Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to three federal firearms charges related to his alleged false statements about drug use on a gun purchase form in October 2018. The charges could lead to a trial in 2024, coinciding with his father’s reelection campaign. If convicted, Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison.
During the hearing, Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke asked Hunter Biden if he understood the charges, to which he responded affirmatively. Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, stated that they plan to file a motion challenging the constitutionality of the charges and seeking their dismissal.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys argue that the charges were politically motivated and a result of pressure from Republicans. They claim that the case against him is rare, as it involves a drug user accused of possessing firearms. An appeals court has previously found the underlying statute to violate the Second Amendment.
Earlier this summer, Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges and avoid prosecution on the gun charges if he stayed out of trouble for two years. However, the deal fell apart when the judge raised concerns about its terms. A special counsel has now been appointed to handle the case, and additional tax charges may be filed in Washington or California.
The legal proceedings surrounding Hunter Biden are expected to continue into 2024, with Republicans seeking to link his actions to his father’s through an impeachment inquiry. While questions have been raised about the ethics of the Biden family’s international business dealings, no evidence has emerged to prove any wrongdoing by Joe Biden.
Hunter Biden has recently taken a more aggressive legal stance, filing lawsuits over the dissemination of personal information from his laptop and tax data. Despite his request for a remote hearing, the judge ruled that the proceedings would not receive special treatment.
Hunter Biden left the courthouse after the hearing, and the deadline for pretrial motions in the case is set for November 3. The pretrial release conditions include abstaining from alcohol and drugs, undergoing drug testing or substance abuse counseling if necessary, and maintaining or seeking employment.