Judge rejects Hunter Biden’s appeal on gun charges ahead of June trial

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, faces allegations he lied about his drug use during a 2018 gun purchase. On Thursday an appeals court denied a motion to have the charges against him dismissed  (REUTERS)
Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, faces allegations he lied about his drug use during a 2018 gun purchase. On Thursday an appeals court denied a motion to have the charges against him dismissed (REUTERS)
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Hunter Biden’s efforts to have gun charges against him thrown out have been rejected by a federal appeals court in Delaware.

The decision, made by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, cited “lack of appellate jurisdiction” and paves the way for a trial to begin next month. The president’s son faces allegations he lied about his drug use during a 2018 gun purchase.

“The defendant in this criminal case appealed three pretrial orders entered on April 12, 2024, denying his motions to dismiss the indictment,” the court document obtained by Fox News stated. “This appeal is dismissed because the defendant has not shown the District Court’s orders are appealable before final judgment.”

According to Thursday’s ruling by district judge Maryellen Norieka, the trial is set to begin on June 3.

Mr Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has suggested that he may ask the full Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit to rehear the appeal, according to CNN. “In reviewing the panel’s decision, we believe the issues involved are too important and further review of our request is appropriate,” Mr Lowell said, per the outlet.

The appeal by Hunter Biden’s team to have the gun charges against him thrown out was dismissed on Thursday, with judges citing ‘lack of appellate jurisdiction’ (AP)
The appeal by Hunter Biden’s team to have the gun charges against him thrown out was dismissed on Thursday, with judges citing ‘lack of appellate jurisdiction’ (AP)

Last month, judge Norieka dismissed a separate appeal by Mr Biden’s team, in which they had challenged both the case and the authority of special counsel David Weiss to bring it.

Mr Biden filed a number of challenges to the case, arguing he was still protected under an immunity agreement from a failed plea deal, as well as claiming that the prosecution was politically motivated, though these were dismissed.

“At best, [Hunter Biden] has generically alleged that individuals from the prior administration were or are targeting him (or his father) and therefore his prosecution here must be vindictive,” she judge Norieka wrote in an April ruling.

“The problem with this argument is that the charging decision at issue was made during this administration — by Special Counsel Weiss — at a time when the head of the Executive Branch prosecuting Defendant is Defendant’s father.”

Mr Biden’s defence team had argued last year that the president’s son was “selectively charged” and that the special counsel “buckled under political pressure” from GOP figures seeking political gain, including Donald Trump.

In January, Mr Weiss’s office called the Biden legal strategy “stunningly weak and wholly unsupported by facts and law,” comparing it to “a fiction designed for a Hollywood script.”

Also in April challenges to a nine-count tax case against Mr Biden were dismissed by a California judge.

In both the tax and gun cases, Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty.