Hunter Biden Makes Last Ditch Appeal to Delay Trial on Gun Charges

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Hunter Biden is running short on both time and money when it comes to his looming federal trial for allegedly lying about his drug use when he purchased a revolver from a Delaware gun store in 2018. U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika has scheduled the trial to start on June 3rd, while POLITICO has reported that Biden's financial lifeline is tapped out and unable (or unwilling) to advance him any more money to pay for his legal bills. 


For the moment, at least, Biden's legal team remains intact, and on Monday they launched a long-shot bid to delay his trial or have his charges thrown out altogether. 

His lawyers on Monday asked a federal appeals court to rehear his bid to throw out the indictment. A three-judge panel unanimously rejected his appeal earlier this month, but he’s now asking for the full 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case.

Biden’s legal team also asked the 3rd Circuit to immediately and indefinitely pause any trial proceedings while they consider his new appeal petitions.

“There is no urgency in having an immediate trial of Robert Hunter Biden, but the district court is pressing forward with a June 3, 2024 trial and imposing all the pretrial burdens that come with that,” Biden’s lawyers wrote in the filing.

The special counsel prosecutors who charged Biden claim he illegally purchased and possessed a revolver in 2018, which allegedly violated federal law because he was using illicit drugs at the time. He has pleaded not guilty to all three felony counts. He is also challenging the constitutionality of the gun statute at the heart of the case, and has alleged that the charges were politically motivated.

I don't think it's likely that the Third Circuit acting en banc will override the panel's earlier decision. While Biden is arguing that the statute barring unlawful users of drugs from possessing firearms is unconstitutional, the three-judge panel and Noreika have both said that is an argument that can be made on appeal if he's convicted. It's not an issue that needs to be resolved before a trial takes place. 


His argument that the charges are politically motivated are completely specious, at least from the court's perspective. It's an argument that's better suited to a jury than the judges on the Third Circuit, and I highly doubt it's going to be persuasive for the full Third Circuit, which might not even grant Biden's attempt at an en banc review. 

At this point, Hunter Biden better buckle up and prepare for impact, because I don't think the Third Circuit is going to save him. The best opportunity to avoid a trial is to take a plea deal, but there's been no sign that prosecutor David Weiss has even tendered an offer to Biden. The evidence against Biden is strong, and the prosecution has a far stronger hand to play than Biden or his defense team. I'd be surprised if Weiss didn't put some kind of deal on the table before June 3rd, but whether or not it would involve Biden serving some prison time remains to be seen. 

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