Hunter Biden to plead not guilty to federal gun charges
Hunter Biden is expected to plead not guilty to federal gun charges, his lawyers said Tuesday in a letter to the judge presiding over the case. The attorneys also requested his initial court appearance take place 'by video.'
Biden was charged by Special Counsel David Weiss with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
'We write on behalf of our client, Robert Hunter Biden, in response to the Court’s Order issued on September 18, 2023, related to Mr. Biden’s initial appearance,' Biden attorney Abbe Lowell wrote in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge from the District of Delaware Christopher Burke. 'We respectfully request that the Court hold Mr. Biden’s initial appearance in this matter by video conference.'
'Mr. Biden also will enter a plea of not guilty, and there is no reason why he cannot utter those two words by video conference,' Lowell continued. 'In short, Mr. Biden is satisfied that his constitutional rights will be met by conducting his initial appearance by video conference.'
Lowell added that Biden 'is not seeking any special treatment in making this request.'
'He has attended and will attend any proceedings in which his physical appearance is required,' he said.
Lowell said that since his first court appearance in July, when his initial plea deal collapsed and he was forced to plead 'not guilty' to two misdemeanor tax charges, Biden 'has scrupulously complied with his conditions since returning home to California (D.E. 15), and it is his expectation that those conditions will remain in place until the Court orders otherwise.'
Lowell also added that Biden is seeking a video appearance 'to minimize an unnecessary burden on government resources and the disruption to the courthouse and downtown areas when a person protected by the Secret Service flies across the country and then must be transported to and from a downtown location.
The federal gun charges are the first charges Weiss has brought against the first son since being granted special counsel status.
'Hunter Biden possessing an unloaded gun for 11 day [sic] was not a threat to public safety, but a prosecutor, with all the power imaginable, bending to political pressure presents a grave threat to our system of justice,' Lowell continued. 'We believe these charges are barred by the agreement the prosecutors made with Mr. Biden, the recent rulings by several federal courts that this statute is unconstitutional, and the facts that he did not violate that law, and we plan to demonstrate all of that in court.'
Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018, when a gun owned by Hunter Biden was thrown into a trash can outside a market in Delaware.
A source with knowledge of the Oct. 23, 2018, police report told Fox News that it indicated that Hallie Biden, who is the widow of President Biden's late son, Beau, and who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, threw a gun owned by Hunter in a dumpster behind a market near a school.
A firearm transaction report reviewed by Fox News indicated that Hunter Biden purchased a gun earlier that month.
On the firearm transaction report, Hunter Biden answered in the negative when asked if he was 'an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.'
Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.
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