A federal magistrate judge has set an October 3 hearing date for Hunter Biden, son of the President, to be arraigned on gun possession charges.
Prosecutors in the office of Special Counsel David Weiss on September 7 announced seeking a grand jury indictment. Biden had lied on his purchase application about his struggles with drug addiction.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss, a career prosecutor and U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, as special counsel in Hunter Biden’s case last month. Weiss began investigating Hunter Biden in 2019 during the Trump Administration and has remained on the case amid his father’s Administration.
In July, an agreed-to plea deal fell apart related to the gun possession charge as well as tax evasion charges. The deal with federal prosecutors for Hunter Biden to plead guilty had hit a snag in federal court in Delaware when U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika had raised questions about its broader implications regarding prosecutors’ ongoing investigation.
Hunter Biden’s legal team had sought to have him appear at his upcoming arraignment virtually, citing “the financial impact on government resources and the logistical burden on the downtown area of Wilmington.” Prosecutors contested that idea, arguing that an in-person court appearance is “important to promote the public’s confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants.”
Judge Christopher Burke of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has written that Biden “should be treated just as would any other defendant in our court.” He added that with the exception of the Covid pandemic, he could not recall ever having conducted an initial court appearance other than in person.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, has written, “No matter whether in person or virtual…Mr. Biden also will enter a plea of not guilty.”