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NY Post: Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal ‘torpedoed by judge in sensational court room dust up’

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For perhaps the first time in his life, Hunter Biden’s last name didn’t land him an easy day in court. The New York Post summed it up perfectly: “Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal on gun, tax charges torpedoed by judge in sensational court room dust up.”

Hunter’s “probation-only plea deal fell apart” with US District Judge Maryellen Noreika accusing both sides of wanted her to “rubber-stamp” an improperly broad agreement. The Post reports:

The stunning turn of events came more than 90 minutes into the hearing at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Del., where Hunter was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay taxes and enter a diversion program on a felony federal weapons charge.

But US District Judge Maryellen Noreika ran the rule over both prosecutors and the lawyers for President Biden’s 53-year-old son — asking assistant US attorney Leo Wise if Hunter was still under scrutiny for potential offenses including failing to register as a foreign agent for lucrative dealings in countries such as China and Ukraine that allegedly involved his father.

“Yes,” admitted Wise, echoing repeated statements by his boss, Delaware US Attorney David Weiss, whose office confirmed the ongoing nature of the probe to The Post Wednesday. Hunter’s main attorney, Chris Clark, has insisted that he believed the first son’s criminal liability is resolved by the plea deal, and responded to Wise by dramatically announcing: “As far as I’m concerned, the plea agreement is null and void.”

After a 20-minute recess “that doubled as a bargaining period, both sides tried to move forward with a revised plea deal that specified Hunter would face no additional charges.” Judge Noreika was still not convinced.

Finally, after three hours of high drama, Noreika told Wise and Clark that the revised agreement was still “not straightforward” and included “atypical provisions.”

“I think having you guys talk more makes sense,” the judge said, before asking Hunter: “Without me saying I’ll agree to the plea agreement, how do you plead?”

“Not guilty, your honor,” the president’s son answered, a pro forma statement ahead of his next hearing, set for Aug. 25.

Among accusations Hunter could still answer to is that he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The Post explains:

FARA can carry stiff penalties, and a five-year statute of limitations means that charges likely would have to come soon for Hunter — who left the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2019 and whose most lucrative Chinese government-linked partnership spanned 2017 and 2018.

iolations of the law can send perpetrators to prison. Former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced in 2018 to 60 months behind bars specifically for FARA violations related to his work in Ukraine, plus another 30 months for tax and bank fraud and witness tampering.

The first son thus far has avoided charges for allegedly working as an unregistered foreign agent, and congressional Republicans are demanding to know what if anything Weiss’ team did to investigate an FBI informant’s June 2020 tip that a Ukrainian oligarch said he paid $10 million in bribes to Hunter and then-Vice President Joe Biden to influence US government policy.

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Elections

GOP bill proposes extra measures to ensure noncitizens are unable to vote in federal elections

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GOP members of both the U.S. House and Senate introduced a bill to add safeguards to ensure that non U.S. citizens who are already prohibited from voting in federal elections, do not do so. The bill seeks to amend the National Voter Registration Act to require documentary proof of United States citizenship to register to vote.

The Center Square reports that It would require states to obtain proof of citizenship – in person – when registering an individual to vote. Applicants would have to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote in person, when applying for a motor vehicle license, and when applying to vote by mail. The bill lists accepted citizenship documentation and requirements for voter registration agencies.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, led a coalition of 49 Republicans to introduce the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act in the U.S. House. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, with several cosponsors, introduced the same bill in the Senate.

Citing the border crisis and the greatest number of foreign nationals illegally entering the country in U.S. history, the measure’s supporters expressed alarm that instead of being deported, many are being registered to vote.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “And that is the threat of non-citizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections. In the last five and a half months or so, I’ve been to over 101 cities doing events all around the country in more than half the states. The first or second question that I’m asked in every public forum is about election security. Americans are deeply concerned about this. And it doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re in a blue state or a red state, everyone’s concerned.”

Johnson blamed President Joe Biden and his administration’s policies for for what he described as widespread concern about election integrity.

“… we now have so many non-citizens in the country that if only one out of 100 of those voted, they would cast hundreds of thousands of votes,” the speaker added. “And since our elections are so razor thin in these days that we’re in, just a few precincts in a few states decide the makeup of Congress and who is elected to the White House. This is a dangerously high number, and it’s a great concern to millions and millions of Americans. It could obviously change the outcome of our elections, and this is not an empty threat or concern.”

It is already a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in a federal election. Despite this, Johnson said, “no current mechanism to ensure only those registering or voting are actually citizens. … If a nefarious actor wants to intervene in our elections, all they have to do is check a box on a form and sign their name. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. And there’s a very small chance that illegal would get caught [because] states do not have the election infrastructure in place to confirm what they’ve said.”

Johnson said noncitizens “can simply go to their local welfare office or the DMV and register to vote there,” adding that “states are currently prohibited from asking someone to prove that they’re a citizen when they use the federal voter registration form.”

He also gave examples of “a growing number of localities” that are “blurring the lines for non-citizens by allowing them to vote in municipal local elections.

“You might not know this, but non-citizens are voting,” he warned Americans. “Democrats have expressed a desire to turn on citizens and voters. That’s what this open border has been all about.”

Roy said the proposed SAVE Act “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

Lee said the bill should “pass right away” and unanimously in both houses of Congress. “The only reason to oppose this … would be if you want noncitizens to vote.”

It also would create a new program requiring the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to share information with state registration systems. States would be required to identify noncitizens attempting to register to vote by accessing data in DHS’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program and the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service. The information would be compared with data from state agencies that supply state identification cards or driver’s licenses.

The bill also would require states to remove non-citizens from existing voter rolls and increases federal penalties for those who register non-citizens to vote in federal elections.

 

 

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