Hunter Biden still has legal troubles ahead as House Republicans call for more accountability

The first son’s conviction is only the first step in legal battles that will continue until the election.

Published: June 11, 2024 11:00pm

Though Hunter Biden was found guilty Tuesday on federal gun charges – on crimes dating back to 2018 – the first son’s legal troubles are far from over, and House Republicans leading impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden, say this should be only the beginning of the accountability.

Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell said in a statement following the conviction that his client's legal team “will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter.”

Those available options include a challenge of the underlying gun laws at the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds.

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden will continue to face immense pressure with sentencing on the horizon and another federal trial for alleged tax violations in California set to begin in September, just weeks before the November elections in which his father, a Democrat, is seeking reelection. 

In his public statement immediately after his conviction on three federal gun charges, Hunter Biden said he was “disappointed” but also “grateful for the love and support” of his family.

First lady Jill Biden was a frequent attendee at the Delaware courthouse along with Hunter’s wife, Melissa Cohen.

Hunter Biden was found guilty, at the end of a week-long trial, of lying on gun-purchasing paperwork in 2018 about his drug addiction and for unlawfully possessing the gun, which he bought while using crack cocaine. He faces up to 25 years in prison but a sentencing date has yet to be set. 

President Biden, who reportedly constantly worries about his son’s legal troubles, conveyed his support for Hunter and any legal challenges he will might make regarding the verdict.

"As I said last week, I am the president, but I am also a dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery,” Biden said, according to CNN

Biden helicoptered from the White House back to the family's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, to be with family almost immediately after the jury verdict was announced.  

“As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that," the president also said. 

According to Hunter Biden’s attorney, the first son will attempt to appeal his conviction. However, recent reports indicate that such efforts may be constrained by the increasing financial pressure.

Earlier this month, Politico reported that Hunter Biden’s benefactor and friend who has funded his legal defense, the Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris, is running low on funds. Morris has loaned the first son nearly $6 million since 2019 to keep the unemployed first son afloat, Just the News previously reported.

If he is able to fund his legal defense, Biden may seek to challenge the gun laws underlying his conviction at the Supreme Court. Some legal commentators believe the first son has an opportunity to challenge his conviction on constitutional grounds.

Last year, a federal appeals court struck down a law barring illegal drug users from possessing a firearm.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Patrick Darnell Daniels Jr.’s conviction after he was convicted on similar charges as Hunter Biden. When law enforcement stopped Daniels for driving without a license plate, officers found two loaded firearms and marijuana cigarette butts in the vehicle.

The court ruled that the conviction violated Daniels' Second Amendment rights and that the existing law did not adhere to a new requirement for firearms restrictions outlined by the Supreme Court the prior year: that gun laws must be consistent with historical firearm regulation.

“In short, our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage,” Circuit Judge Jerry Smith wrote for the court.

“Nor do more generalized traditions of disarming dangerous persons support this restriction on nonviolent drug users,” he added. “As applied to Daniels, then, § 922(g)(3) violates the Second Amendment.”

“Because you have that decision in the 5th Circuit — of course, this being in a different circuit, could go all the way to the Supreme Court to validate this specific statute,” Tim Parlatore, a former attorney for Donald Trump said, according to CNN.

Parlatore also said a challenge of the law by Hunter Biden could attract support of Second Amendment groups who want to see the law rescinded.

The federal tax trial in California is set to begin in September.

Biden, 54, is charged with failing to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over four years. In all, he is charged in the state with three tax felonies and six misdemeanors that carry a maximum 17 years in prison.

The trial is expected to more closely relate to Biden’s foreign business dealings, including the significant income he reaped from serving on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma and starting a joint venture with Chinese Communist Party-connected Ye Jianming of CEFC China Energy.

He is likely to continue to face pressure from the House Republicans leading the impeachment inquiry into his father, too.

After the verdict, the leaders of the probe said Biden's conviction on three federal gun charges is a good first step, but should only be the beginning of accountability for the Biden family.

"Today’s verdict is a step toward accountability but until the Department of Justice investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ corrupt influence peddling schemes that generated over $18 million in foreign payments to the Biden family, it will be clear department officials continue to cover for the Big Guy, Joe Biden," House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said in a post to X

It is no secret what House Republicans believe the next steps should be.

Last week, the three chairmen leading the probe from the Oversight, Ways and Means, and Judiciary Committees filed criminal referrals with the Justice Department for Hunter and uncle James Biden, the president's brother, for allegedly making false statements to their committee's during impeachment inquiry depositions. 

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