Hunter Biden ordered to appear in person for arraignment next month

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A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Hunter Biden to appear in person for his arraignment next month on felony gun charges, denying his request to appear via video.

"Defendant should not receive special treatment in this matter," U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke wrote. "Any other defendant would be required to attend his or her initial appearance in person. So too here."

In his order, Burke scheduled the arraignment for the morning of Sept. 26. He later issued another order changing the arraignment to Oct. 3.

A lawyer for the president's son argued in a court filing Tuesday that Hunter Biden shouldn't have to appear in person, and that a virtual arraignment would help “minimize an unnecessary burden on government resources and the disruption to the courthouse and downtown areas when a person protected by the Secret Service flies across the country and then must be transported to and from a downtown location.”

Biden lives in California. The arraignment will take place at a federal courthouse in Delaware.

NBC News has reached out to one of Biden’s attorneys for comment on the judge’s order.

Biden lawyer Abbe Lowell said in Tuesday's filing that Biden would “enter a plea of not guilty, and there is no reason why he cannot utter those two words by video conference.”

Federal prosecutors had opposed Biden's request to appear by video. In a court filing, prosecutors from special counsel David Weiss's office had argued that Biden "should be treated no differently" than other criminal defendants.

They also noted that his first appearance on tax and gun charges in July "was anything but routine," a reference to a hearing what was expected to formalize a plea agreement between Biden and prosecutors that fell apart after the judge raised questions.

"Although the government anticipates this proceeding should be straightforward since the parties have not reached an agreement to resolve this matter, we believe an in-person proceeding may be more conducive to addressing any unforeseen issues that arise," prosecutors said.

In his Tuesday filing, Lowell said he was "not seeking any special treatment in making this request," and that he was "puzzled" by government's opposition.

In his ruling, Burke said he agreed with both sides that Biden should not get special treatment, and that "absent some unusual circumstance, he should be treated just as would any other defendant in our court."

Biden is facing three counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics.

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