OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:30 PM – Wednesday, September 20, 2023
United States Magistrate Judge from the District of Delaware, Christopher Burke, has declared that Hunter Biden, 53, must not receive “special treatment” regarding his request to appear virtually for his first court hearing on federal gun charges.
Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was charged by Special Counsel David Weiss with making an untrue statement during his purchase of a firearm and making a false statement regarding information required to be kept by a federal licensed gun dealer. He was additionally charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
On Tuesday, Hunter’s lawyers explained to the court that he will not be pleading guilty, while asking for his first court appearance to take place virtually. This was something that Weiss’ team was opposed to in a filing on Wednesday.
Therefore, the Magistrate Judge announced on Wednesday afternoon that he will not be allowing Hunter to appear in court by video conference. He also explained that the president’s son should not be receiving special treatment.
“In the end, the Court agrees with both the Defendant and the Government, that Defendant should not receive special treatment in this matter — absent some unusual circumstance, he should be treated just as would any other defendant in our Court,” Burke stated in the filing.
The 53-year-old’s in-person court appearance has been scheduled for October 3rd at 10 a.m. in Delaware.
In Weiss’ opposition filing, it was stated that there are “serious felony gun charges at issue in this case.”
Ultimately, the federal firearm charges are the first charges Weiss has brought against Hunter since becoming a part of the special counsel status.
“Hunter Biden possessing an unloaded gun for 11 day [sic] was not a threat to public safety, but a prosecutor, with all the power imaginable, bending to political pressure presents a grave threat to our system of justice,” Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell expressed in a statement earlier this week. “We believe these charges are barred by the agreement the prosecutors made with Mr. Biden, the recent rulings by several federal courts that this statute is unconstitutional, and the facts that he did not violate that law, and we plan to demonstrate all of that in court.”
Hunter has been in predicaments similar to this case previously. Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to a case in October 2018, when a firearm owned by Hunter was found inside a trash can outside a market in Delaware.
According to a Fox News review, a firearm transaction statement reported that Hunter purchased a firearm earlier that month. On the firearm transaction report, Hunter responded negatively when he was asked if he was an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”
“An in-person hearing is important to promote the public’s confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants in this District and in other Districts,” Weiss’ team wrote in a letter to the federal Magistrate Judge on Wednesday.
“Moreover, the previous arraignment held in connection with this matter was anything but routine because the defendant and his previous attorney were not prepared to answer the Court’s questions,” the special counsel added.
Burke initially scheduled the arraignment for September 26th, but decided to change the date to October 3rd.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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