Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who was a top prosecutor on the Mueller probe, said Tuesday that the plea deal Hunter Biden received was “very fair,” despite the lack of jail time.
The Justice Department announced Tuesday that Biden would plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges, while a felony charge of lying on the form filled out when purchasing a firearm would be addressed via a pre-trial diversion program.
“He is going to plead guilty to doing this willfully. So you know, one difference between him and other people like the former president is he is actually pleading guilty, and you do get a benefit, if you plead guilty,” Weissmann told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell. “Lots of people have talked about, to take the Trump situation, that if he were pleading guilty, he might very well have been treated like David Petraeus and other people who are — who — who just generally are treated better if you plead guilty in our legal system.”
Former President Donald Trump entered a plea of “not guilty” to all counts during his arraignment June 13, after Special Counsel Jack Smith secured a grand jury indictment on 37 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act, that was unsealed June 9.
“It is a Trump holdover who made the decision, who did the investigation, the Tax Division has to sign off on this. So that should give people some comfort that this is not some sweetheart deal, but this is pretty standard,” Weissmann said. “My own experience is that first time tax defenses like this are generally treated pretty leniently, as well as the … felony count, which is a pre-trial diversion. There’s substantial issues that that statute may be unconstitutional. So I think that all in all, this seems like a very fair resolution.”
Weissmann previously criticized Robert Mueller, who served as special counsel during the probe into claims Trump colluded with Russia, for not pursuing Trump aggressively.
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