Judge in Hunter Biden's gun case rules on evidence ahead of trial in June

During a final hearing before Hunter Biden goes on trial in Delaware on weapons charges, a judge made a number of crucial rulings that will determine what evidence the jury will see during the proceedings set to begin on June 3. some contents of a laptop he left at a repair shop in Delaware, as well as evidence of his drug use to be shown.

Hunter Biden's lawyers have argued that some of the material on the laptop is not authentic, but prosecutors pushed back Thursday, claiming they have not presented any evidence of that to the court. In 2019, a computer repair shop owner provided the FBI with one Laptop which he said was left behind Hunter Biden. He also gave a copy of the laptop data to former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Last September, Hunter Biden Giuliani sued for hacking data from his laptop. Giuliani showed the laptop publicly, but when the lawsuit was filed, a spokesman for him denied that the ride had been rigged. The lawsuit has not been resolved.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika handed both sides victories during the pre-trial conference, telling Hunter Biden's attorneys they could raise some issues with the laptop evidence at trial. But she sided with prosecutors on what they need to prove Hunter Biden's drug use when he bought a gun in 2018. They will have to prove he was using or addicted to drugs around the time of the purchase, she said. The defense argued that prosecutors would have to prove that Hunter Biden used drugs on the exact day he purchased the gun in question.

Special Counsel David Weiss has alleged that Hunter Biden unlawfully purchased and held a Colt Cobra 388PL revolver for 11 days and made false statements on a form used for gun purchases, claiming he was not an unlawful drug user used to be. President Biden's son does pleaded not guilty to the weapons charge, which was filed in Delaware.

The judge also ruled in Hunter Biden's favor on some issues, saying prosecutors cannot mention his tax case in California, his child support case in Arkansas or his discharge from the Navy. Prosecutors are also not allowed to refer to his “extravagant lifestyle,” but they can discuss how he paid for drugs.

The trial is set to begin June 3 after a federal appeals court hearing turned down Hunter Biden's bid to dismiss charges. He had argued that the charges are “unprecedented” and “unconstitutional” and violated a diversion agreement reached with federal prosecutors. collapsed in July after a judge refused to sign it off.

Friday's hearing turned somewhat contentious during discussions about the laptop and when the defense said it noted a discrepancy on the form Hunter Biden allegedly signed when he purchased the gun that showed he was not under the influence or addicted to drugs .

Hunter Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, said new information was added to the digital version of the form sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after the criminal investigation began. The digital version contained information that Hunter Biden had presented both a passport and a Delaware vehicle registration as proof of identity, which the defense said was not present on the form he signed.

Lowell said the discrepancy calls into question the credibility of the gun shop employee and owner, claiming they did not fill out the form correctly and now have a potential bias to work with the government to avoid being in the problems will come if they change the form. Lowell said the form had been “tampered with” and said he planned to question the workers about what happened.

Prosecutors argued that the discrepancy was irrelevant.

“The crime was completed at the time he signed that statement,” said prosecutor Derek Hines.

Prosecutors expect up to 12 witnesses to testify, while the defense may call a handful of witnesses, including some experts. The process is expected to take at least two weeks.

Some of the issues raised during Friday's hearing were not yet decided, especially Hunter Biden's potential testimony, because the judge said she would have to see how the case progressed. His lawyers left open the possibility that he could take a stand in his own defense.

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