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Hunter Biden seeks to avoid in-person court appearance on gun-related charges


Hunter Biden is asking not to appear in person at a court hearing on the gun-related criminal charges brought against him last week by prosecutors.

In a brief order issued to the court Monday evening, U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke said President Joe Biden’s son was seeking “to have the initial appearance on the indictment in this case by videoconference” and noted that prosecutors opposed the request. .

The order does not specify how the request was presented to the judge or when the appearance could take place. Burke ordered Biden’s lawyers to put their request in writing in a motion Tuesday and asked the government to respond in writing by Wednesday.

Biden’s lawyer and the special counsel’s spokesperson David Weiss did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden was indicted Thursday by a grand jury in federal court in Delaware on three counts related to possessing a firearm while consuming narcotics.

Two of the counts accuse Biden of falsely indicating on a federally mandated form that he was not using illegal drugs when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver in Delaware in October 2018. The act The indictment says Biden certified “that he was not an illegal drug user.” , and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, this statement was false and fictitious.

The third charge alleges that he possessed a firearm while using a narcotic.

Biden was first charged with a single gun charge in July as part of a plea deal that fell through last month. A joint filing with prosecutors in the original case, which cannot be used in the current case, says Biden possessed the gun for 11 days at a time when “he was regularly purchasing and using crack cocaine.” The gun was then “discarded in a trash can outside a supermarket in Greenville, Delaware,” the filing states.

Under the terms of the now-vacated plea deal, Biden would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for prosecutors’ recommendation of a probation sentence. In a separate agreement known as a diversion agreement, the felony gun charge would have been dropped in two years if Biden stayed out of trouble.

Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said last week that he plans to fight the charges, including arguing that they are not constitutional.

“We believe these charges are precluded by the agreement reached between prosecutors and Mr. Biden, the recent decisions of several federal courts that this law is unconstitutional and the facts that he did not violate this law, and we plan to demonstrate all of this. in court,” Lowell said.

Two of the counts in the new indictment carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, while the third carries a maximum sentence of five years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.