Federal Appeals Court Rejects Hunter Biden’s Latest Attempt to Pause Gun Trial

The indictment against Mr. Biden includes three felony weapons charges.
Federal Appeals Court Rejects Hunter Biden’s Latest Attempt to Pause Gun Trial
Hunter Biden leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Del., on July 26, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Katabella Roberts
5/22/2024
Updated:
5/22/2024
0:00

A federal appeals court has struck down the latest attempt by lawyers for President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to put on hold an upcoming gun trial while he pursues an appeal.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied the younger Biden’s request on May 21 to pause the trial while his challenges to the prosecution play out.

The panel consists of Judge Patty Shwartz, who was nominated to the court by President Barack Obama; Cindy K. Chung, who was nominated by President Joe Biden; and D. Brooks Smith, a nominee of President George W. Bush.

The same panel previously rejected a separate attempt this month by lawyers for Mr. Biden to get the federal gun case against him thrown out.

Special counsel David Weiss has charged Hunter Biden with lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun in Delaware.

The indictment against Mr. Biden includes three felony weapons charges and states that he purchased and possessed the gun, a revolver, when he was using illicit drugs.

Initially, lawyers for the younger Biden reached a plea deal with the government under which he would have agreed to plead guilty to intentionally failing to pay federal income taxes.

Mr. Biden agreed to enter a pretrial diversion agreement on the firearm charge, an alternative to prosecution that allows defendants to get charges dismissed provided they meet certain criteria, in this case abstaining from alcohol and illegal drugs, submitting to random drug testing, and not possessing a firearm.

However, that deal subsequently fell through after U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika said she could not accept the deal linking tax crimes to resolving felony gun charges.

The younger Biden later pleaded not guilty to the three-count indictment and claims he’s being politically targeted.

Attorneys for the president’s son filed the latest motion seeking a delay in the felony gun trial on May 20.

In their motion, his lawyers raised legal questions related to their client’s connection to illicit drugs in the indictment and claimed the case violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment on firearm ownership, among other things.

They further argued that there is “no urgency in having an immediate trial” in Delaware but that the district court is “pressing forward with a June 3, 2024 trial and imposing all the pretrial burdens that come with that even before this Court has issued its mandate returning jurisdiction to the district court.”

Hunter on Trial in California Over Taxes

His lawyers also cited a scheduling conflict, noting the short time between the Delaware trial and the start of another trial in California, which is set to begin the same month.

In that case—which is also being brought by Mr. Weiss’ team and is scheduled to begin on June 20—the younger Biden is facing nine felony and misdemeanor charges after failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes for three years during a time when he was addicted to drugs.

Mr. Biden, who has acknowledged his past addiction to crack cocaine, also intentionally failed to file returns on time and included false deductions in one of them when he did file, prosecutors allege.

He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

As a result of the latest rejection, the federal gun trial will likely go ahead as planned on June 3 in Wilmington during his father’s reelection campaign.

The Epoch Times has contacted Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe David Lowell, for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.