Jury selection slated for Hunter Biden’s trial on gun charges

Special counsel David Weiss has charged Biden with two counts of making false statements on a federal form and one charge of possessing a firearm while using drugs. The nation will be watching to see if Biden's arguments are treated the same way Trump's were.

Published: June 2, 2024 12:14am

Updated: June 2, 2024 10:43pm

Only three days after the first felony conviction of a former president, the current president's son, Hunter Biden is slated to stand trial Monday in connection with charges stemming from his purchase and possession of a firearm.

Biden purchased the Colt Cobra revolver in 2018. His sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, later threw the weapon into a garbage can behind a grocery store, but found it missing when she returned to reclaim it. The dumpster’s location near a local high school subsequently prompted an investigation due to concerns the weapon could be used in a crime.

Special counsel David Weiss has charged Biden with two counts of making false statements on a federal form and one charge of possessing a firearm while using drugs. Specifically, Weiss has alleged that Biden lied on a gun form by indicating he was not a drug user when applying for the firearm. He pleaded not guilty to all three charges in October.

The trail comes a mere three days after former President Donald Trump’s own criminal case concluded with a guilty verdict on 34 counts of falsifying business records. Speaking on the John Solomon Reports podcast prior to the verdict, former federal prosecutor Kash Patel suggested that the administration would use the timing of the Trump verdict to distract from the first son’s legal woes.

“So they want to do everything they can to make sure you look the other way, especially as you pointed out with Hunter Biden, the son of the sitting president who's going to be on federal trial next week for some seriously heavy charges involving tax fraud, weapons, and narcotics,” he said. “They want no one even talking about it. And all they're going to say is somehow that Merrick Garland's DOJ is violating the law by prosecuting Hunter Biden, when he's all but unlike Donald Trump, Hunter Biden has admitted to these crimes that he's charged with, has admitted to wanting to cop a plea and plead guilty to the offenses charged.”

With the trial set to begin Monday, Weiss’s selection of evidence and the nature of the charges themselves appear to have undercut key narratives of the Biden administration and could prove embarrassing to the president in light of his own record.

Hunter’s laptop will be key evidence

At a late May hearing, Noreika permitted prosecutors to use evidence from Hunter’s memoir, to reference his drug use, and data from both his phone and iPad, NBC News reported. They will not be permitted to reference his upcoming tax trial.

Notably, Weiss plans to use Hunter’s infamous laptop as key evidence in the case, with prosecutors informing the court that “[t]he defendant’s laptop is real (it will be introduced as a trial exhibit) and it contains significant evidence of the defendant’s guilt,” according to CNN.

The development marks an admission by the Department of Justice that the device, long-maligned as the centerpiece of a disinformation campaign, is in fact authentic. Biden’s laptop became the subject of viral news reporting in late 2020 ahead of the presidential election, though the article was subject to considerable social media throttling and self-censorship by legacy media. The New York Times waited a year and a half -- well after the election -- to finally report on the authenticity of the laptop.

“[F]inally, the mainstream media is admitting that they lied to the world when they said Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation,” Patel said. “Ironically, now the hypocrites- it comes full circle, the Department of Justice that initially told us the laptop was Russian disinformation, along with the FBI in the media now setting quarks up it's not it's actually real. We've known that to be the case the whole time. They just wanted to rig another presidential election back in 2020.”

Biden’s defense team has insisted that it “has numerous reasons to believe the data had been altered and compromised before investigators obtained the electronic material.”

“He has not shown any of the actual evidence in this case is unreliable or inauthentic, because there is none. Instead, the defendant’s theory about the laptop is a conspiracy theory with no supporting evidence,” Weiss’s team insisted. That conspiracy theory was adopted by legacy media after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, then senior advisor to the Biden campaign, drafted and promoted the infamous letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials saying that laptop was more than likely "Russian disinformation." 

Weiss also claimed in January that the FBI had discovered cocaine on a gun pouch that had stored the firearm.

"To be clear... investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun," prosecutors wrote at the time. Hunter has been open about his prior struggles with drug addiction and claims to no longer use any illegal narcotics.

