Hunter Biden left a Delaware courthouse Tuesday morning after pleading not guilty to felony gun charges stemming from an application he submitted to purchase a firearm where he lied about his use of illegal drugs including crack cocaine.
The case, brought by Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, tests the Justice Department’s limits for prosecuting the son of President Joe Biden after multiple fiascos suggesting the handling of Hunter’s case was influenced by ham-handed interjections by top officials within the Biden administration. Weiss was recently granted special counsel powers following tremendous pressure on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to show that Hunter’s various legal entanglements were not being politically influenced.
In the latest case, Hunter is charged with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 for each offense, followed by three years of supervised release.
During the hearing, Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke agreed to let Hunter walk free so long as he sought employment, communicate travel plans, and refrain from using alcohol, illegal drugs, and firearms. He will be required to submit to random drug testing and enter a drug counseling program.
Burke gave both sides until November 3rd to file any additional motions in the case.
Abbe Lowell, the combative attorney representing Hunter, told Burke he expects to file a motion to dismiss based on a previous deal with prosecutors which collapsed under scrutiny but originally would have let Hunter avoid prosecution on gun charges in exchange for entering guilty pleas on misdemeanor tax fraud charges. Lowell said he believes the previous arrangement is still in effect legally, and he has also filed a countersuit against the government arguing the Biden administration has “embarrassed” his client.
The indictment of Hunter is the first to be brought since Weiss gained special counsel powers, a designation he was reportedly denied on his first request according to whistleblowers with the IRS. In his filings for the latest case, Weiss writes in disturbing detail how the embattled first son was high on drugs when he applied to own several high-power handguns.
“[O]n or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware, the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, in connection with the acquisition of a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver with serial number RA 551363…knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm…in that the defendant, Robert Hunter Biden, provided a written statement on Form 4473 certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.”
The indictment also states that “on or about October 12, 2018, through on or about October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, the defendant Robert Hunter Biden, knowing that he was an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance…did knowingly possess a firearm, that is, a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver with serial number RA 551363, said firearm having been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.”
The purchase, and denial of substance use, were made four years after Hunter was discharged from the U.S. Navy for cocaine use. The ouster became a public spectacle for then-Vice President Biden and led to major Democratic figures like California Mayor Gavin Newsom expressing their support for Hunter.
President Biden is “consumed” by the legal jeopardy facing his son, advisors say, and he has maintained close public contact with Hunter despite pleas to do otherwise. A majority of Americans believe President Biden was involved in overseas business activities conducted by Hunter which enriched the Biden family and ultimately led to some of the tax fraud charges he faces today.