Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 77° Today's Paper


Top News

Judge rejects defense efforts to dismiss Hunter Biden’s gun case

ASSOCIATED PRESS / MARCH 29
                                First lady Jill Biden waves as she walks with Hunter Biden, to board Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport, last month in New York.
1/1
Swipe or click to see more

ASSOCIATED PRESS / MARCH 29

First lady Jill Biden waves as she walks with Hunter Biden, to board Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport, last month in New York.

WASHINGTON >> A federal judge in Delaware refused today to throw out a federal gun case against Hunter Biden, rejecting the president’s son’s claim that he is being prosecuted for political purposes as well as other arguments.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika denied defense efforts to scuttle the prosecution charging Hunter Biden with lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers had argued the case was politically motivated and asserted that an immunity provision from an original plea deal that fell apart still holds. They had also challenged the appointment of special counsel David Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware, to lead the prosecution.

Noreika, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump, has not yet ruled on a challenge to the constitutionality of the gun charges.

Hunter Biden faces separate tax counts in Los Angeles alleging he failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over three years while living an “extravagant lifestyle,” during his days of using drugs. The judge overseeing that case refused to dismiss the charges earlier this month.

Biden has pleaded not guilty in both cases. A representative for his legal team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment today.

The president’s son has acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period in 2018, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law and another nonviolent, first-time offender would not have been charged.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell had argued Hunter Biden was “selectively charged” for improper political purposes. They argued that Weiss “buckled under political pressure” to indict the president’s son amid criticism of the plea deal from Trump and other Republicans.

Norieka said in her ruling that Biden’s team provided “nothing concrete” to support a conclusion that anyone actually influenced the special counsel’s team.

“The pressure campaign from Congressional Republicans may have occurred around the time that Special Counsel decided to move forward with indictment instead of pretrial diversion, but the Court has been given nothing credible to suggest that the conduct of those lawmakers (or anyone else) had any impact on Special Counsel,” the judge wrote. “It is all speculation.”

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines. Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.