According to a court order filed on Friday, a federal judge instructed parties involved in the case against Hunter Biden to address any problems or queries directly to her and not the clerk's office.
U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika stated that she issued the demand in light of "apparent misrepresentations," as The Washington Examiner reported.
Those misrepresentations were allegedly made by Hunter Biden's legal team this week, as well as the release of a clerical employee's email by an attorney for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO).
"I have already discussed my concerns about apparent misrepresentations made to a member of this Court’s Clerk’s Office," Noreika wrote. "In addition to that, in a submission addressing those apparent misrepresentations ... counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee needlessly included on the public docket an email from a Clerk’s Office staff member that contained her personal contact information."
She praised the work of the clerk's office staff and then added, "I will not tolerate or countenance them being ill-used, disrespected, or lied to."
Attorney for Smith Theodore Kittila alleged on Tuesday, one day before Hunter Biden's plea hearing, that a representative for President Joe Biden's son contacted the clerk's office and pretended to be a member of Smith's legal team.
Kittila asserted that the representative, attorney Jessica Bengels of Hunter Biden's firm Latham and Watkins, urged the clerk to remove allegedly sensitive documents pertaining to the younger Biden from the court docket.
Smith had submitted an amicus brief prior to the hearing, urging Noreika to consider the whistleblower testimony he had heard from two IRS criminal investigators in May, who claimed Hunter Biden had received preferential treatment in his case.
The amicus brief contained now-sealed documents that the younger Biden's legal team attempted to conceal from the public proceedings through a phone call to the clerk and a subsequent motion to seal.
Noreika stated that the court deemed Kittila's claim about misrepresentations to be credible after conducting an investigation.
Bengels reportedly "represented that she worked with Mr. Kittila and requested the amicus materials be taken down because they contained sensitive grand jury, taxpayer and Social Security information
"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 wrote on the eve of the plea hearing.
She then instructed Hunter Biden's legal team to promptly submit to the court any arguments why they should not be punished for the alleged lie.
In a response, his attorneys categorically denied Kittila's allegation, stating that it "appeared to stem from an unfortunate and unintentional miscommunication between a member of our staff and Court employees."
The following day, the plea agreement between Hunter Biden and U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware unexpectedly fell through due to Noreika's concerns regarding provisions of the agreement that could have precluded the younger Biden from facing future charges.
She did not address the incident involving Bengels from the previous day during the hearing, but she ordered Smith to submit any objections to the motion by Monday in response to a motion to seal from Hunter Biden's attorneys.
Kittila and Hunter Biden's attorney Chris Clark did not respond to a request for comment.