Two of the prosecutors assigned to the Hunter Biden case pushed for a prison sentence for another public individual who committed the same tax crime to which Hunter Biden is expected to plead guilty.
About five years before they were assigned to the Biden case, assistant U.S. attorneys Leo Wise and Derek Hines helped bring a criminal case against then-Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa. The crime? Three misdemeanor counts of failure to file a U.S. Individual Tax Return (26 U.S. Code § 7203).
Prosecutors accused De Sousa of defrauding the U.S. and state of Maryland out of $67,587.72 in taxes owed.
For the crime, which De Sousa pleaded guilty to, prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence De Sousa to the maximum sentence of one year in the federal penitentiary, the Baltimore Sun reported in 2019. In the end, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake sentenced De Sousa to 10 months in prison.
So, what about Hunter’s case?
A little more than four years after, then-U.S. attorney Robert Hur — the same Robert Hur who now serves as special counsel investigating President Joe Biden’s improper retention of classified documents — thanked Wise and Hines, the same prosecutorial duo assigned to Hunter Biden’s case, for helping prosecute De Sousa.
The crime to which Biden is pleading guilty, according to Delaware U.S. attorney David Weiss? Two misdemeanor counts of tax crimes, violations of 26 U.S. Code § 7203 — the same statute as De Sousa.
And according to charging documents, Biden owed the government substantially more than De Sousa: more than $100,000 in taxes for income earned in 2017 and 2018 each.
Yet, prosecutors offered Biden a deal as part of which he would avoid jail time altogether and receive only probation for his crimes.
Additionally, while prosecutors emphasized that De Sousa knew his activity was illegal because he was a law enforcement officer — explicitly denying it was a mere “oversight” — prosecutors in Hunter’s case simply claimed Hunter “miscategorized certain personal expenses as legitimate business expenses.” Those miscategorizations allegedly included trying to deduct prostitutes and sex clubs.
A lawyer, known by his online pseudonym “Techno Fog,” explained that the similarities between Hunter Biden’s case and the De Sousa case prove the preferential nature of the first son’s plea deal.
“In sum, the Hunter Biden deal just isn’t a departure for the DOJ — It is out of character for these public corruption prosecutors who earned their reputation as being tough on even minor offenders. And the comparison of the 2018 case to Hunter’s case proves the point,” the lawyer explained.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department boastedjust earlier this year about prosecuting individuals for breaking the same firearm statute that Hunter is accused of breaking, a felony crime that has a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
As part of his plea deal, prosecutors offered Biden pretrial diversion, which technically means he will not be prosecuted for the crime, and, upon his cooperation with the terms of the diversion, the offense will be expunged from his record. None of the individuals whom the DOJ boasted about prosecuting were offered diversion.
That sweetheart plea deal collapsed last week after intense questioning from U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika. The judge not only questioned the constitutionality of the agreement as it was written but repeatedly pressed prosecutors for precedent to establish the frequency with which the DOJ hands out such lenient deals.
Hunter left court having pleaded not guilty — at least for now.
(H/T: Techno Fog)
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