Hunter Biden Requests Gun Trial Do-Over, Citing Appeal Process Irregularities

Mr. Biden’s lawyers say there has yet to be an official order from the appeals court, meaning the trial should not have proceeded.
Hunter Biden Requests Gun Trial Do-Over, Citing Appeal Process Irregularities
Hunter Biden departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Del., on June 3, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek
Updated:
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Attorneys for Hunter Biden have filed a motion requesting a new trial in the illegal gun possession case for which he was just found guilty of three felony charges.

Mr. Biden’s lawyers said in the June 24 filing that he’s requesting a new trial on all three counts because the court empaneled the jury and began the trial on June 3 without having the proper jurisdiction due to the fact that a federal appeals court hadn’t given the trial court a formal green light to proceed even though it had dismissed several of Mr. Biden’s appeals.

Mr. Biden filed two appeals to the Third Circuit, one on April 17 and the other on May 20, asking the court to stop the trial.

The Third Circuit appeals court dismissed the first appeal on May 9 but didn’t finalize its decision immediately because it was still considering Mr. Biden’s request for a rehearing. The court then dismissed the second appeal on May 28 and on May 31, denied the rehearing request for the first appeal. However, it did not issue a final mandate, or official order, for either dismissal.

Mr. Biden’s attorneys argued that because the appeals court hadn’t issued final mandates on the two appeals, the lower trial court did not have the proper authority to empanel the jury and start the trial.

“Naturally, any district court action taken after it has been divested of jurisdiction by an appeal must be vacated,” Mr. Biden’s attorneys wrote in their motion, which was filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

The lawyers cited the case of United States v. DeFries, in which a higher court vacated a conviction on a count that was under appeal when that trial began.

A jury in Wilmington, Delaware, found Mr. Biden guilty on June 11 of lying on a background screening form when purchasing a handgun in October 2018 and then illegally possessing the firearm for 11 days.

Mr. Biden has denied wrongdoing, and his lawyers have said he will appeal the conviction.

The judge has not yet set a date for sentencing.

Two of the felony charges against Mr. Biden relate to allegations that he “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement” and “intended and [was] likely to deceive” a gun dealer when he sought to buy a Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018.

The third count related to his possession of the revolver while using and being addicted to drugs. All three counts were in violation of sections of Title 18 of the U.S. Code.

The two most serious charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. All told, Mr. Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, although first-time offenders typically receive less than the maximum sentence.

Before the case went to trial, Mr. Biden agreed with prosecutors to enter a diversion agreement for the gun charge, which would have averted a criminal trial and allowed him to avoid prison time in exchange for certain conditions. However, that deal fell apart.

President Biden said on June 13 that he accepts the jury’s guilty verdict for his son, and won’t pardon or commute his son’s sentence.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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