Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Daniel Chaitin.
A judge told lawyers for Hunter Biden they could face sanctions over the allegation that one member from their law firm lied to the court clerk over the phone to get records pulled from the docket.
The threat from Delaware U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika came the day before a scheduled hearing to consider a plea deal for tax and gun violations that could keep the first son out of prison.
"It appears that the caller misrepresented her identity and who she worked for in an attempt to improperly convince the clerk's office to remove the amicus materials from the docket,"
Noreika said in an order on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail.
"Therefore, it is hereby ordered that, on or before 9pm today on July 25, 2023, counsel for defendant shall show cause as to why sanctions should not be considered for misrepresentations to the court,"
the judge added.
The controversy stems from an amicus brief filing by lawyers representing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO), who encouraged the court to "consider"
whistleblower testimony from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents claiming the criminal case led by Delaware's U.S. Attorney David Weiss has been slow-walked in a way that precluded more serious charges against Biden.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has pushed back on claims of political interference. Weiss, who has insisted he had "full authority"
to bring charges, was given approval by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to testify to Congress.
The order noted that Biden's lawyers claimed that the clerk pulled the filing from Smith's legal team "on their own accord."
Biden's lawyers also indicated that they were concerned about "personal tax information"
being visible and a call was made to inquire about them being placed under seal.
Smith's attorney, Theodore Kittila, said his team "promptly contacted the clerk's office, and we were advised that someone contacted the court representing that they worked with my office and that they were asking the court to remove"
their filing 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 judge's order, Noreika ruled that the filing be kept under seal until at least the close of business on Wednesday, although the whistleblower testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee is already available for the public to view with light redactions.
New York Post columnist Miranda Devine posted screenshots of various emails between the camps, including one missive that was sent to Smith's legal team from court official Sam Grimes apologizing for the "confusion"
that ensued after a person named "Jessica Bengels"
called and said "she worked with Theodore Kittila and it was important the document was removed immediately or they would could file a motion to seal."
Biden's lawyers, with Latham & Watkins LLP, responded to the judge's order claiming they had "no idea how the misunderstanding occurred, but our understanding is there was no misrepresentation."
They attached an affidavit from Jessica Bengels, the staff member who spoke with the clerk earlier in the day, in which she denied misrepresenting her firm affiliation.
At the hearing, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the judge can determine whether to allow or reject the plea deal struck between Biden's lawyers and the DOJ.