What just happened with Hunter Biden’s plea deal?

The president’s son had been expected to formally agree with federal prosecutors on a resolution to two tax charges and one gun charge brought against him. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to the counts, after a judge raised issues with the deal.

Here’s the New York Times with an explanation of the surprise turn of events:

Judge Maryellen Noreika has delayed a decision on whether to accept the plea agreement between federal prosecutors and Hunter Biden — demanding that the two sides make changes in the deal clarifying her role and insert language that limits the broad immunity from prosecution offered to Biden on his business dealings. Biden’s lawyers estimated it would take about two weeks.

After a grueling three-hour hearing, Hunter Biden entered a plea of not guilty on the tax charges, which he will reverse if the two sides redo their agreement to the judge’s satisfaction.

Hunter Biden went to a federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware to formally accept an agreement with prosecutors, which was expected to resolve the long-running investigations into his conduct. But in a surprise move, the presiding judge turned down the deal and ordered the two parties to make changes, delaying the resolution of the case. It was also revealed that federal investigators are continuing a separate inquiry into his business activities – a fact welcomed by the GOP, which has been looking to prove that Joe Biden and his son are corrupt. Back in Washington DC, Republican lawmakers aggressively questioned homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who may soon be the target of impeachment, while elsewhere, lawmakers tried to determine if the US government has found evidence of aliens.

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Here’s what else happened today:

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  • Mayorkas defended his handling of the southern border from criticism by the GOP, saying his security strategy “is working”.

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  • The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to their highest level in 22 years in their ongoing campaign to stop inflation.

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  • Rudy Giuliani admitted that statements he made about two Georgia election workers alleging they perpetrated fraud in the 2020 election were false.

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  • At the last minute, a top House Republican tried to derail the plea agreement federal prosecutors reached with Hunter Biden.

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  • Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, briefly appeared unable to speak at a press conference. He had suffered a concussion in April.

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The health of senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is back under scrutiny after an alarming moment during a Republican press conference this afternoon in which he abruptly stopped speaking and had to be led away.

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Video of the incident was posted to Twitter by NBC congressional reporter Frank Thorp, who said the Kentucky senator, 81, “appeared to be unable to restart talking”.

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Flag: McConnell just stopped abruptly during his opening statement during the gop leadership presser and appeared to be unable to restart talking. He then stepped away and walked away with Barrasso: pic.twitter.com/f1kFUjggzm

— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 26, 2023

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McConnell was hospitalized in April after suffering concussion when he tripped and fell during a private dinner at a hotel in Washington DC. In 2019, he tripped and fell at his home in Kentucky, suffering a shoulder fracture.

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Thorp said that McConnell was led off by his friend and colleague John Barrasso, Republican senator for Wyoming, and later returned to watch the conclusion of the press conference.

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Asked what had happened, McConnell reportedly said: “I’m fine”.

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The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates to a 22-year high on Wednesday as it continued its fight against rising inflation, my colleague Dominic Rushe writes.

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The decision to increase rates by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 5.25% to 5.5% comes after the Fed paused its rate-rising cycle last month.

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US inflation has now declined for 12 straight months and is currently running at an annual rate of 3%, down from over 9% in June last year. The Fed has raised rates from near zero in an attempt to cool the economy and bring prices down.

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The US economy has remained robust despite the 11 rate rises the Fed has now implemented – its most aggressive rate-rising cycle in 40 years. Hiring has slowed but remains strong and the unemployment rate is still close to a record low.

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Read the full report here:

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The president’s son had been expected to formally agree with federal prosecutors on a resolution to two tax charges and one gun charge brought against him. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to the counts, after a judge raised issues with the deal.

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Here’s the New York Times with an explanation of the surprise turn of events:

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Judge Maryellen Noreika has delayed a decision on whether to accept the plea agreement between federal prosecutors and Hunter Biden — demanding that the two sides make changes in the deal clarifying her role and insert language that limits the broad immunity from prosecution offered to Biden on his business dealings. Biden’s lawyers estimated it would take about two weeks.

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After a grueling three-hour hearing, Hunter Biden entered a plea of not guilty on the tax charges, which he will reverse if the two sides redo their agreement to the judge’s satisfaction.

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Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to federal tax and gun charges, after a plea deal that was intended to resolve the allegations fell apart in court, Reuters reports.

