Federal appeals court rejects Hunter Biden’s latest bid to pause gun trial

A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected the latest attempt by Hunter Biden to pause his upcoming gun trial while the president’s son pursues some long-shot appeals.

The trial is scheduled to begin June 3 in Delaware.

The quick decision came from the same three-judge panel that previously rejected one of Hunter Biden’s attempts to throw out the indictment. The panel includes one Republican-appointed judge and two Democratic appointees, including one put on the bench by Hunter Biden’s father, President Joe Biden.

This is one of several bids by Hunter Biden to slow down or postpone his gun trial. So far, his efforts have fallen flat, and the trial judge hasn’t shown any openness to delaying the case.

Special counsel David Weiss has charged Hunter Biden with illegally purchasing and possessing a gun, in violation of federal law because he was addicted to illicit drugs at the time. He has pleaded not guilty to the three-count indictment and claims he’s being politically targeted.

To prove his case, Weiss intends to present intensely personal testimony from witnesses who can describe Hunter Biden’s longtime crack cocaine abuse, including from three former romantic partners. They include Hunter Biden’s ex-wife and the widow of his late brother, Beau Biden.

Prosecutors also said in recent court filings that they plan to present text messages showing Hunter Biden’s attempts to buy crack cocaine from drug dealers, as well as messages in which he fights with his family members about his inability to get sober.

Much of the case revolves around Hunter Biden’s addiction, which he has described as a lifelong struggle. To win a conviction, prosecutors will need to convince a jury that Hunter Biden was abusing illegal drugs while he bought and briefly owned the gun in 2018.

Hunter Biden testified at a court hearing last year that he has been sober since 2019.

The spate of filings and delay-attempts in the gun case comes as Hunter Biden is preparing for a separate tax trial in California, which was also brought by Weiss’ team.

That trial is scheduled for late June, a few weeks after the gun case is expected to wrap up. There is a hearing set for Wednesday in Los Angeles, where the judge overseeing the tax case will weigh whether to put the proceedings on hold.

Separately on Tuesday, Weiss’ team asked a judge to force Hallie Biden to testify in the California-based tax case. This spat pits the Justice Department against the widow of President Biden’s first-born son, Beau, and the mother of two of his grandchildren.

Prosecutors said in a court filing that they need a judge to compel Hallie Biden’s testimony because her lawyers have made it clear that she would “refuse to answer questions” by invoking her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

“In the judgment of the Special Counsel, the testimony of Hallie Biden may be necessary to the public interest,” Weiss’ team wrote to the judge in the tax case.

In the filing, Weiss said a top official from the Justice Department’s tax division, Stuart Goldberg, gave him authorization to try to force Hallie Biden’s testimony.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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