Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to three federal firearms charges filed after his earlier deal imploded, setting the case on a track toward a possible trial in 2024 while his father is campaigning for reelection.
President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. When asked by Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke if he understood the charges against him, he said, “Yes, Your Honor.”
His lawyer Abbe Lowell said in court he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges, challenging their constitutionality.
“Mr. Biden pleads not guilty to the three counts that have been brought against him,” Lowell said to the judge.
Hunter Biden has acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period in 2018, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law. Cases like this, against drug users accused of having guns, are rare, and an appeals court has found the underlying statute violates the Second Amendment under new Supreme Court standards.
On Tuesday, the judge noted Hunter Biden had been repeatedly tested for drugs and is negative.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys are suggesting that prosecutors bowed to pressure by Republicans, who have insisted the Democratic president’s son got a sweetheart deal, and that the charges were the result of political pressure.
After remaining silent for years, Hunter Biden has taken a more aggressive legal stancein recent weeks, filing a series of lawsuits over the dissemination of personal information purportedly from his laptop and his tax data by whistleblower IRS agents who testified before Congress as part of the GOP probe.