Hunter Biden's criminal trial on federal gun charges begins with jury selection

Hunter Biden's criminal trial begins Monday morning with jury selection in Delaware. The lawsuit stems from federal weapons charges filed against him by Special Prosecutor David Weiss.

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges in the U.S. District Court for Delaware after Weiss accused him of making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement regarding information that a licensed firearms dealer is required to keep; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

All told, the total maximum prison sentence for the charges could be up to 25 years. Each count carries a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

The trial begins nearly a year after presiding judge Maryellen Noreika questioned a plea deal between prosecutors and Hunter Biden that subsequently fell apart.

JUDGE BARNS PROSECUTORS from using any salacious evidence in Hunter Biden's gun trial

President Biden's son Hunter Biden has reportedly told people he may have to “flee” the country if Trump wins in 2024. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The deal, which Republicans in Congress labeled a “sweetheart deal,” appeared to grant the president's son broad immunity from a host of potential criminal charges.

According to an indictment, on October 12, 2018, Hunter Biden purchased a Colt Cobra revolver and “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement intended and likely to deceive such dealer as to a fact material to the legality of the sale of the firearm … thereby confirming that he was not an unlawful user of and addicted to any stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance, when in fact that statement, as he knew, was false and was fictional.

The indictment also accuses Hunter Biden of possessing that gun, which was “shipped and transported in interstate commerce” for nearly a week, despite being addicted to narcotics.

HUNTER BIDEN IS IN COURT IN DELAWARE. This is what he doesn't want the jury to hear

Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to a 2018 incident when a Hunter gun was thrown into a trash bin outside a Delaware market.

A source with knowledge of the Oct. 23, 2018, police report told Fox News that it indicated that Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden's late son Beau, and who was dating Hunter at the time, threw a gun. owned by Hunter in a dumpster behind a market near a school.

Hallie Biden may have to testify at Hunter Biden's trial.

Photo by David Weiss

Special Counsel David Weiss (Department of Justice)

A firearms transaction report reviewed by Fox News revealed that Hunter had purchased a gun earlier that month.

On the firearms transaction report, Hunter responded in the negative when asked if he was “an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana or a depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or other controlled substance.”

Hunter was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.

HUNTER BIDEN CLAIMS NOT GUILTY OF FEDERAL GUN ATTACKS FROM SPECIAL ADVISOR DAVID WEISS' PROBE

Judge Noreika ruled before the trial that Weiss' team cannot use salacious evidence in the first son's criminal trial, including references to his discharge from the Navy and his child support case for his illegitimate daughter in Arkansas.

Hunter on Capitol Hill

Hunter Biden leaves a House Oversight Committee meeting on Capitol Hill on January 10. On Friday, a judge denied a request to dismiss a federal gun case against him. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Noreika also said Weiss had to prove that Hunter Biden was addicted to drugs, but not necessarily using drugs on the day he bought the gun.

Noreika said the government can use part of Hunter Biden's book in which he discusses his drug addiction.

The prosecution does not plan to release the entire infamous laptop detailing Hunter Biden's life, but will introduce certain parts. Noreika ruled that Hunter Biden's team can question aspects of the laptop in front of the jury. The laptop, which was leaked in 2020 just before the presidential elections, was labeled as Russian disinformation by 51 former intelligence officials.

Noreika also ruled that the special counsel cannot mention Hunter Biden's ongoing federal tax lawsuit in California during the Delaware trial, which is also part of Weiss' investigation and scheduled for trial in September.

Hunter Biden court sketch

A courtroom sketch of Hunter Biden in a federal courtroom in Wilmington, Del., July 26, 2023. (Courtesy of William J. Hennessy, Jr.)

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to these charges – specifically three felonies and six misdemeanors related to $1.4 million in taxes owed since then. Weiss alleged a “four-year scheme” when the president's son failed to pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020, while also filing false tax returns.

HUNTER BIDEN TAX TRIAL POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER

Judge Mark Scarsi heard arguments at a pre-trial hearing in California last month. That criminal trial was scheduled for June 20, but Hunter Biden's lawyers requested a postponement of the trial.

Scarsi sided with Hunter Biden's lawyers and moved the tax trial to September 5, when jury selection will begin.

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