Appeals court refuses to toss Hunter Biden’s gun charges, keeping June trial

An appeals court refused to toss Hunter Biden’s federal gun charges, paving the way for the president’s son’s criminal case to proceed to trial in June.

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the younger Biden’s appeal Thursday, saying it lacked the jurisdiction to review the matter. Biden had asked the court to overturn the trial judge’s previous decision that the case should move forward to trial.

“This appeal is dismissed because the defendant has not shown the District Court’s orders are appealable before final judgment,” the order reads. It did not consider the merits of the appeal.

Abbe Lowell, Biden’s attorney, suggested in an emailed statement that his client might seek further review.

“In reviewing the panel’s decision, we believe the issues involved are too important and further review of our request is appropriate,” he said in the statement.

In a separate scheduling order released Thursday, Judge Maryellen Noreika affirmed June 3 as the start date of the trial and laid out additional pretrial deadlines. The news comes after Noreika declined to dismiss the gun charges last month, when the president’s son argued he was being wrongfully targeted for political purposes.

Noreika said in her ruling that Hunter Biden’s legal team did not provide concrete evidence to back up their claims that outside influences tainted the special counsel’s decision to pursue the case.

“The pressure campaign from Congressional Republicans may have occurred around the time that Special Counsel decided to move forward with indictment instead of pretrial diversion, but the Court has been given nothing credible to suggest that the conduct of those lawmakers (or anyone else) had any impact on Special Counsel,” she wrote. “It is all speculation.”

Special counsel David Weiss brought three gun-related charges against the president’s son last September — two counts for failing to disclose drug use when seeking to buy a weapon and another for unlawful possession of a firearm while addicted to a controlled substance. Biden pleaded not guilty to all charges after a deal with the government fell apart.

Under the agreement, he would have pleaded guilty to two tax offenses in order to avoid a formal gun-related charge under specific conditions. He would have also entered a pretrial diversion program in connection with a gun charge.

After the deal was placed on hold, Lowell accused prosecutors of changing their decision “on the fly.”

“One, they wrote something and weren’t clear what they meant. Two, they knew what they meant and misstated it to counsel. Or third, they changed their view as they were standing in court in Delaware,” he said of the prosecutors at the time.

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