Judge Shoots Down Hunter Biden’s Bid To Avoid Facing Gun Charges in Person

September 21, 2023

President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden will appear on Oct. 3 in a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, to face gun charges, a judge ordered on Wednesday, in the first-ever prosecution of a sitting U.S. president's child.

Hunter Biden, 53, was indicted last week for allegedly lying on a form to acquire a handgun in 2018 and for being an illegal drug user in possession of the gun. His lawyer has said he plans to plead not guilty.

Hunter Biden sought to avoid traveling to Delaware to appear for the hearing in person, arguing it would pose logistical challenges, but U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected his request to appear by video.

U.S. Special Counsel David Weiss, who is prosecuting the case and has conducted a wide-ranging investigation of Hunter Biden, opposed allowing Biden to appear by video for the routine proceeding. Weiss said an in-person hearing would promote the "public's confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants."

Noreika earlier on Wednesday had scheduled the hearing for Sept. 26, but moved the date to Oct. 3 following a request by Biden's lawyers, according to an order from the judge.

The hearing was set on the same day U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before a Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives committee, where he faced hours of questioning about the Justice Department's handling of the Hunter Biden investigation.

The younger Biden was set to enroll in a program to avoid prosecution on a gun charge as part of a broader plea deal, but the agreement collapsed last month under questioning from the judge.

The trial means that the United States will likely face the unprecedented spectacle of a sitting president's child facing a criminal trial while his father campaigns for re-election. Former president Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination to face President Biden in the 2024 election, also faces four upcoming criminal trials of his own.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward in Washington and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; editing by Rami Ayyub, Scott Malone and Will Dunham)

Published under: Hunter Biden