Published By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: October 03, 2023, 08:59 IST
Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)
Hunter Biden, US President Joe Biden’s son, will appear in a federal court in Delaware on Tuesday morning (local time) and will most likely plead not guilty to charges of illegally possessing a handgun.
Hunter faces three felony charges due to his purchase of a .38-calibre Colt Cobra revolver in 2018.
He also faces two counts of making false statements in forms required for the gun purchase. Hunter lies about not using drugs illegally while purchasing the guns.
He also faces a third charge, based on the same statements, that he illegally possessed the gun — which he had for only 11 days in October 2018 — before it was gotten rid of, according to a report by AFP.
Abbe Lowell, Hunter’s lawyer, told the court that his client plans to plead not guilty at Tuesday’s 10:00 am arraignment at a federal courthouse in Wilmington. Wilmington is the hometown of the Bidens.
There was an initial request made to the judge by Hunter’s legal team to allow him to attend the arraignment virtually but the request was denied.
“The defendant should not receive any special treatment in this matter,” Judge Christopher Burke wrote in his ruling.
Hunter chose to plead not guilty after a deal with federal prosecutor David Weiss, which would have erased the gun charges while Biden pleaded guilty to two tax charges and avoided prison, fell apart in July.
Weiss then filed three felony gun possession charges against Biden.
Biden could face 25 years in prison if convicted but the AFP report said that in practice such offences, if not accompanied by other charges, are seldom punished by any jail time.
Weiss said he is still probing Hunter Biden on possible tax charges. Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China while his father was vice president under Barack Obama have been a constant target of Republicans.
It has also led to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launching an impeachment investigation into the president based on these charges following demands from the far-right of the party.
Hunter is yet to be charged for any crimes related to his foreign business dealings and no evidence has emerged that points to his father being involved in anything illegal.
The Yale-trained lawyer and lobbyist-turned-artist Hunter Biden has suffered due to his alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction. Republicans are using his legal problems to threaten Biden’s reelection bid. The 80-year-old president has stood firmly by his only surviving son throughout his personal and legal struggles, saying in an interview earlier this year that Hunter has “done nothing wrong.”
“I trust him. I have faith in him,” Joe Biden said.