Hunter Biden plans to plead not guilty to three federal gun charges in an initial court appearance and is asking that the hearing be held via video conference instead of appearing in federal court in Wilmington, Del. , his lawyer said in a filing Tuesday.
Mr. Biden, 53, was indicted last week by David C. Weiss, the special prosecutor in the case, on two charges that he lied about his drug use to buy a handgun in 2018 and for a charge of illegal possession of the weapon, which he had had for less than two weeks.
The not guilty plea was expected. The decision to file charges against Mr. Biden, the embattled president’s younger son, came after a failed plea deal in July that would have resolved the long-running investigation without him serving prison time.
“Mr. Biden will also plead not guilty, and there is no reason why he cannot say those two words via video conference,” Abbe Lowell, Mr. Biden’s lawyer, wrote in a two-year letter. pages addressed to Judge Christopher J. Burke.
If convicted, Mr. Biden faces up to 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. But nonviolent first-time offenders who have not been charged with using the weapon in another crime rarely receive long prison sentences for those charges.
A substantial percentage of people accused of lying on a federal gun application, as Mr. Biden was, are never charged with that charge unless they are also charged with a crime under – more serious, current and former law enforcement officials said. Most negotiate deals that include probation and enrollment in programs that include counseling, monitoring and regular drug testing.
No date has been set for Mr. Biden’s indictment.
The defunct plea deal also would have resolved an investigation into Mr. Biden’s late filing of his tax returns over several years. Prosecutors did not file tax complaints against Mr. Biden last week, but they still could.
Mr. Weiss’s team also said it continues to investigate other elements of Mr. Biden’s business activities, including whether any of his work with foreign interests violated the Foreign Trade Act. foreign agent registration, which requires disclosure of lobbying activities for other countries.