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Hunter Biden’s top lawyer Abbe Lowell tries to convince LA federal judge to dismiss tax crimes case against president’s son, but is told there isn’t ‘any evidence’ for his arguments

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Hunter Biden‘s attorneys appeared in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday in a bid to get his tax crimes case dismissed – with Special Counsel David Weiss watching from the public benches.

The First Son’s attorneys were attempting to convince LA federal judge Mark Scarsi to dismiss the nine-count tax crimes case filed against him by Special Counsel David Weiss.

But two hours into the afternoon hearing, Hunter’s top lawyer Abbe Lowell appeared to be on the back foot, with Judge Scarsi telling him there was not ‘any evidence’ filed for some of his legal arguments beyond a timeline.

In July of last year prosecutors and Hunter’s lawyers seemed to be on good terms, poised to go through with a ‘sweetheart’ plea deal that would grant him broad immunity.

But in court on Wednesday the sparks were flying.

Prosecutor Derek Hines called out Lowell for ‘unnecessary’ allegations of ‘unethical and discriminatory behavior’ against Hunter, and Lowell shot back that the government had cast ‘aspersions’ on him and his team.

After more than three hours of legal sparring, Judge Scarsi said he would make an order by April 17 which will decide whether the case continues to go to trial, or will be shot down as Lowell is advocating.

Hunter Biden's legal team appeared in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday in a bid to get his tax crimes case dismissed

Hunter Biden’s legal team appeared in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday in a bid to get his tax crimes case dismissed

Justice Department prosecutor Leo Wise and Lowell traded blows, with Wise admonishing Lowell for appearing to call him a ‘rank partisan’ and Lowell accusing the Justice Department of ‘succumbing’ to pressure from Republican lawmakers to push a ‘vindictive’ prosecution on the First Son.

Lowell also argued that the whole prosecution was invalid due to the alleged improper appointment of David Weiss as Special Counsel while he was still a US Attorney – as he sat watching in a blue suit from the front row of the public seating in the LA court.

Hunter himself did not make an appearance at the hearing, that is set to decide whether he will face a trial scheduled for June.

Today’s argument gave glimpses of what the jury could be asked to consider at trial, currently slated for June 20.

Lowell argued that charges about the 2018 tax year should be thrown out because they were filed in California, when Hunter allegedly lived in Washington, DC at the time.

Hunter's legal team has argues Special Counsel David Weiss was improperly appointed, making any prosecution he launches invalid

Hunter’s legal team has argues Special Counsel David Weiss was improperly appointed, making any prosecution he launches invalid

Judge Scarsi pointed out that Hunter agreed in his now-defunct plea deal documents that he ‘moved to California in the spring of 2018’, but added that it would be ‘for the jury to decide’ the truth.

Lowell also adopted a cunning legal strategy to argue that the First Son could not be tried for failure to pay taxes, because his ‘willful’ evasion of the IRS started even earlier than prosecutors alleged.

The attorney told the court that texts with his ex-wife Kathleen show he knew he had failed to pay his taxes in 2016, starting the clock for the five-year statute of limitations ticking then, rather than in 2018 or 2020 as prosecutors claim, when his accountants told him he needed to pay.

The move could mean Hunter gets off on those charges by arguing that he actually broke the law for longer than prosecutors say.

Lowell did not shy away from criticizing his client, saying that in previous years the First Son was a ‘drug addict’ who ‘did ridiculously stupid things’ while ‘in the depths of his addiction’.

The First Son’s attorneys were attempting to convince LA federal judge Mark Scarsi to dismiss the nine-count tax crimes case filed against him by Special Counsel David Weiss.

Lowell claimed the prosecution had been tainted by interference from IRS whistleblowers, saying their disclosures to Congress alleging a slow-rolled and stymied investigation led to top Republicans to put pressure on the Justice Department to cancel its plea deal and charge Hunter with felonies.

‘These two agents started the dominos,’ Lowell said. ‘When was the last time a chair of a congressional committee sought intervention to stop a plea deal?’

Wise hit back that the claim he was influenced by former IRS agents was ‘patently absurd’, adding ‘I couldn’t pick them out of a lineup’.

‘The defense’s problem is… they offer no proof,’ Wise said. ‘Other than insulting us, where is the proof?’

Scarsi also appeared skeptical of Lowell’s argument, grilling the attorney to answer whether he had any other evidence beyond a timeline.

Judge Scarsi told Lowell that his legal filings claiming political influence in the prosecution were ‘not filed with any evidence’ beyond a timeline, saying they ‘contain a lot of citations to things on the internet… but these aren’t evidence in the court.’

The First Son's attorneys were attempting to convince LA federal judge Mark Scarsi (pictured) to dismiss his nine-count tax crimes

The First Son’s attorneys were attempting to convince LA federal judge Mark Scarsi (pictured) to dismiss his nine-count tax crimes

When asked what his evidence was beyond a timeline of events, Lowell told Scarsi: ‘It’s a timeline, but it’s a juicy timeline.’

Lowell argued that Hunter’s planned plea deal giving him immunity from future tax charges still stands because Hunter and prosecutors signed it.

But Wise pointed out that a third signature was required: the US chief probation officer, and quoted from a declaration of a witness at the Delaware July hearing where the deal fell apart, stating that the officer expressly declined to sign it.

Wise said Hunter’s previous lawyer, Chris Clark, contradicted himself and ‘testified to two entirely different things’ during that hearing. The prosecutor then accused Lowell of going to ‘extraordinary lengths to distort’ the plea negotiations to get Hunter’s charges thrown out.

