U.S. News

Actions

Judge rejects Hunter Biden's bid to delay his June trial on federal gun charges

President Joe Biden’s son is accused of lying about his drug use in 2018 on a form to buy a gun he kept for about 11 days.
Hunter Biden departs after a closed door private deposition with House committees
Posted at 4:51 PM, May 14, 2024

Hunter Biden's federal gun case will go to trial next month, a judge said Tuesday, denying a bid by lawyers for the president's son to delay the prosecution.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected Hunter Biden's request to push the trial in Delaware until September, which the defense said was necessary to line up witnesses and go through evidence handed over by prosecutors. The judge said she believes "everyone can get done what needs to get done” by the trial's start date of June 3.

President Joe Biden’s son is accused of lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days. He has pleaded not guilty and acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period in 2018, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law.

He's separately charged in a tax case in California that's tentatively scheduled to go to trial in late June.

Special Counsel David Weiss' team plans to show jurors in the gun case portions of his 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things,” in which he detailed his struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse following the 2015 death of his older brother, Beau, who succumbed to brain cancer at age 46, according to court papers filed Tuesday. Hunter Biden has said he has been sober since 2019.

Hunter Biden lawyer Abbe Lowell told the judge that many experts the defense has approached have been reluctant to testify in the case, citing the media attention. Prosecutor Derek Hines pushed back on the suggestion that the media attention was to blame.

“It’s written in his memoir, he was in active addiction,” Hines said. “ I don’t know what expert they can find who will say he wasn’t. I think that’s the issue they’re having.”

Lowell said he wasn’t trying to find an expert to refute Biden’s addiction struggles but to discuss the ability for someone to recognize in the moment they are an addict.

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden.

Politics

Judge denies Hunter Biden appeal to dismiss firearms case

Scripps News Staff
10:58 PM, May 09, 2024

The defense has argued that prosecutors bowed to pressure from Republicans, who claimed the Democratic president’s son was initially given a sweetheart deal, and that he was indicted because of political pressure.

But Noreika, who was nominated to the bench by former President Donald Trump, last month rejected his claim that the prosecution is politically motivated along with other efforts to dismiss the case. A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week said the case could move forward to trial, though Hunter Biden's lawyer said Tuesday that they would continue to press his appeal.

He was supposed to plead guilty last year to misdemeanor tax charges and would have avoided prosecution on the gun charges had he stayed out of trouble for two years. It was the culmination of a yearslong investigation by federal prosecutors into the business dealings of the president’s son, and the agreement would have dispensed with criminal proceedings and spared the Bidens weeks of headlines as the 2024 election loomed.

But the deal broke down after the judge who was supposed to sign off on the agreement instead raised a series of questions about it.

Hunter Biden was indicted on three gun firearms charges in Delaware and was charged separately in California, where he lives, with tax crimes.

He's charged in the Delaware case with two counts of making false statements, first for checking a box falsely saying he was not addicted to drugs and second for giving it to the shop for its federally required records. A third count alleges he possessed the gun for about 11 days despite knowing he was a drug user.

In California, he's charged with three felonies and six misdemeanors over at least $1.4 million in taxes he owed between 2016 and 2019. Prosecutors have accused him of spending millions of dollars on an “extravagant lifestyle” instead of paying his taxes. The back taxes have since been paid.