WASHINGTON — Republicans are demanding records from Hunter Biden’s attorneys related to a failed plea agreement between federal prosecutors and the president's son after news reports published accounts of the negotiations.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, the Republican chairs of the House Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight committees argue that Biden’s legal team relinquished its privileged communications protections by leaking information to the media.
“Given that these disclosures have been made to two media outlets and this information has been widely publicized, no basis exists to withhold these documents and communications from the Committees, including on the basis of any purported duty of confidentiality, work product, or other privilege interest,” said the letter signed by GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Jason Smith of Missouri and James Comer of Kentucky.
Special counsel David Weiss said in a court filing Wednesday that he expects to indict Biden in the coming weeks.
The Republican chairmen are seeking correspondence between senior federal prosecutors and Biden’s legal team that detail months of fraught negotiations, as well as a 32-page letter reviewed by Politico in which Biden's attorneys threatened to put the president on the stand if the Justice Department charged his son. The attorney who drafted the letter reported by Politico, Biden’s longtime lawyer Christopher Clark, stepped down from the case last month.
Included among the requested documents is a first draft of a proposed deal between Biden and the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office, emails in which the deal was line-edited, suggested changes to the plea and pretrial agreements in late July, versions of a statement reported by The New York Times that Biden’s attorneys intended to release once the deal became public, and sample and final immunity language.
Republicans said those details and more appeared in media reports about the abandoned plea deal.
The documents request, which sets a Sept. 20 deadline, also calls on Biden's lawyers to produce the contents of a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation about the potential tax charges, a pretrial diversion report and other undisclosed files and communications about the settlement that Republicans claim were shared with other news organizations.
Biden had been expected to plead guilty in July to two federal misdemeanors related to his filing of federal income taxes and avoid prosecution on a gun charge. But the deal appeared to unravel when the judge questioned whether it was a “package deal.”
After the judge said Biden would not be immune from future charges in the government’s investigation, attorneys for the president’s son stepped away from the agreement, and Biden pleaded not guilty.
An attorney for Biden did not comment on the GOP letter but insisted that part of the plea deal still stands.
“We believe the signed and filed diversion agreement remains valid and prevents any additional charges from being filed against Mr. Biden, who has been abiding by the conditions of release under that agreement for the last several weeks, including regular visits by the probation office,” Abbe Lowell said in a statement.
“We expect a fair resolution of the sprawling, 5-year investigation into Mr. Biden that was based on the evidence and the law, not outside political pressure, and we’ll do what is necessary on behalf of Mr. Biden to achieve that.”