After facing months of accusations by Republicans of favoritism toward Hunter Biden, special counsel David Weiss is now changing course, claiming a motion filed by the son of President Joe Biden attempting to subpoena former President Donald Trump has no merit.
In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika obtained by The Daily Caller, prosecutors with Weiss’s office assert that Hunter makes no case for protected class nor cites evidence of “vindictive prosecution” that could be attributed to the former president.
“The United States respectfully opposes defendant Robert Hunter Biden’s request to issue subpoenas duces tecum. His motion is meritless and should be denied,” the letter states, referencing subpoena requests for Trump, former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, and two other former Justice Department officials.
“It is worth noting from the outset that defendant misunderstands the difference between pretrial arguments to dismiss an indictment and trial defenses. It is black-letter law that claims of vindictive and selective prosecution are not trial defenses and may only be brought and litigated pretrial. They are not defenses and, therefore, are never argued to trial juries.”
“In seeking discovery for a claim of selective prosecution, defendant fails to identify even one similarly situated individual who was not prosecuted for similar conduct. This omission alone precludes his request for discovery,” the DOJ added. “He also identifies no constitutionally protected class to which he belongs and does not identify any evidence of discriminatory intent by the relevant decisionmakers, which is what the law requires in order to make out a claim of selective prosecution.”
“Defendant’s motion similarly fails to articulate any basis for a vindictive-prosecution claim. Defendant fails to identify what protected constitutional or statutory right he is being punished for asserting.”
Last month, attorneys for Hunter filed a sensational motion alleging a plot by Republicans to bias the Justice Department against their client. DOJ prosecutors in their letter make note that no charges were filed against Hunter while President Trump oversaw the DOJ. The demand comes as part of a case charging Hunter with lying on documents denying he was a drug user when he purchased a firearm in 2018. He is facing two separate misdemeanor charges related to tax fraud.
A plea deal in the case fell apart in July when defense attorneys alleged the deal would have allowed Hunter to avoid the gun charge, something prosecutors denied. The following month, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss as special counsel, giving him broad authority to examine alleged wrongdoings by Hunter outside his home district of Delaware. Merrick has denied influencing the case, though mainstream media reports uncovered that the DOJ was prepared to drop its entire case against Hunter until whistleblowers came forward. FBI agents previously tipped off Hunter to a raid of his home before it occurred, and agents lied to Weiss about the Bureau’s involvement
Court observers say there is a “real risk” of prison time for the president’s son and that Hunter faces “legitimate questions” about whether his business dealings which led to the tax fraud charges were due to associations with his father.