution, JM 9-27.400 et seq."
  • Flynn case order by Judge Sullivan appointing a court-chosen amicus because he didn't trust the Justice Dept. (I wrote an amicus for In Re Flynn myself.)


  • Daniels (2023), the 5th Circuit opinion that says Hunter's offense of owning a gun while using an illegal drug is unconstitutional (Jerry Smith, J.) .

Other Documents

  • The transcript of the IRS agent talking to the House of Representatives committee about Hunter Biden's tax investigation for three hours.

Articles on Technical Legal Points

  • Biden laptop report by This is a long and detailed report on the Biden business operations and sex scandals.

New Stories, Tweets, etc.

  • A good August 23 story by Margot Cleveland summarizing what happened up to then.
  • An August 18 tweet laying out the chronology of Hunter Biden news being followed with a Trump indictment the next day, four times. See also the Fox News presentation of the dates.
  • "Undelivered Goods," the 2015 Harper's article by Andrew Cockburn on corruption in the Ukraine and how U.S. aid was stolen. A good summary with lots of technical detail on bank dealings.

White House Flacks

  • Politico's August 19 article laying out details of what Hunter's lawyers did, spun to make him look good.
  • "I Investigated Tax Crimes. Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal Was Very Fair," MARTIN J. SHEIL, Slate (July 26, 2023). Amazing lies. "As someone with more than 30 years of experience for the IRS investigating the exact sorts of tax crimes of which Hunter Biden is accused, I can tell you very firmly: Biden did not get a sweetheart deal. In fact, not only would you not be going to prison if you did what Hunter Biden did, you likely wouldn’t even be charged. Thefact of the matter is no one goes to jail anymore for not paying their taxes on time, as much as the WSJ would like one to think they do."