If Judge Scarsi sides with prosecutors and shoots down Lowell’s bid to get the charges dismissed, Hunter is set to face two federal trials on two sides of the continent in one month.

Judge Maryellen Noreika set a tentative trial date for his gun and drug charges in Delaware on June 3, and Hunter’s California felony tax crime trial is set for June 20.

In the past two months Winston & Strawn defense attorneys Lowell and Angela Machala filed a flurry of motions claiming:

  1. The prosecution is a political witch hunt under pressure from Republican lawmakers and Donald Trump
  2. Hunter’s ‘sweetheart’ plea deal shot down by a Delaware judge was still in force
  3. The statute of limitations had expired on Hunter’s alleged crimes
  4. Los Angeles was the incorrect venue to try his case
  5. Weiss was improperly appointed, making any prosecution he launches invalid

6. IRS whistleblowers who shared case information with Congress ruined the case by going out of bounds

Weiss and his deputies, Leo Wise and Derek Hines, countered all the claims with their own filings, painting Hunter’s attorneys as resorting to desperate and erroneous legal arguments rather than facing a jury.

Hunter’s team expressed outrage at what they claim is the Justice Department reneging on a plea agreement that would have let him off with no jail time and effective immunity for other potential past crimes.

The deal fell apart at a dramatic hearing on July 26 when Delaware federal judge Maryellen Noreika exposed disagreements between prosecutors and Hunter’s legal team over his protection from new charges – such as for illegal foreign lobbying.

Weiss’ team argue that the agreement was only a ‘draft’, explicitly requiring signoff from the US chief probations officer that never occurred.

Hunter was indicted in December for three felonies and six misdemeanors. The president’s son is accused of deliberately evading tax, falsifying his returns, and failing to pay $1.4million on time – instead spending the money on a ‘lavish lifestyle’.

The charges span the tax years of 2016 through 2019, and could land him with up to 17 years prison.

Lowell told the judge in legal filings that Hunter’s charges for failure to pay tax in 2016 were beyond the five-year statute of limitations.

But Wise shot back with papers saying that the First Son’s lack of payment only became ‘willful’ – and thus criminal – in 2020, meaning the clock started much later.

Special Counsel David Weiss and his deputies Leo Wise and Derek Hines (pictured) countered all the claims with their own filings, painting Hunter's attorneys as resorting to desperate and erroneous legal arguments rather than facing a jury

Special Counsel David Weiss and his deputies Leo Wise and Derek Hines (pictured) countered all the claims with their own filings, painting Hunter’s attorneys as resorting to desperate and erroneous legal arguments rather than facing a jury

Hunter’s attorneys claim he did not live in California in 2018, meaning tax charges cannot be filed against him there.

But data from Hunter’s abandoned laptop shows he spent significant time there during that period, and prosecutors argue that he lived both in Wilmington, Delaware and Los Angeles in 2018.

In an apparent slam-dunk, Weiss’ team wrote to judge Scarsi on March 25: ‘The defendant moved to California in the first week of April 2018 and expressed his intention to stay in California in a text message that he sent from California to his sister-in-law on April 12, 2018, writing, ‘I’m staying here indefinitely.’

Some legal filings have been sealed due to ongoing investigations of other suspects – adding intrigue to the case, and the possibility of new indictments.

‘The redacted information contained in the filing and the sealed exhibits relates to a potential ongoing investigation(s)’ prosecutors wrote in a legal submission this month, adding they are ‘not references to any investigation of [Hunter].’

In January, Weiss’ team charged former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov with lying, claiming he acted as a Russian double agent. Smirnov denies the charges.

The informant became a key figure in the Biden investigation when he told his handler in 2020 that Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky bragged to him about paying $10 million in bribes to then-Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter for killing a criminal probe into his gas company Burisma.

Since last year, top Republicans have been investigating Joe Biden’s links to Hunter’s shady overseas deals with the aim of impeaching the President.

Lowell claims that ‘political pressure from President Trump and his MAGA allies’ was the only reason Weiss filed charges against Hunter.

Weiss’ team say they had already been investigating Hunter for years, and were willing to strike a deal with him until he pleaded not guilty to alleged gun crimes in Delaware in July.

In January, Weiss' team charged former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov with lying, claiming he acted as a Russian double agent. Smirnov denies the charges

In January, Weiss’ team charged former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov with lying, claiming he acted as a Russian double agent. Smirnov denies the charges 

Prosecutors say he also received around $1.2million 'in financial support to fund his extravagant lifestyle' in 2020 alone, from his 'sugar brother' Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris (left)

Prosecutors say he also received around $1.2million ‘in financial support to fund his extravagant lifestyle’ in 2020 alone, from his ‘sugar brother’ Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris (left)

Hunter’s California tax indictment, filed December 7, states that despite receiving millions in personal income and financial support from a friend, he ‘spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes‘.

‘The Defendant spent approximately $1million in 2016, $1.4million in 2017, $1.8million in 2018, and $600,000 in 2019,’ the indictment alleges.

Hunter made more than $7 million in gross income between 2016 and 2020, according to the documents.

Prosecutors say he also received around $1.2million ‘in financial support to fund his extravagant lifestyle’ in 2020 alone, from his ‘sugar brother’ Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris.

Morris’ total support to Hunter is at least $4.9 million, according to Congressional testimony from IRS agent Joseph Ziegler, who investigated Hunter for five years before blowing the whistle on the DOJ’s alleged lackluster prosecution. 



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