Politics

A Tale Of Two Plea Deals

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary (emphasis ours),

As mentioned here and elsewhere, the Hunter Biden plea deal (and its accompanying displays and diversion settlement) is a curious doc: it reduces the facility of federal prosecutors to convict Hunter Biden for extra critical prices; it eliminates the potential for Hunter Biden to be a cooperating witness; it retains the DOJ from Congressional oversight; its ambiguous phrases may have foreclosed future prosecution of Hunter Biden for Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) prices; and it left Judge Maryellen Noreika rejecting it, in the intervening time, citing considerations with its potential unconstitutionality and its unprecedented construction.

And that doesn’t even consider that the plea settlement was made after the statute of limitations on a few of Hunter Biden’s crimes had handed, after charging suggestions of the DOJ Tax Division have been ignored, after the scope of the broader investigation was improperly restricted, and after search warrants have been rejected and witness interviews have been sabotaged.

But we wish to get to one thing else that has been all however ignored till now – how two prosecutors assigned to the Hunter Biden case, Leo Wise and Derek Hines, handled much less critical tax circumstances as in comparison with the Hunter Biden case.

Before we get to that, it’s necessary to grasp who we’re coping with. Leo Wise is a trial legal professional within the DOJ Criminal Division – Public Integrity Section. He has held that place since June of 2023; previous to that, he was the Chief of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland’s Fraud and Public corruption unit (a place from which he was demoted after disagreements with supervisors over staffing). He has been with the DOJ since at the very least 2004.

By all accounts, Wise is an aggressive prosecutor. It’s in his DNA. He was a part of the Enron Task Force, assisted within the racketeering trial in opposition to large tobacco (US v. Philip Morris), and prosecuted important high-profile circumstances in opposition to corrupt management in Baltimore, together with the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force, former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh, and former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Wise additionally “brought the biggest racketeering case in Maryland history.”

Assisting Wise on the Hunter Biden case is Derek Hines, an equally aggressive prosecutor whose present function is Assistant US Attorney on the DOJ Criminal Division. Hines, for instance, was a part of Wise’s prosecution workforce within the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force, which “won indictments against 11 men – eight Baltimore cops, two civilians, and one Philadelphia office” who robbed drug dealers, bought medication, and ran interference for drug sellers.

Wise and Hines have been described in a single Baltimore Sun article as relentless prosecutors who “are like the terminator.” They are hardliners who “pursue stern sentences and prosecute even small-time crooks.”

2018: Derek Hines (L) and Leo Wise

The Hunter Biden case isn’t the primary time Wise and Hines have prosecuted a tax case. Back in 2018, they prosecuted Darryl De Sousa, a former Baltimore Police Commissioner for 3 counts of failing to file particular person tax returns. The case of De Sousa is especially instructive, because it demonstrates the uncharacteristically delicate prosecution of Hunter Biden by Wise and Hines. Allow us to elucidate.

De Sousa was charged with failing to file an earnings tax return for the years 2013-2015, in violation of 26 USC § 7203. Not solely had he did not file earnings tax returns for these years, however De Sousa had additionally owed the IRS taxes for different years (2008-2012) and had “falsely claimed deductions that he was not entitled to.”

The De Sousa case was comparatively small, although it did concern misconduct by a public official. He solely owed roughly $60,000; the tax loss calculated by the IRS was between $40,000 and $100,000. De Sousa pleaded responsible to failing to file an earnings tax for the years 2013-2015. DOJ prosecutors Wise and Hines (who, by the best way, each served underneath at the moment Special Counsel Robert Ok. Hur when he was US Attorney for the District of Maryland) noticed to it that the stipulation of info included within the November 20, 2018 plea settlement itemized (1) the false deductions claimed by De Sousa, akin to automobile bills and journey bills and charitable donations; (2) the precise instances De Sousa was placed on discover that he owed taxes; and (3) the precise quantities owed by De Sousa in every of the relevant years.

Wise and Hines, true to their reputations, demanded De Sousa go to jail: 12 months incarceration was essential to ship a message to all different tax cheats. There was no promise to advocate probation. The decide would find yourself sentencing De Sousa to 10 months.

Let’s examine De Sousa’s therapy to the Hunter Biden case.

  • Both circumstances contain violations of 26 USC § 7203 (willful failure to pay tax).

  • The tax loss within the De Sousa case was between $40,000 and $100,000; Wise and Hines really helpful he serve a 12 months in jail. The tax loss within the Hunter Biden case is between $1,199,524 and $1,593,329. Wise and Hines, in obvious settlement with DOJ supervisors, advocate Hunter get probation.  

  • Where Wise and Hines made certain the Court was conscious of the quite a few false deductions within the De Sousa Case, Wise and Hines agree that Hunter Biden’s extra important deductions for intercourse golf equipment and prostitutes was as a result of Hunter “miscategorized certain personal expenses as legitimate business expenses.” In doing so, these prosecutors have allowed felony fraud to be excused as a mis-categorization.

  • In reality, Wise and Hines omitted a dialogue of the info underlying lots of the prices really helpful by the IRS Tax Division, together with these involving fraud (26 USC § 7206). De Sousa by no means acquired that profit – probably as a result of De Sousa, in contrast to Biden, wasn’t allowed to write down his personal stipulation.

  • Wise and Hines agreed to the declare that Hunter Biden acquired $1,000,000 from Patrick Ho (a Chinese nationwide convicted for bribery) “as a payment for legal fees” – with out even pondering to query whether or not that fee was a bribe masked as authorized charges.

  • Wise and Hines failed to tell the Court of whether or not Hunter Biden owed California earnings taxes. In the De Sousa case, that defendant’s excellent Maryland tax obligations have been listed for plenty of years and he was required to pay restitution to Maryland.

  • De Sousa’s plea deal was normal and readily accepted by that court docket. The Hunter Biden plea/diversion was “unprecedented” and irregular and with out “authority”, contained ambiguous paragraphs that may have allowed Hunter to keep away from any sort of FARA prosecution, and the diversion itself might be unconstitutional.

If we will briefly summarize – within the De Sousa case, DOJ prosecutors Wise and Hines wished to ship a message that you just get a harsh sentence should you attempt to keep away from your taxes. The DOJ, assisted by Wise and Hines, now sends a distinct message within the Hunter Biden case: the son of the President will get preferential therapy. More egregious tax crimes are not topic to imprisonment.

Barring surprising revelations, DOJ “terminators” Leo Wise and Derek Hines, the prosecutors who prior to now pursued “stern sentences”, the 2 males who made their names within the Department by taking down infamous targets, are actually doing all they will – from misrepresenting Hunter’s conduct to the Court to omitting key particulars of Hunter’s tax fraud – to verify the President’s son doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist.

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