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The plea came after the federal judge presiding over the hearing in Wilmington, Delaware said she needed more time to evaluate the deal reached by the president’s son with prosecutors. Prior to the hearing, Biden had agreed to admit guilt to the tax charges, and avoid the gun charge as long as he satisfied certain conditions as part of the deal with the government.

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Hunter Biden went to a federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware to formally accept an agreement with federal prosecutors, which was expected to resolve the long-running investigation into him. But amid questioning from a federal judge, the deal was revised to more narrowly cover the conduct of the president’s son, with a prosecutor making clear that he remains under investigation – a development Republicans, who are keen to prove corruption on the part of Joe Biden and his family, are sure to welcome. Back in Washington DC, GOP lawmakers are aggressively questioning homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who may soon be the target of an impeachment push, and while trying to determine if the US government has found evidence of aliens.

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Here’s what else has happened so far today:

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  • Mayorkas defended his handling of the southern border from criticism by the GOP, saying his security strategy “is working”.

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  • Rudy Giuliani admitted that statements he made about two Georgia election workers alleging they perpetrated fraud in the 2020 election were false.

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  • At the last minute, a top House Republican tried to derail the plea agreement federal prosecutors reached with Hunter Biden.

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Federal prosecutors and Hunter Biden have agreed on a revised plea agreement that will cover only certain conduct over a five-year period, CNN reports.

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The changes came after the court hearing intended to resolve the long-running investigations of the president’s son was unexpectedly recessed after the judge questioned the deal’s terms.

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Here are more details, from CNN:

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ANOTHER UPDATE: Prosecutors & Hunter Biden have now agreed to a revised plea deal.

Deal covers 2014-2019 — only includes conduct related to tax offenses, drug use and gun possession.

Two sides have agreed that this does not shield Hunter Biden from potential future charges. https://t.co/zJv7hSSZ8W

— Zachary Cohen (@ZcohenCNN) July 26, 2023

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Elsewhere in Washington DC today, a House subcommittee is holding a hearing that seems like it could resolve one of the most enduring myths about the US government: has it made contact with aliens or recovered crashed spacecraft?

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No definitive answers have emerged yet from the hearing, which centers on testimony from a whistleblower who has alleged a government cover-up. The Guardian’s Leonie Chao-Fong is covering it live, and you can follow along here:

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Hunter Biden is in federal court in Delaware to plead guilty to tax charges as part of a deal to avoid jail time, but the Washington Post reports that the hearing has unexpectedly paused after a judge questioned the terms of the agreement Joe Biden’s son reached with prosecutors.

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From the Post’s report:

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The hearing hit a snag when U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika pressed Biden about whether he would still plead guilty if it was possible additional charges might be filed against him in the future.

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When Biden answered no, he would not, the judge ordered a break in the proceeding for the two sides to sort out whether his guilty plea would essentially immunize him from potential future tax or gun charges. At every plea deal hearing, a judge is responsible for ensuring a defendant understands both what they are admitting and what they are agreeing to as part of a guilty plea. It wasn’t immediately clear how significant a stumbling block the immunity question may pose to the plea.

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Democratic representative Hank Johnson of Georgia asked Mayorkas about the kind of impact that white nationalist rhetoric of invasion and replacement has on minority communities, citing various attacks including the Tree of Life massacre and El Paso Walmart shooting.

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“When an act of hate occurs, it’s not just the community that is impacted. The adverse impact is felt across of this nation, One of the most prominent terrorism-related threats that we face in [DHS] is what we term ‘domestic violent extremism,’” Mayorkas said.

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“It’s white nationalist extremism, is it not?” Johnson interjected.

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In response, Mayorkas said:

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“There are diverse ideologies that underlie the acts of violence. White nationalism is one of them but we do not focus on the ideology itself. We focus on its connectivity to violence and our effort to prevent that violence. We see a diverse range of ideologies of hate, anti-government sentiments, personal grievances, false narratives [that] fuel acts of violence in this country. It is the connectivity to violence.”

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Johnson went on to ask: “When elected officials repeat great replacement rhetoric, including the language of invasion, are they putting a target on the backs of immigrants and people of color?”

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Mayorkas replied:

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It certainly fuels the threat landscape that we encountered.”

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“I’m not sure exactly what you do at the DHS other than great harm on your watch,” Louisiana Republican representative Mike Johnson told Mayorkas, before going on to ask him to define what misinformation is within the context of online censorship.

