Given the nature of the charges, it appears unrealistic to expect that Hunter Biden and his legal team will act ethically in regards to the allegations against him. The eldest son is anticipated to enter a guilty plea to federal tax evasion and weapons charges.
The prosecution’s acute eye has uncovered some subterfuge involving an attempt to conceal evidence.
Tuesday morning, the House Ways and Means Committee filed an amicus brief. The brief submitted to Delaware US District Judge Maryellen Noreika argues that the 53-year-old benefited from “political interference which calls into question the propriety of the investigation” into alleged crimes including money laundering, felony tax evasion, and failure to register as a foreign agent, according to the New York Post.
However, there appears to have been interference with the filing of the brief. Tuesday afternoon, the committee’s senior attorney, Theodore Kittila, reported the interference to the magistrate.
The Post reports:
“[A]t approximately 1:30 p.m., we received word that our filing was removed from the docket,” Kittila said. “We promptly contacted the Clerk’s office, and we were advised that someone contacted the Court representing that they worked with my office [emphasis original] and that they were asking the Court to remove this from the docket. We immediately advised that this was inaccurate. The Clerk’s Office responded that we would need to re-file. We have done so now.”
In the new filing, Kittila included email exchanges with court officials and Hunter Biden’s counsel.
“Hi Ted, Following up on our recent telephone conversation, the woman who called was Jessica Bengels,” confirmed court official Samantha Grimes. “… She said she worked with Theodore Kittila and it was important the document was removed immediately or they could file a motion to seal. I do deeply apologize for all the confusion on our part.”
Bengels is the director of litigation services at the New York-based law firm of Latham & Watkins, where Hunter Biden counsel Chris Clark was formerly a partner.
When Kittila confronted the first son’s legal team, Hunter’s counsel attempted to claim the filing contained confidential tax and identifying information, even though the whistleblower testimony has been public for more than a month.
The time markings from the emails also indicated the request to take the document down was made after Kittila refused a request to file the testimony under seal.
“As far as I am aware, the managing attorney from Latham called the clerk’s office to note that personal tax information of the defendant had been filed in a non reacted [sic] manner and to inquire regarding having the information sealed, as we told you we would and as you said you understood,” Clark wrote.
“As far as I am aware the clerk took the filing down on their own accord. Your attempts to publicly file my client’s personal financial information with no protection ls [sic] are improper, illegal, and in violation of applicable rules … We will seek all appropriate sanctions in response to your actions.”
Kittila was quick to call the bluff.
“You should probably take a step back from your statements,” Kittila warned. “The clerk’s office advised that it was represented to her that the request was being made by my firm. We will be advising Judge Noreika of this improper conduct.”
“I stand by all of my statements and I hope you have an affidavit from the clerk in support of yours,” Clark replied.
Judge Noreika gave Hunter’s attorneys until 9 p.m. to “show cause as to why sanctions should not be considered for misrepresentations to the Court” — noting that they had not formally filed a request to seal evidence in the case, and ordering the filing to be sealed until Wednesday’s end of business.
“We filed what was already public (voted out by Congress) as something for the judge to be aware of,” Ways and Means Committee spokesperson JP Freire told The Post. “They then misrepresented themselves to get it taken down.”
Following the judge’s instruction, Biden’s attorney performed a sidestep by professing ignorance. Bengels submitted an affidavit shortly before 9 p.m. in which she attributed a miscommunication between clerks for the removal of the Ways and Means filing.
“I am completely confident that I never indicated that I was calling from Mr. Kittila’s firm or that I worked with him in any way,” she said. “The only mention of his name was when [the clerk] had asked me if the filings had been entered by Mr. Kittila’s firm and I answered that I believed that to be the case.”
In a letter to the judge, Hunter’s lawyers said: “We have no idea how the misunderstanding occurred, but our understanding is there was no misrepresentation.
“We hope this letter and the attached declaration dispels any suggestion that undersigned counsel or our staff would ever intentionally misrepresent or mislead the Court with respect to any matter,” the defense team added.