September 22, 2023

Hunter Biden’s attorney sends Trump a cease and desist letter over social media attacks

Hunter Biden’s attorney sent Donald Trump’s legal team a cease and desist letter Thursday, accusing the former president of repeatedly defaming President Joe Biden’s son on social media.

“I am sending you this letter to demand that your client, former President Donald Trump, stop making public statements about my client that are both defamatory and likely to incite Mr. Trump’s followers to take action against Mr. Biden and which could lead to his or his family’s injury,” Abbe Lowell, Biden’s attorney, wrote in the letter.

The letter was first reported by ABC News. A Trump attorney did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment. Lowell’s office declined to comment.

The letter, addressed to four of Trump’s attorneys, accuses the former president of invoking Biden’s name on social media to “harass and incite his followers on an almost daily basis since Trump himself was impeached.”

Lowell said Trump’s messages amount to “thinly veiled calls to action for his easily activated followers.”

He cited a July post on Trump’s Truth Social platform in which the former president wrote that David Weiss, the district attorney investigating Hunter Biden, “never had the courage” to prosecute Biden, saying that he ” issued a traffic fine instead of a death penalty”. sentence.”

“We have seen that what might pass for such an expression when uttered by rational people is seen by too many people in this country as a terrible injustice that requires them to take physical and violent action,” he wrote, citing to high-profile events of political violence. violence, including the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in October.

That attack, along with other high-profile examples of political violence, typify the real-world implications of Trump’s rhetoric, Lowell argued.

“We are just one such social media post away from another incident, and you need to make it clear to Mr. Trump — if you haven’t already — that Mr. Trump’s words have caused harm in the past and threaten to do so again to do if he doesn’t stop,” he wrote.

In June, Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Delaware, announced a plea deal with Hunter Biden, who is expected to plead guilty to two federal felonies for failing to pay his taxes. Biden also faces a separate gun possession charge that will likely be dismissed if he meets certain conditions, according to court documents filed last month.

Under a provision of the agreement, the U.S. attorney has agreed to recommend Biden probation for his tax violations, two sources familiar with the matter previously told NBC News. Legal experts told NBC News that the tax and gun charges are unlikely to result in jail time for President Biden’s son.

Trump and a cadre of his Republican allies have repeatedly tried to juxtapose Biden’s case with the former president’s legal headwinds. They argue that a plea deal that results in misconduct and not jail time smacks of preferential treatment for a powerful family.

Legal experts say things are fundamentally different. Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor and an NBC News legal analyst, told MSNBC last month that the deal Hunter Biden struck was a decent result for the president’s son, but not the “sweetheart deal” that Trump and his allies have closed. are.

Lowell said in his letter that he is “a little surprised to have to send this letter because it seems Mr. Trump is facing enough legal trouble right now.”

“I am writing to end this,” he wrote. “I hope you will talk to Mr. Trump in private and explain to him how his incitement could further hurt people and cause himself even more legal trouble.”

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