Hunter Biden Pleads Not Guilty to Gun Charges as He Presses Forward With ‘Invasion of Privacy’ Lawsuits Against His Critics
One defense attorney who recently represented a client who pleaded guilty to similar charges tells the Sun that it is unlikely the first son would face prison time given that he has no criminal record.
Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to three charges related to his 2018 purchase of a firearm while addicted to drugs and alcohol — charges to which he had previously tried to plead guilty in a “sweetheart plea deal” that collapsed. The criminal trial comes as Mr. Biden has launched multiple lawsuits against those who disclosed the contents of his infamous laptop as well as details about his tax affairs. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers are preparing to hear public testimony from his business partner in the next impeachment hearing targeting President Biden.
The first son appeared before a federal magistrate judge, Christopher Burke, at Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday morning to enter his plea. As a magistrate, Judge Burke will not preside over Mr. Biden’s criminal trial. Rather, that honor will go to Judge Maryellen Noreika, who in July killed a plea agreement Mr. Biden had made with prosecutors that Speaker McCarthy had derided as “a sweetheart deal.”
The three charges stem from his 2018 purchase of a .38 Colt Cobra Special handgun, which Mr. Biden owned for 12 days before his girlfriend at the time, Hallie Biden, who was also his brother’s widow, found the gun in his truck and threw it into a garbage bin next to a high-end grocery store at Wilmington.
Counts one and two of the indictment say Mr. Biden fils “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement” about his substance abuse problems on a Form 4473 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. If found guilty, Mr. Biden could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The third count states that he knowingly used a firearm while addicted to a controlled substance.
One defense attorney who recently represented a client who pleaded guilty to similar charges tells the Sun that it is unlikely the first son would face prison time given that he has no criminal record. Mr. Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Special Counsel David Weiss, who has been investigating the first son since 2018 and is now leading the prosecution of Mr. Biden, had previously tried to broker the doomed plea deal that would have allowed Mr. Biden to enter a pre-trial diversion program for the gun violations while also pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges, thus avoiding time in federal prison.
At a hearing on July 26, Judge Noreika said that while she sympathized with Mr. Biden’s desire to end this matter expeditiously, she could not accept the deal because his defense attorneys and prosecutors were not in agreement about whether the first son was immune from future prosecutions. Mr. Weiss’s office had previously said his investigation of Mr. Biden was “ongoing.”
GOP lawmakers have pressed for Mr. Biden to be investigated for bribery, violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and other alleged crimes linked to his lucrative business dealings with foreign business entities seeking access to his father.
Mr. Biden, in a sign of the vicious public relations battle to come, has also launched civil lawsuits against multiple individuals and the Internal Revenue Service. The first son is suing a Delaware laptop repairman, John Paul Mac Isaac, who gave the contents of his infamous computer to Mayor Giuliani, whom Mr. Biden is also suing. Both men are being sued for invasion of privacy, among other allegations.
Mr. Biden is also suing — also for invasion of privacy — a former Trump administration staffer, Garrett Ziegler, who has published online a vast database of contents from the laptop, including highly personal emails and obscene photos of Mr. Biden and women who appear to be prostitutes. The first son has also launched a lawsuit against the IRS, saying the agency illegally disclosed tax information to Congress.
All of this comes as the younger Mr. Biden sits at the center of the impeachment inquiry that has been launched against his father.
Before the end of October, the House Oversight Committee — which is leading the impeachment drive — will hear testimony from the first son’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski. Mr. Bobulinski’s appearance was first reported by Time Magazine.
Mr. Bobulinski first made headlines just weeks before the 2020 presidential election when he accused the elder Mr. Biden of lying about not being involved in his son’s business affairs. Mr. Bobulinski claims he met with the president in 2017 regarding a deal with Communist China involving the first son.
Another former business partner of Mr. Biden, Devon Archer, has already spoken to the committee behind closed doors and could appear again. A third associate, Eric Schwerin, has already been contacted by the committee, which is seeking information about his ties to the Biden family.
The chairman of the Oversight Committee, Congressman James Comer, led the first impeachment inquiry hearing into the president on September 28, during which committee members heard testimony from legal, financial, and tax experts — none of whom had direct information about the Biden family’s alleged crimes but gave their insights into what bribery and tax avoidance charges could look like.