The charges undercut the president’s gun control narratives

President Joe Biden campaigned on "gun control" as an issue, and his administration has prioritized gun control legislation and related executive efforts throughout his tenure in the White House. In 2022, he signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and his administration later went on to advance guidance to crack down on so-called “ghost guns.” He has further called for an assault weapons ban, though Congress has not embraced that initiative.

Hunter Biden’s indictment on gun charges, especially for such a basic violation as the alleged falsification of information on a background check, appears somewhat ironic in light of his father’s public record on the subject.

The proceedings follow a years-long investigative saga

An appeals court earlier this month rejected Hunter’s effort to dismiss the charges. His defense team had argued that Weiss violated the terms of a pre-trial diversion agreement from an aborted plea deal that Judge Maryellen Noreika previously rejected.

That arrangement would have seen Hunter plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter into the pre-trial diversion agreement that could have eventually seen the gun charges dropped. Weiss has further brought separate tax charges against Biden in Los Angeles, which will not be featured in the Delaware trial.

The plea deal came crashing down amid public scrutiny over Weiss’s handling of the years-long investigation into the first son. A pair of IRS agents who had worked on the case came forward with allegations that officials appointed by President Joe Biden had worked to stifle the probe and prevent the bringing of the worst charges against the first son. 

Weiss initially conducted his investigation in his capacity as the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, though the whistleblowers claimed he had sought special counsel status only to be rebuffed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who did not grant him such standing until the failure of the plea agreement.

Garland’s decision to appoint Weiss as special counsel last August was itself controversial in light of explicit Department of Justice guidelines requiring that a special counsel be appointed from outside the agency.

“An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government,” the regulation reads.

“[T]he Special Counsel is supposed to be an outsider, not brought in from within DOJ, and especially not the guy who has a conflict of interest in investigating the target, Hunter Biden, when he gave him an illegal, unconstitutional plea deal,” former federal prosecutor Kash Patel said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show shortly after the appointment.

Despite the misgivings of outside observers, the special counsel has nonetheless advanced the prosecution. Since his appointment, Weiss brought forth both the gun charges and the separate tax case. His prosecution, moreover, has served to shed additional light on the gun allegations and Hunter’s alleged handling of the firearm.

For his part, Garland denied that the Justice Department interfered with the investigation into Hunter Biden, saying more broadly that attacks on the department’s independence are corrosive, and claimed that "Weiss never made such a request" and that Weiss "always had full authority to file charges wherever and however he saw fit against President Joe Biden’s son" according to the Associated Press. 

Hunter's trial could blow back on his father

Conservative critics have long alleged that the Biden family has been engaged in widespread illicit activities and that the president himself has been intimately involved in his son’s dealings. While the gun charge itself is likely to reveal little link between the father and the son on those matters, the federal prosecution of the president’s son by the Biden Department of Justice has prompted some to question the process itself.

“You know, the Biden's and Joe Biden, in particular, you know, are the poster child for how much can you get away with that's illegal? I mean, they are, you know, the, the real question is just how much illegality will go unpunished?” asked former Assistant Secretary of State Bobby Charles during an appearance on the John Solomon Reports podcast. “And I guess, with Merrick Garland there, you know, they not only switched the venue on the son so that he could– they dropped charges that he would have, they tried to sort of gild the lily, by putting a double jeopardy claim out there.”

“They also did not bring charges that could have [been] brought within the statute of limitations,” he went on. “Now, they have this little tip of the iceberg charge about a gun thing, but this guy's guilty,” Charles went on. “I mean, let's be frank, the evidence on the table already makes a prima facie case against him for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations for federal bribery violations for RICO violations for drug violations. I mean, this guy's a walking talking commercial for illegality.”

“And I think that unfortunately, his father is utterly complicit in that, if not a direct beneficiary. And federal statute is real clear if you do the things that Joe Biden has done that empower a family member to profit in the way that his son has profited, it's illegal,” he concluded.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X.

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