June 13, 2024 1:58 pm

Hunter Biden federal gun charges trial set for June

Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is due to start trial on 3 June on charges of illegally owning a handgun, a judge has said.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Biden lied about his drug use on application forms when he purchased the weapon in 2018.

He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the three federal counts.

On Wednesday, prosecutors told the judge their arguments will last around four days, while Mr Biden’s lawyers said their defence will take two days.

But his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told reporters that he expected the case to be dismissed before trial begins, according to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.

The gun charges, as well as separate tax charges, were brought against Mr Biden by special counsel David Weiss after a plea agreement fell apart.

Mr Biden was charged with two counts of making false statements and one count of illegal gun possession. The charges all relate to his purchase of a revolver at a Delaware gun store in October 2018, which he kept for around 11 days.

By Mr Biden’s own admission – published in a 2021 memoir – he was in the throes of a “full-blown addiction” at the time.

The trial is due to be held in Delaware, the state his father represented as a senator for over 35 years.

Two of the criminal counts against him, each punishable by up to 10 years, stem from the allegations that Mr Biden lied about his drug use on a form when he bought the gun. A third count, related to his possession of a firearm while a drug user, is punishable by up to five years.

Another criminal case – for tax crimes – is due to take place in California on 20 June.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress continue to investigate Hunter Biden, as well as the president’s brother, James Biden.

The tentative trial date was announced by the judge just hours after Mr Biden’s lawyers said he would decline to publicly testify before a House of Representatives committee.

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