Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to federal charges Wednesday, a surprise development after a disagreement arose with prosecutors over a gun charge.
The president’s son had been expected to plead guilty to two tax charges under a deal with the government, but the judge delayed ruling on the agreement until she receives additional information. The parties will reconvene at a future date, which could be within the next four to six weeks.
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, appointed by Donald Trump, pressed about the terms of the deal that was struck with U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware, another Trump appointee who was kept on by President Joe Biden to oversee the case.
Noreika quizzed the lawyers about the terms of the gun charge, concerned that the judiciary would not normally oversee such an agreement. She also expressed concern that the agreement on the tax charges did not give her the ability to reject or modify the deal.
Earlier in the hearing, Noreika asked if there were more serious charges that could still be brought and the prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s lawyer both said there were not.
Noreika later asked if the investigation was ongoing, to which Weiss responded that it was, but said he could not share any further details.
She raised a hypothetical, asking if Hunter Biden could face charges for failing to register as a foreign agent and whether the agreement block his prosecution for such a charge. The defense said they believed the agreement would prohibit him from being charged and the prosecution then disagreed.