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Special counsel says Hunter Biden's claim that charges against him are fueled by politics is "conspiratorial"

GOP lays out next steps in impeachment probe
GOP lays out next steps in impeachment probe after Hunter Biden testifies 01:38

Special counsel David Weiss' office has rebuffed the claim from Hunter Biden's attorneys that the federal tax charges facing the president's son represent a "selective and vindictive," politically-motivated prosecution, according to a series of legal filings submitted Friday. 

Weiss' office slammed claims that the charges were fueled by politics and were pursued to appease Republicans, calling the assertion "conspiratorial" and "nothing more than a house of cards."

"Former President Trump is not the President of the United States," prosecutors argued in the court filings. "The defendant fails to explain how President Biden or the Attorney General, to whom the Special Counsel reports, or the Special Counsel himself, or his team of prosecutors, are acting at the direction of former President Trump or Congressional Republicans."

In the motions to dismiss federal tax charges, attorneys for Biden argued in February that the case followed "a nearly six-year record of [the Justice Department] changing its charging decisions and upping the ante on Mr. Biden in direct response to political pressure and its own self-interests."

Hunter Biden Appears On Capitol Hill For Closed-Door Deposition With Republican Lawmakers
Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs from a closed-door deposition before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and House Judiciary Committee in the O'Neill House Office Building on February 28, 2024 in Washington, DC.  NATHAN HOWARD / Getty Images

A plea agreement on two misdemeanor tax charges and a diversion agreement stemming from a firearms charge unraveled in court in July 2023 when the judge questioned whether the agreement would allow Hunter Biden to avoid potential future charges.

Attorneys for Biden maintain that agreement is still legally binding, but prosecutors in Friday's filing countered that the "proposed agreement" had not been approved by U.S Probation and was never in effect. 

Also pointing to "well established historical practice," federal prosecutors rebuffed arguments by Biden's counsel that Weiss' appointment as special counsel was unlawful, and funding for the investigation had not been approved by Congress, violating the Appropriations Clause.

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to nine federal tax charges in the Central District of California in January after federal prosecutors alleged he engaged in a four-year scheme to avoid paying at least $1.4 million in federal taxes and charged the president's son with failure to file and pay taxes, tax evasion and filing a false tax return. Hunter Biden has since fully repaid back taxes and fines, including $2 million reportedly paid to the federal government last year, with the help of a loan from his personal attorney. 

The investigation into Hunter Biden, led by Weiss, spanned nearly six years, beginning during the Trump administration and carrying over into the Biden administration.

Republican-led congressional committees leading an impeachment inquiry into President Biden centered some of their investigative focus on Hunter Biden's finances and whether senior officials in the Biden administration took steps to impede criminal probes into the president's son.

In a closed-door deposition before lawmakers in February, Hunter Biden dismissed the inquiry as a "baseless and destructive political charade" contending his father had no involvement in his business dealings.

Rep. James Comer, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability invited Hunter Biden to testify in a public hearing in March. Hunter Biden's attorneys told CBS News, they have received the request and will respond in writing. Critics of the probe say the GOP-led congressional committees have not yet produced any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden. 

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