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Johnson criticized DHS and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, saying that it was censoring American conservative speech online.

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“What is disinformation? Who determines what’s inaccurate? Who determines what’s false? Do you understand the problem here? The reason the framers of our constitution did not create an exception for ‘false information’ from the first amendment is because they didn’t trust the government to determine what it is. And you have whole committees of people in your agency trying to determine what they… define as false or misinformation.”

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Mayorkas pushed back and replied:

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“That is not true. That is not what we do. We disclose the tactics that adverse nation states are utilizing to weaponize information.”

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“No sir, no sir. That is not true,” responded Johnson, referring to a Louisiana federal court opinion on the Missouri vs Biden case which accused the Biden administration of censoring conservative free speech online.

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“The court found specifically, it’s a finding of fact that is not disputed by the government defendants, the Biden administration, your agency, the FBI, or DHS, not in the litigation. They determined you and all of your cohorts made no distinction between domestic speech and foreign speech.

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So don’t stand there and tell me under oath that you only focused on adversaries around the world and foreign actors,” Johnson added, his voice rising.

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Ken Buck, a Republican representative of Colorado asked Mayorkas about the the China-Mexico fentanyl pipeline that has been entering the country and the rising fentanyl overdose deaths currently plaguing the US.

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“The fentanyl killing thousands of Americans every year as a direct result of your dereliction when people die of fentanyl poisoning. It is your fault,” said Buck as he went on to ask Mayorkas what his response would be to the families of fentanyl victims in the US.

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Mayorkas replied:

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n

“We grieve the loss of any life as a result of the toxicity, the devastation… The challenge of fentanyl is not new. It has been escalating for more than five years…. This is a scourge and all of us have to work together to combat…

n

I stand by my statement…that China does bear responsibility because many of the precursor chemicals and the pill press equipment that is used to manufacture fentanyl does originate from there. This is a complex problem. We are taking it to the criminals…”

n

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“We must fix our broken immigration system, fund continuing protection of local communities, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations,” Mayorkas said.

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In response to a question on what the limit on allowing illegal migrants entering the country is, Mayorkas said:

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n

“Our approach of expanding lawful pathways for people to reach the border and delivering consequences for those who arrive at our border is working…”

n

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Viewers of last year’s January 6 committee hearings may remember Ruby Freeman and her mother Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, two Georgia election workers who gave emotional testimony about how lies told by Donald Trump’s allies essentially ruined their lives.

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Moss and Freeman have sued Rudy Giuliani, one of the former president’s most boisterous lawyers, over the damage done by the false statements, and as the Guardian’s Michael Sainato reports, Giuliani just admitted that none of what was said about the election workers was true:

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n

A court filing by Rudy Giuliani in response to a lawsuit filed against him by two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, included a concession: Giuliani admitted to making defamatory statements against the workers.

n

The workers complained in court that Giuliani has failed to produce records of the exchange between then president Donald Trump and Giuliani, who served as Trump’s attorney at the time in the wake of his 2020 presidential election loss. The election workers were cited by Giuliani and then Trump as an example of election fraud in Georgia where they were accused of manipulating ballots – despite the claims being repeatedly debunked by Georgia election officials and federal investigators.

n

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Hunter Biden has arrived at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware to enter his guilty plea to tax charges, the Associated Press reports, as part of a deal that will resolve a long-running investigation against him and avoid jail time.

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Republicans have decried the agreement reached with the US attorney in Delaware as a “sweetheart deal” for the president’s son, and continue their campaign to prove that he and Joe Biden are corrupt. In an unusual move, the New York Times reports that a top House Republican lawmaker filed a brief in the case that asks the judge to refuse the deal, arguing it is “tainted”.

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Here’s more from their story:

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n

On the eve of Hunter Biden’s court appearance to enter into a plea deal for misdemeanor tax crimes that would allow him to avoid prison time, House Republicans and conservative groups sought to intervene in the case, urging a judge to throw out the agreement he reached with prosecutors.

n

The highly unusual legal maneuvering — which experts said was unlikely to succeed — illustrated the lengths that House Republicans and their allied groups have been willing to go to as they have tried to use Mr. Biden’s legal and personal troubles to inflict political damage on his father, President Biden.

n

Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, filed a brief in Federal District Court in Wilmington, Del., where Hunter Biden’s plea deal is to be considered by a judge on Wednesday.

