Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to three federal firearms charges filed after a plea deal imploded, putting the case on track towards a possible trial as the 2024 election looms.
His lawyer Abbe Lowell said in court he plans to file a motion to dismiss the case, challenging their constitutionality.
President Joe Biden’s son faces charges that he lied about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days.
He’s acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law. Gun charges like these are rare, and an appeals court has found the ban on drug users having guns violates the Second Amendment under new Supreme Court standards.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys are suggesting that prosecutors bowed to pressure by Republicans who have insisted the Democratic President’s son got a sweetheart deal, and that the charges were the result of political pressure.
He was indicted after the implosion this summer of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors on tax and gun charges.
The deal devolved after the judge who was supposed to sign off on the agreement instead raised a series of questions about the deal. Federal prosecutors had been looking into his business dealings for five years, and the agreement would have dispensed with criminal proceedings before his father was actively
campaigning for President in 2024.
Now, a special counsel has been appointed to handle the case, and there appears no easy end in sight. No new tax charges have yet been filed, but the special counsel has indicated they could come to Washington or California, where Hunter Biden lives.
In Congress, House Republicans are seeking to link Hunter Biden’s dealings to his father’s through an impeachment inquiry. Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden for years since his father was Barack Obama’s vice-president.
While questions have arisen about the ethics surrounding the Biden family’s international business, no evidence has emerged so far to prove that Joe Biden, in his current or previous office, abused his role or accepted bribes.