On Thursday, a federal judge in Delaware dropped tax misdemeanor charges against the president's son, Hunter Biden.
This was a formal step that was taken weeks after a plea deal between the Justice Department and Biden's lawyers fell through, as the New York Post reported.
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika granted without prejudice a motion from the office of Delaware U.S. Attorney and newly promoted Special Counsel David Weiss to drop the case against the 53-year-old first son. This came after prosecutors said last Friday that he would likely have to stand trial in either Washington, D.C. or Southern California.
Hunter's lawyers and federal prosecutors couldn't come to an agreement on a plea deal after a hearing on July 26. During the meeting, Noreika questioned both sides about the scope of their agreement, including whether past crimes could be forgiven.
Prosecutors said that such charges could include claimed violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which led Biden's lawyer, Chris Clark, to say that the deal was "null and void."
After representing the first son in paternity and slander cases, prominent Democratic attorney Abbe Lowell succeeded Clark and did not contest the dismissal.
In another move, Noreika refused Hunter's lawyers' request and released IRS whistleblower charges of political influence filed last month by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO).
On Aug. 11 Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss to serve as special counsel, giving him broad investigative powers and authority to charge outside his jurisdiction.
IRS inspectors told Congress during the July plea hearing that Weiss claimed President Biden-appointed U.S. Attorneys Matthew Graves and E. Martin Estrada prevented him from charging in D.C. and California.
The whistleblowers, IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley and IRS special agent Joseph Ziegler, claimed prosecutors proposed charging Hunter with tax fraud for $2.2 million owed on $8.3 million made from 2014 to 2019.
They also claimed that investigators were prevented from interrogating Hunter or examining his storage unit or questioning the president about his son's business affairs.