n

The committee has heard testimony from two Internal Revenue Service investigators who claim to be whistle-blowers and have told the panel that the younger Mr. Biden received preferential treatment from the Justice Department. Mr. Smith’s brief asked the judge to consider the testimony in deciding whether to approve the agreement.

n

Another brief was filed by the Heritage Foundation, the conservative research group, which has started an operation dedicated to aiding the Republican investigations into President Biden.

n

Hunter Biden’s lawyers tried to stop Mr. Smith from filing his brief, saying that he had no standing and that the materials included in the filing should be filed under seal because they contain confidential taxpayer information.

n

The judge overseeing the case, Maryellen Noreika, agreed to seal the filing, but not before The New York Times was able to obtain a copy. The brief argued that the plea deal was “tainted,” citing the testimony of the two I.R.S. officials.

n

“The situation here is not that the Justice Department exercised charging or plea negotiation discretion, but the presence of credible allegations that the investigation, charging decisions and plea negotiations were tainted by improper conduct at various levels of the government,” wrote Theodore A. Kittila, a lawyer who filed the brief on behalf of Mr. Smith.

n

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It will not be a friendly crowd that greets homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas when he appears before the House judiciary committee at 10am. The panel is dominated by Republicans who have made promises to improve border security and stop irregular migration a major part of their platform, and with the party openly mulling impeaching Mayorkas, expect the hearing to amount to a full-bore attack on his leadership by the GOP.

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Punchbowl News obtained part of Mayorkas’s opening statement, which indicates he’ll defend the Biden administration’s border policies in his appearance.

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Here’s what he’ll say:

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n

Our approach to managing the border securely and humanely, even within our fundamentally broken immigration system, is working. Unlawful entries between ports of entry along the southwest border have consistently decreased by more than half compared to the peak before the end of Title 42.

n

Under President Biden’s leadership, we have led the largest expansion of lawful, safe, and orderly pathways for people to seek humanitarian relief under our laws, at the same time imposing tougher consequences on those who instead resort to the ruthless smuggling organizations that prey on the most vulnerable.

n

We secured the first increase in Border Patrol Agent hiring in more than a decade and our campaign to disrupt and dismantle human smuggling networks has resulted in the arrest of nearly 14,000 smugglers.

n

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Good mornings, US politics blog readers. It’s become clear that Republicans controlling the House of Representatives want to impeach someone. The question is: who? While they may ultimately decide to bring charges against Joe Biden, another prime target is Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, who has been in the party’s crosshairs practically since he started the job over the situation at the US southern border. There has been an influx of irregular migrants ever since Biden took office for a variety of reasons, but Republicans have sought to pin the blame on Mayorkas, and gone as far as to threaten the rare step of impeaching the cabinet secretary.

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At 10am eastern time, Mayorkas will sit for what is expected to be a pretty rough hearing in front of the House judiciary committee. Expect the GOP to continue making its impeachment case, but you may also hear some Democrats express frustration with Mayorkas over the Biden’s administration’s hardline efforts to deter migration.

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Here’s what else is happening today:

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    n

  • Hunter Biden will appear in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware to plead guilty to tax-related charges as part of a deal with prosecutors to end a long-running investigation into his finances and conduct. Republicans have attacked the agreement as a “sweetheart deal”, and continue to try to prove that he and his father are corrupt.

  • n

  • UFOs or as the government calls them, UAPS, will be the subject of a House oversight subcommittee hearing beginning at 10 am eastern time.

  • n

  • The Federal Reserve is expected to later today decide to again increase interest rates, the latest sign that America’s battle against inflation is not over, despite substantial progress in recent months.

  • n

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Key events

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This blog has closed. Read more about the Hunter Biden story here:

Closing summary

Hunter Biden went to a federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware to formally accept an agreement with prosecutors, which was expected to resolve the long-running investigations into his conduct. But in a surprise move, the presiding judge turned down the deal and ordered the two parties to make changes, delaying the resolution of the case. It was also revealed that federal investigators are continuing a separate inquiry into his business activities – a fact welcomed by the GOP, which has been looking to prove that Joe Biden and his son are corrupt. Back in Washington DC, Republican lawmakers aggressively questioned homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who may soon be the target of impeachment, while elsewhere, lawmakers tried to determine if the US government has found evidence of aliens.

Here’s what else happened today:

  • Mayorkas defended his handling of the southern border from criticism by the GOP, saying his security strategy “is working”.

