An Arkansas judge ordered Hunter Biden on Monday to personally show up in court in May to address questions about his laptop, including whether financial records on it belong to him.
Circuit Court judge Holly Meyer gave the order as part of Hunter Biden’s drawn-out custody battle with Lunden Alexis Roberts over their four-year-old daughter. It would be his first public appearance in the case—the Bidens have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the child’s existence, and Hunter denied that he was the father until a court-ordered DNA test proved otherwise.
"I want both of your clients at every hearing that I conduct," Meyer told the attorneys for Biden and Roberts during a virtual hearing on Monday. "I will no longer allow us to dismiss clients from these hearings, because it is interfering with the progress of this litigation which is taking way too long to get over simple points."
Meyer issued the order after Biden's attorney was unable to answer whether Biden owned the abandoned laptop that became a subject of controversy during the 2020 election. Financial records discovered on the laptop have become an issue in the custody dispute.
Hunter Biden's presence at the Arkansas court could create a political headache for the White House and the Biden family. He has reportedly gone to great lengths to avoid getting served with legal papers from Roberts.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Brent Langdon, asked the judge on Monday to block an expert witness from discussing the financial records on the laptop, saying "there has never been an acknowledgment" from Biden that the laptop belongs to him.
"Well let’s clear that issue up right now," said Meyer. "Is it your client’s laptop or not?"
Langdon said it was "not my client’s laptop as far as I know. He’s never accepted that that’s his laptop."
The judge responded that Biden and Roberts needed to show up to all future court dates so questions like this could be addressed. The next hearing will take place on May 1.
At the May hearing, the judge is expected to rule on outstanding motions, including a name change request from Roberts asking to change their daughter’s last name to "Biden." Biden has demanded that the court block the name change, claiming the move would be damaging to the child due to the "scorn in the community for the Biden name."
Family law attorney Peter M. Walzer told the Washington Free Beacon that Biden’s objection to the name change was "very uncommon" and unlikely to succeed in court.
"I’ve never seen a litigation where a father didn’t want the [child] to take his name," said Walzer. "This is pretty unique."
Walzer said Biden’s motion sounded like it was motivated by personal interest rather than concern for the child’s well-being.
"He doesn’t want the child to have his name because it’s embarrassing to him, [but he] couches his legal briefing in terms of the child’s interest," said Walzer. "From his paper’s it’s ‘all about me.’"
"From his papers, it’s ‘all about me.’"
Marshall H. Moore, an Arkansas-based custody attorney with Moore, Giles and Matteson, agreed.