Hunter Biden’s sentence for his gun- and tax-related crimes has not yet been decided, but experts are divided as to whether he will be let off with a legal slap on the wrist.

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that Biden agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax. He also agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement regarding a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. 

If the judge approves the plea deal, the president’s son will not serve prison time for these crimes. That other public figures have served time for similar offenses has sparked a conversation about whether America’s justice system is two-tiered. 

The lawyer who has represented rap star Jeffrey Bruce Atkins Sr. — AKA Ja Rule — suggested that the plea deal is not yet set in stone, and Hunter Biden may face a harsher sentence during an interview Wednesday on “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

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That attorney, Stacey Richman, noted, “We don’t know what the final outcome is yet. Sentencing has not yet occurred, and the court, once this plea is presented to the court, will have to consider the sentencing factors in 18 USC 3553, and part of that will be how to make this crime a deterrent for other people.”

“Are you saying there’s a chance that this judge doesn’t go along with the prosecution and defense agreement for probation and she hits Hunter with prison time?” Fox News host Jesse Watters asked.

“Is it feasible? Absolutely it’s feasible,” Richman replied. “In federal sentencing, it is solely up to the judge — it’s not like state sentencing where we make a deal, ‘OK, we are going to agree to three years — if the judge approves it, we can go forward.’ No.” 

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“The sentencing factors are considered by the judge,” Richman continued. “The individual’s background is considered. A sentencing report will be developed, and out of that, the judge will then pronounce sentence. The defense will submit a sentencing memorandum. The prosecution may present a sentencing letter as well, and then it will be up to the judge.”

“And the judge is a Trump-appointed judge, not that that even makes a difference anymore,” Watters said. 

He also asked about Atkins’ case when he failed to pay off his taxes.

Richman explained that a key part of his defense was that he had inept management overseeing his finances.

“This situation happened many, many years ago, but at the time, what we had explained to the court is he had very poor advisement, very poor management, and that was part of his defense, and that’s what we discussed with regard to our sentencing application.”

Ja Rule in concert

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 20: Ja Rule performs at Juicy Fest 2023 on January 20, 2023 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

Watters speculated that Biden, by contrast, likely has the “best management, best attorneys, best accountants. He can’t really blame that, can he?”

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Richman noted the nuance that even though one might have advisers for activity such as filing taxes, “You are responsible for what you sign.” 

In 2021, rapper Kodak Black was sentenced to more than three years in prison for a similar gun crime, and was not offered a pre-trial diversion program in contrast to the first son. Former President Donald Trump commuted the hip-hop artist’s sentence in 2021.

Black’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen told “Hannity” on Wednesday that he would challenge the individual who gave Hunter Biden the offer to see how many times diversion programs on gun charges have been offered.

Kodak Black received “46 months for the exact same thing that Hunter Biden is not even pleading to,” said Cohen. “He’s actually getting a diversion program, which you almost never see diversion programs in federal court. I mean, it is less than 1% of people that plea that actually get a diversion program.

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“If you score this out, which is how you do it in the federal system, he would score somewhere in the neighborhood of two years on this case,” said Cohen.

Cohen estimated that Hunter Biden’s could possibly get 12 months a piece for each one of the misdemeanors and 24 to 27 months in prison for the gun charge.

Brianna Herlihy and Joshua Comins contributed to this report.


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