Bad News for Hunter Biden As Judge Denies Motions to Dismiss Delaware Gun Case

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

First Son Hunter Biden struck out in Delaware District Court on Friday as Judge Maryellen Noreika denied his motions to dismiss the criminal gun charges against him. The disappointing (for Hunter) ruling came just two weeks after a California District Court denied his motions to dismiss tax evasion charges against him. 

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While the California case is set for trial on June 20, 2024, the Delaware case currently is set to begin trial on June 3, 2024, with a pre-trial conference now set for May 24, 2024. 

In orders issued Friday afternoon (which may be viewed below), Noreika denied Biden's motions to dismiss on the basis of claimed immunity pursuant to the pretrial diversion agreement, selective and vindictive prosecution, and that Special Counsel David Weiss was appointed in violation of Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations. 

Per the AP:

A federal judge in Delaware refused Friday to throw out a federal gun case against Hunter Biden, rejecting the president’s son’s claim that he is being prosecuted for political purposes as well as other arguments.

...

Norieka denied several defense requests to dismiss the case charging Biden with lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days.

His lawyers had argued the case was politically motivated and asserted that an immunity provision from an original plea deal that fell apart still holds. They had also challenged the appointment of Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel to lead the prosecution.

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(As a momentary aside, I found it mildly amusing that the AP felt compelled to note that Biden kept the gun "for about 11 days." While factually true, it reads as a subtle attempt to minimize the seriousness of the offense.)

Readers may recall that Biden was initially set to enter a guilty plea to two misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for no jail time and diversion on the felony gun charge. However, that "sweetheart deal" blew up in late July after Noreika questioned its propriety due to its unusual nature. 


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After the original plea deal was scuttled, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed US Attorney David Weiss as Special Prosecutor in the matter. In September, Weiss filed a three-count indictment against Biden (and later voluntarily dismissed the original gun charge). 

Counts I and II allege that Biden knowingly made a false written statement and certified same when he indicated he was not an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance in the process of obtaining the gun in question (a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver), in violation of Sections 922(a)(6) and 924(a)(2) (Count I) and 924(a)(1)(A) (Count II) of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. 

Count III alleges Biden knowingly possessed the gun, knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to a stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance, in violation of Sections 922(g)(3) and 924(a)(2) of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. 

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While Biden's legal team contends the prosecution is political, Noreika was not persuaded

Prosecutors countered the evidence against him was “overwhelming,” including cocaine residue found in the pouch where he stored his gun, and noted that charges had been filed during the presidency of his father, Joe Biden.

Norieka said in her ruling that Biden’s team provided “nothing concrete” to support a conclusion that anyone actually influenced the special counsel’s team.

“The pressure campaign from Congressional Republicans may have occurred around the time that Special Counsel decided to move forward with indictment instead of pretrial diversion, but the Court has been given nothing credible to suggest that the conduct of those lawmakers (or anyone else) had any impact on Special Counsel,” the judge wrote. “It is all speculation.”

So right now, it looks like Hunter Biden (and his lawyers) are set to have a busy June. 

Following are links to Friday's orders: 

  1. Memorandum Opinion Denying Motion to Dismiss Based on Immunity Purportedly Conferred by Pretrial Diversion Agreement
  2. Memorandum Opinion Denying Motion to Dismiss for Selective and Vindictive Prosecution 
  3. Memorandum Order Denying Motion to Dismiss on Basis That Special Counsel's Prosecution Violates the Appropriations Clause
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