  • The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to their highest level in 22 years in their ongoing campaign to stop inflation.

  • Rudy Giuliani admitted that statements he made about two Georgia election workers alleging they perpetrated fraud in the 2020 election were false.

  • At the last minute, a top House Republican tried to derail the plea agreement federal prosecutors reached with Hunter Biden.

  • Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, briefly appeared unable to speak at a press conference. He had suffered a concussion in April.

As chair of the House oversight committee, James Comer has led the campaign of investigations into Joe Biden’s administration, and particularly his son Hunter Biden.

In a statement released after the surprise in today’s court hearing, which resulted in a federal judge rejecting, for now, a plea deal between Hunter and federal prosecutors, Comer said the agreement should be taken off the table for good:

Today District Judge Noreika did the right thing by refusing to rubberstamp Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal. But let’s be clear: Hunter’s sweetheart plea deal belongs in the trash. Last week we heard from two credible IRS whistleblowers about the Department of Justice’s politicization and misconduct in the Biden criminal investigation. Today, the Department of Justice revealed Hunter Biden is under investigation for being a foreign agent.

The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly has more on today’s developments in Hunter Biden’s long-running legal troubles:

Reporters on the scene shared more details about the health scare involving Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican.

CNN says an aide to the leader downplayed the difficulty he suddenly experienced in speaking to the press earlier today, nothing he later took their questions:

From a McConnell aide: “He felt light headed and stepped away for a moment. He came back to handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp.” https://t.co/MnuUzkpmLo

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 26, 2023n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1684271254700711950″,”id”:”1684271254700711950″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”25845df7-48aa-4095-a675-839de72fbfd2″}}”>

From a McConnell aide: “He felt light headed and stepped away for a moment. He came back to handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp.” https://t.co/MnuUzkpmLo

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 26, 2023

Senate Republican conference chair John Barrasso later said he was “concerned” about McConnell, but did not think his health was deteriorating:

Sen. Barrasso, who helped McConnell leave the podium after freezing up, tells reporters “I’ve been concerned since the first time he was injured a number of months ago, I continue to be concerned.” But he denies that McConnell’s condition is worsening.

“No new concerns,” he adds pic.twitter.com/gKRuYEBLxd

— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 26, 2023n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1684281596155686915″,”id”:”1684281596155686915″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”6d6a628f-fe14-4afc-bd66-339f26e8011c”}}”>

Sen. Barrasso, who helped McConnell leave the podium after freezing up, tells reporters “I’ve been concerned since the first time he was injured a number of months ago, I continue to be concerned.” But he denies that McConnell’s condition is worsening.

“No new concerns,” he adds pic.twitter.com/gKRuYEBLxd

— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 26, 2023

We have just passed hour five of homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s appearance before the House judiciary committee, where, as the Guardian’s Mary Yang and Joan E Greve report, Republican lawmakers have repeatedly made clear they believe he is failing at his job and should be impeached. Here is their rundown of the hearing so far:

Republican lawmakers grilled Alejandro Mayorkas, the embattled US secretary of homeland security, during a House judiciary committee oversight hearing on Wednesday.

Mayorkas, who has been the target of a GOP-led congressional investigation over his handling of the US-Mexico border, faced a series of tough questions regarding his tenure as head of the department, which broadly oversees US immigration and border policies. The hearing came as some House Republicans have threatened to impeach Mayorkas, the first Latino and immigrant to head the Department of Homeland Security, over his alleged mismanagement of the border.

Mayorkas offered a pre-emptive rebuttal to Republicans’ attacks in his opening statement, noting that unlawful crossings at the southern border have decreased by more than half compared with the peak before the end of the pandemic-era policy known as Title 42.

McConnell’s health under scrutiny after he stops speaking abruptly at press briefing

Richard Luscombe

The health of senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is back under scrutiny after an alarming moment during a Republican press conference this afternoon in which he abruptly stopped speaking and had to be led away.

Video of the incident was posted to Twitter by NBC congressional reporter Frank Thorp, who said the Kentucky senator, 81, “appeared to be unable to restart talking”.

Flag: McConnell just stopped abruptly during his opening statement during the gop leadership presser and appeared to be unable to restart talking. He then stepped away and walked away with Barrasso: pic.twitter.com/f1kFUjggzm

— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 26, 2023“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/frankthorp/status/1684262402664038405″,”id”:”1684262402664038405″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”c168f381-b570-4d9f-88d0-6f79720e0e64″}}”>

Flag: McConnell just stopped abruptly during his opening statement during the gop leadership presser and appeared to be unable to restart talking. He then stepped away and walked away with Barrasso: pic.twitter.com/f1kFUjggzm

— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 26, 2023

McConnell was hospitalized in April after suffering concussion when he tripped and fell during a private dinner at a hotel in Washington DC. In 2019, he tripped and fell at his home in Kentucky, suffering a shoulder fracture.

Thorp said that McConnell was led off by his friend and colleague John Barrasso, Republican senator for Wyoming, and later returned to watch the conclusion of the press conference.

Asked what had happened, McConnell reportedly said: “I’m fine”.

Fed raises interest by 0.25 percentage points to highest level in 22 years

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates to a 22-year high on Wednesday as it continued its fight against rising inflation, my colleague Dominic Rushe writes.

The decision to increase rates by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 5.25% to 5.5% comes after the Fed paused its rate-rising cycle last month.

US inflation has now declined for 12 straight months and is currently running at an annual rate of 3%, down from over 9% in June last year. The Fed has raised rates from near zero in an attempt to cool the economy and bring prices down.

The US economy has remained robust despite the 11 rate rises the Fed has now implemented – its most aggressive rate-rising cycle in 40 years. Hiring has slowed but remains strong and the unemployment rate is still close to a record low.

Read the full report here:

Republicans are very pleased that a federal judge rejected Hunter Biden’s plea deal today.

Here’s the view from an attorney for the GOP-controlled House committee that made a last-minute attempt to disrupt the deal:

Ted Kittila, attorney for GOP-led House Ways and Means Committee, reacts to Hunter Biden’s plea deal hearing:

“The court’s gonna take some time to review the plea agreement … [Judge Maryellen Noreika] did a very good job making sure this was a knowing and intelligible plea.” pic.twitter.com/tW14n3bark

— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2023n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1684258562694946816″,”id”:”1684258562694946816″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”aacca14a-6cea-41a9-80cd-90c1dcb0887a”}}”>

Ted Kittila, attorney for GOP-led House Ways and Means Committee, reacts to Hunter Biden’s plea deal hearing:

“The court’s gonna take some time to review the plea agreement … [Judge Maryellen Noreika] did a very good job making sure this was a knowing and intelligible plea.” pic.twitter.com/tW14n3bark

— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2023

The Biden administration has generally avoided the topic of Hunter Biden, and at her ongoing briefing to reporters, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre preempted all questions about the president’s son:

WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre preempts questions about Hunter Biden, after he pleaded not guilty to tax charges:

“I know many people have been following the news … For anything further … I’d refer you to the Department of Justice and to Hunter’s representatives.” pic.twitter.com/dAU4pMLpx4

— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2023n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1684259596666273809″,”id”:”1684259596666273809″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”8c2939e8-36f5-4cfe-babf-7485f84d1633″}}”>

WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre preempts questions about Hunter Biden, after he pleaded not guilty to tax charges:

“I know many people have been following the news … For anything further … I’d refer you to the Department of Justice and to Hunter’s representatives.” pic.twitter.com/dAU4pMLpx4

— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2023

What just happened with Hunter Biden’s plea deal?

The president’s son had been expected to formally agree with federal prosecutors on a resolution to two tax charges and one gun charge brought against him. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to the counts, after a judge raised issues with the deal.

Here’s the New York Times with an explanation of the surprise turn of events:

Judge Maryellen Noreika has delayed a decision on whether to accept the plea agreement between federal prosecutors and Hunter Biden — demanding that the two sides make changes in the deal clarifying her role and insert language that limits the broad immunity from prosecution offered to Biden on his business dealings. Biden’s lawyers estimated it would take about two weeks.

After a grueling three-hour hearing, Hunter Biden entered a plea of not guilty on the tax charges, which he will reverse if the two sides redo their agreement to the judge’s satisfaction.

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to tax, gun charges

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to federal tax and gun charges, after a plea deal that was intended to resolve the allegations fell apart in court, Reuters reports.

The plea came after the federal judge presiding over the hearing in Wilmington, Delaware said she needed more time to evaluate the deal reached by the president’s son with prosecutors. Prior to the hearing, Biden had agreed to admit guilt to the tax charges, and avoid the gun charge as long as he satisfied certain conditions as part of the deal with the government.

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