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Hunter Biden arraignment highlights: President’s son enters not guilty plea

President Joe Biden's son faces three charges related to his possession of a firearm while using illegal drugs.

What to know about Hunter Biden's arraignment

  • President Joe Biden's son pleaded not guilty to three firearms charges at his arraignment in a Delaware federal court today.
  • Hunter Biden was indicted last month on three counts related to his possession of a firearm while using illegal drugs after a proposed plea deal fell apart.
  • Charges in the inquiry into alleged tax evasion could be filed against the younger Biden within the coming month.
  • House Republicans are investigating whether the Justice Department granted Hunter Biden favorable treatment in its probe and plan to interview a federal prosecutor about related allegations on Tuesday.
64d ago / 2:38 PM UTC

Deadline for pretrial motions is Nov. 3

The deadline for pretrial motions in the case is Nov. 3.

No future hearings have been scheduled.

64d ago / 2:28 PM UTC

Arraignment is over


The arraignment has concluded.

64d ago / 2:22 PM UTC

Judge lists conditions of release

The judge went over the conditions of Hunter Biden's release and said he discussed them with the probation officer.

The conditions of release include supervision by a U.S. probation officer in the Central District of California, actively seeking employment, not possessing a gun, not using alcohol, not using drugs and submitting to drug testing if required by the probation office. He would also have to participate in substance abuse counseling if the probation office requires it.

64d ago / 2:22 PM UTC

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to gun charges

The president's son has pleaded not guilty in federal court to the following counts:

  • Count 1: False statement in purchase of a firearm
  • Count 2: False Statement Related to Information Required to be Kept by Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer
  • Count 3: Possession of a Firearm by a Person who is an Unlawful User of or Addicted to a Controlled Substance

“Mr. Biden pleads not guilty,” said his lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

64d ago / 2:16 PM UTC

Hunter Biden says he's aware of the charges he faces

The judge said he wants to make sure that Hunter Biden is aware of the charges he faces and he answered affirmatively.

Abbe Lowell, Biden's lawyer, waived the reading of the indictment.

64d ago / 2:10 PM UTC

Judge reviews charges, goes over Hunter Biden's rights and pre-trial release

The judge explained to Hunter Biden that he was in the courtroom for his initial appearance on new charges.

The judge said he would review the charges, talk about maximum penalties, go over his rights, conditions of pre-trial release and the arraignment. 

"Charges were brought — as the parties know — by a federal grand jury in district," the judge says. 

64d ago / 2:09 PM UTC

The charges against Hunter Biden and the failed plea deal

The president's son is expected to plead not guilty to three gun-related charges during his arraignment this morning at a federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware.

The charges consist of false statement in purchase of a firearm, false statement related to information required to be kept by federal firearms licensed dealer, and possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

Two of the counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years, while the third has a maximum of five years. Any sentence is likely to be served concurrently. Each count also carries fines up to $250,000.

In October 2018, Hunter Biden allegedly lied about his drug use while completing forms to buy a Colt Cobra revolver in Wilmington.

Hunter Biden initially struck a plea deal, agreeing to plead guilty to two tax-related charges. But that agreement fell apart in July when U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned the terms of the agreement.

64d ago / 2:08 PM UTC

Hearing is expected to last about 30 minutes

Hunter Biden's hearing in Wilmington is expected to last about 30 minutes.

After passing through security at the federal courthouse, he will pass a portrait of his father, President Joe Biden, before meeting U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke, who is presiding over the hearing.

Hunter Biden lost a bid last month to appear virtually at his arraignment, with Burke writing: “Defendant should not receive special treatment in this matter — absent some unusual circumstance, he should be treated just as would any other defendant in our Court. Any other defendant would be required to attend his or her initial appearance in person. So too here.”

Burke, a fast-talking, 12-year veteran of the bench, previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Delaware.

Biden will be joined by members of his legal team, including attorneys Abbe Lowell and Richard I.G. Jones.

Special counsel David Weiss of Delaware, another Trump appointee, who initially reached a deal that unraveled with Biden's team this summer, is representing the Justice Department along with three assistant U.S. attorneys, Leo Wise, Derek Hines and Ben Wallace.

64d ago / 2:03 PM UTC

Hunter Biden's arraignment has begun


The arraignment for Hunter Biden has begun in federal court in Wilmington, Del., before Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke.

64d ago / 2:01 PM UTC

Hunter Biden has entered the courtroom

Hunter Biden entered the courtroom a few minutes before 10 a.m. ET. He and his legal team are seated at the defense table and did not talk with prosecutors as they entered.

64d ago / 1:49 PM UTC

Hunter Biden arrives at courthouse

The president's son has arrived at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Del.

64d ago / 1:20 PM UTC

Investigators in Biden impeachment inquiry to question federal prosecutor

A federal prosecutor will participate in a closed-door interview with House investigators Tuesday as part of the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, three sources familiar with the matter confirmed.

The voluntary transcribed interview, which was first reported by Politico, comes the day the president’s son is set to be arraigned on felony federal gun charges in Delaware in a case brought by special counsel David Weiss.

An IRS whistleblower has accused U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, who will be interviewed by investigators with the House Judiciary Committee, of refusing to work with Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware who had been investigating tax charges against Hunter Biden.

Read the full story here.

64d ago / 1:20 PM UTC

Biden allies worry son Hunter’s indictment could strain the president’s 2024 focus

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During the period between his vice presidency and presidency, Joe Biden was often asked about the campaign he didn’t run. In explaining why he passed on a White House bid in 2016, Biden would describe how the death of his eldest son, Beau, weighed heavily on him and his family.

“No man or woman should announce for president of the United States unless they can look the public in the eye and say, ‘I promise you I am giving 100% of my attention and dedication to this effort,’” he said in a 2017 public appearance.

Biden has said he is committed to seeking a second term. But even as he ramps up his campaign, with new efforts to contrast his record in office with the positions of his would-be GOP rivals, people close to the president are increasingly worrried about how the legal troubles of his remaining son, Hunter, could divide his attention at a time when he needs to be fully focused on what’s expected to be a razor close election.

Read the full story here.

64d ago / 1:20 PM UTC