Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Christopher J. Clark, filed a request to withdraw from his client’s case on Tuesday after a failed plea and diversion agreement. Clark, a partner at Clark Smith Villazor LLP and former assistant U.S. attorney, filed the motion to withdraw from representing Hunter Biden, citing his position as a witness in the guilty plea and diversion agreement negotiations with DOJ prosecutors.
Clark said that Hunter Biden had other councils that would be taking over. Attorneys also expressed concern that the Hunter Biden laptop had been authenticated.
Clark has raised concerns about becoming a witness in the case, which could create a conflict under the ‘witness-advocate’ rule. As he is involved in negotiating and drafting the plea and diversion agreements, it has become inadvisable for him to continue in his role as counsel.
Clark, who has represented high-profile clients like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban, was involved in the July court appearance where the guilty plea and diversion agreement fell apart. The disagreement occurred between Clark and DOJ prosecutor Leo Wise over an immunity provision in Biden’s diversion agreement. While Clark disagreed, Wise stated that Hunter Biden could still be charged under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
As a result, Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to two tax misdemeanor charges, with his legal team later stating that the diversion agreement remains “valid and binding.” The DOJ has indicated that the case may proceed to trial and has requested to move the tax charges to D.C. or the Southern District of California.
Abbe Lowell has also been added as counsel for Hunter Biden, appearing on CBS News and CNN to defend his client. Clark was also involved in the late July court proceedings when the agreement fell through.
Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the lead prosecutor in the case, was appointed special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday.
This appointment has drawn criticism from Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee, based on testimony given by FBI and Income tax whistleblowers showing that DOJ prosecutors may have hindered the Biden investigation with Weiss slowing down the Hunter Biden investigation.