Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges Tuesday morning in the U.S. District Court of Delaware after being charged out of Special Counsel David Weiss’ years-long investigation.
The son of President Joe Biden appeared in court for his arraignment after being charged with making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a licensed federal firearms dealer, making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is addicted to or an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
Combining all counts, the maximum prison time for the charges could be up to 25 years. Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.
Biden pleaded not guilty to all three of the charges.
Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke presided over the hearing and laid out his conditions of release. The president’s son must communicate all international travel plans and seek employment. He is also prohibited from using drugs, alcohol is prohibited from possessing a firearm, and he must be drug tested randomly and participate in a substance abuse counseling program.
Burke said the conditions were “appropriate,” and the defense and government agreed.
He explained that the government and defense have a deadline of November 3, 2023, to file motions.
The defense attorney for Hunter Biden notified Burke that the defense plans to file a motion to dismiss because of the diversion agreement on the gun charges, which he believes is still in effect.
The diversion agreement was included as a part of the original plea deal that fell apart in July. Hunter Biden was set to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts of willfully failing to pay income tax, which would permit him to avoid jail on a felony gun charge. During his last court appearance, the deal fell apart. The president’s son was forced in July to plead not guilty to one felony gun charge and two misdemeanor tax charges when the deal collapsed.
The federal gun charges are Weiss’s first charges against Hunter since being given special counsel status in August by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Lowell also said the motion to dismiss by the defense would include an argument regarding the statutes’ constitutionality that, he said, has been discussed.
Additionally, Lowell added he will be requesting an evidentiary hearing.
Derek Hines and Leo Wise represented the government. Weiss wasn’t present.
Indictment says Hunter Biden gave false statements
According to the indictment, “on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware, the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver with serial number RA 551353…knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer concerning a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm…in that the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, provided a written statement on Form 4473 certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.”
The indictment states, “On or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware, the defendant Robert Hunter Biden, knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance…did knowingly possess a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver with serial number 551363, said firearm having been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.”
Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 when a firearm owned by Hunter Biden was thrown into a trash can outside a Delaware market.
A knowledgeable source of the October 23, 2018, police report said it indicated Hallie Biden, widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, and who was involved in a relationship with Hunter at the time, disposed of a gun owned by Hunter in a dumpster located behind a market near a school.
A firearm transaction report reviewed by Fox News indicated that the president’s son purchased a gun earlier that month.
Hunter answered ‘no’ on the firearm transaction report when asked if he was “an unlawful user of or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”
Hunter Biden was discharged 2014 from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine.
His lawyers, who initially requested the court appearance via video conference, signaled last month that he would plead not guilty to the charges. Judge Burke rejected Hunter’s request and said he should not receive special treatment.