Hunter Biden Plans to Plead Not Guilty

He asks to enter plea on federal firearms charges by video conference
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2023 12:50 PM CDT
Updated Sep 19, 2023 5:42 PM CDT
Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges
President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden arrive at Fort McNair, Sunday, June 25, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
UPDATE Sep 19, 2023 5:42 PM CDT

Hunter Biden will plead not guilty to federal firearms charges filed after the collapse of a plea deal in a long-running federal investigation, his lawyers said Tuesday in court documents. The president's son is accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm in October 2018. He is asking to enter the plea remotely via video conference, saying that would avoid the costs of Secret Service protection as he travels from his home in California to Delaware, as well as the cost of extra security at the Wilmington courthouse, the AP reports. Prosecutors are expected to oppose that request. Biden "will enter a plea of not guilty, and there is no reason why he cannot utter those two words by video conference," attorney Abbe Lowell said, per CNN.

Sep 14, 2023 12:50 PM CDT

Hunter Biden was indicted Thursday on federal firearms charges, the latest and weightiest step yet in a long-running investigation into the president's son, per the AP. Biden is accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm in October 2018, a period when he has acknowledged struggling with addiction to crack cocaine, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Delaware. As the Washington Post notes, the development raises the possibility that Biden will be on criminal trial as his father runs for re-election. Hunter Biden also has been under investigation for his business dealings, and the special counsel overseeing the case has indicated that charges of failure to pay taxes on time could be filed in Washington or in California, where he lives.

The indictment comes as congressional Republicans pursue an impeachment inquiry into the Democratic president, in large part over Hunter Biden's business dealings. Republicans have obtained testimony about how Hunter Biden used the "Biden brand" to drum up work overseas, but they have not produced hard evidence of wrongdoing by the president. A gun possession charge against Hunter Biden, 53, had previously been part of a plea deal that also included guilty pleas to misdemeanor tax charges, but the agreement imploded during a court hearing in July when a judge raised questions about its unusual provisions—which were derided by Republicans as part of a "sweetheart deal."

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  • The alleged crime: Thursday's three-count indictment says Hunter Biden lied on a form required for every gun purchase when he bought a Colt Cobra Special at a Wilmington, Delaware, gun shop in October 2018. He's charged with two counts of making false statements by checking a box falsely saying he was not a user of or addicted to drugs and of illegally possessing the gun as a drug user and a third count for possessing the gun as a drug user. Two counts are punishable by up to 10 years in prison while the third carries up to five years in prison, upon conviction.
(More Hunter Biden stories.)

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