Diversion Perversion: Hunter Biden’s Super Sweet Plea Deal


Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!  Not that Mark Allenbaugh isn’t a great guy to spend an hour with doing law-related chitty chat, but after a barrage of Allenbaugh episodes from Elmer to Donald to Walt, I thought I was gonna get to move on to a couple of other great guests and topics.  No such luck.  Because… Hunter Biden.

We learned Hunter will plead guilty to two misdemeanor federal tax charges and enter pre-trial “diversion” for being a “user or addict in possession” of a gun.  In other words, because of his use of illicit substances, he was deemed to be a “prohibited possessor” under federal law. 

It’s uncertain how the tax misdemeanors will resolve, but on the gun charge, which would have been a FELONY had he been convicted, he’ll instead get a couple of years of probation, do some drug treatment and then the charge will be dismissed. 

But is he receiving special treatment with this plea?  Given our experience with what a rare unicorn diversion can be in the federal system, the answer is almost certainly, yes.


  • Sentencing Guidelines for tax evasion counts;
  • Whether the “Zero Point Offender” (ZIPPO) reduction will apply;
  • The lowdown on 18 USC 922(g)(3), user or addict in possession of a firearm statute;
  • Whether Hunter is getting a fair deal, a raw deal, or a sweetheart deal;
  • The ins and outs of federal diversion, including how frequently (or not) it is offered by the government;
  • Predictions about whether Hunter will get any time in prison for the tax misdemeanors;
  • Predictions about whether the President will pardon his son;


Ep. 53, the Zero Point Offender (ZIPPO) episode:  https://setforsentencing.com/podcast/zippo/

JSIN episode: https://setforsentencing.com/podcast/jsin-will-judicial-sentencing-information-mutilate-the-stats-or-slash-sentences/

Online USDOJ policy manual:  https://www.justice.gov/jm/justice-manual

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