Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is scheduled to appear in a federal court in Wilmington on Tuesday to plead not guilty to firearms charges. He was indicted earlier this month on felony gun charges following a lengthy investigation by federal prosecutors in Delaware.
The charges stem from allegations that Hunter Biden deceived a firearms dealer in New Castle County when he purchased a .38-caliber revolver in 2018. Prosecutors claim that Biden lied on federal forms by denying that he was addicted to narcotics, while he has acknowledged his addiction at the time.
If convicted, the charges carry a potential sentence of 25 years in prison, although as a first-time offender, Hunter Biden would likely not receive such a harsh sentence. His attorney has criticized the charges as illegitimate and stated that Biden will plead not guilty, potentially setting the stage for a future criminal trial in Delaware.
The purpose of Tuesday’s hearing is for the judge to ensure that Hunter Biden understands his rights and the charges against him, allow him to enter a plea, and determine the terms of his pretrial release. The hearing is expected to proceed quickly, although the defense had initially requested that Biden be allowed to attend via video conference.
Hunter Biden’s recent court appearance in Delaware was in July, where a deal with federal prosecutors fell apart. The plan was for Biden to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter a diversion agreement to avoid prosecution on the gun charges, but the deal unraveled due to differing positions between defense attorneys and prosecutors.
Since then, federal prosecutors have dismissed the tax charges and indicated their intention to refile them in either California or Washington, D.C. They have also stated that the gun diversion agreement is no longer valid, while Hunter Biden’s attorneys maintain that it is still in effect.
The situation puts Hunter Biden on track for a potential criminal trial in Delaware, while his father campaigns for reelection. Defense attorneys are likely to seek to have the charges thrown out before a trial takes place, arguing that the charges are a result of political pressure and that previous agreements and recent court rulings invalidate the charges.
In addition to the firearms charges, Hunter Biden’s finances are also the subject of a congressional inquiry by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as several lawsuits related to his laptop. Most recently, he sued Rudy Giuliani, alleging that the former campaign attorney for Donald Trump illegally copied, manipulated, and distributed his private records.
Overall, the upcoming court appearance of Hunter Biden has garnered significant attention, with national reporters expected to be present at the hearing. The outcome of this case could have implications for the Biden family and the political landscape as a whole.