Hunter Biden Loses Bid to Dismiss Firearms Case Over ‘Bias’

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden’s son failed to provide evidence that the US government’s decision to charge him with firearm-related offenses was tainted by outside influence from Donald Trump or his allies in Congress, a judge ruled.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Hunter Biden’s motion to dismiss the charges was denied Friday by US District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Delaware, the latest setback for the president’s son as his father campaigns for reelection.

The Trump-appointed judge said Hunter Biden did not provide evidence to support his claim that the decision by Special Counsel David Weiss to charge him was influenced by Trump or Republican lawmakers. Members of Congress pressuring Weiss or the US Justice Department is “fundamentally different than actually making charging decisions or influencing them,” Noreika said.

“Apart from defendant’s finger-pointing and speculation, the court has been given no evidence to support a finding that anyone other than a special counsel, as part of the executive branch, is responsible for the decision to indict,” Noreika said.

The decision is the latest twist in an array of politically charged legal cases taking shape before the November election, when Hunter Biden’s father will face off for a second time against Trump. The former president faces his own criminal trial starting Monday in Manhattan, on charges he falsified business records to conceal hush money payments to a porn star before the 2016 election.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the judge’s ruling.

Hunter Biden previously argued Weiss caved to criticism and political pressure from Trump and his Republican allies, who are seizing on the younger Biden’s legal problems to damage his father ahead of the election. Trump is the Republican frontrunner against the incumbent Democrat.

Hunter Biden also has been indicted in Los Angeles for tax offenses. He’s pleaded not guilty in both cases, but his legal problems create potential complications for his father.

The younger Biden is provisionally scheduled to go on trial in the tax case in June — in the heat of the presidential contest — while a trial date hasn’t yet been set for the gun offenses.

Biden’s lawyers had argued that all the charges should be dropped because their client has immunity under a deal he struck with Weiss in July that called for him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter a diversion program related to the firearm offenses.

But that accord imploded when questioned by a Delaware judge in July. Biden’s legal team contends the deal — and the immunity that came along with it — remain in effect because all parties signed it in July and it didn’t require court approval.

The case is US v. Biden, 23-cr-00061, US District Court, District of Delaware.

(Updates with detail from the ruling.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.