Hunter Biden files for new gun trial on a technicality

Hunter Biden leaving the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware on 11 June
Hunter Biden is facing another trial on tax evasion charges in September in California. [Getty Images]

Lawyers for Hunter Biden are seeking a new trial in his federal gun case, after a jury found him guilty two weeks ago of lying about his drug use when he bought a gun in 2018.

His legal team's longshot motion does not argue against the merits of the case, but instead cites a technicality on a procedural matter to challenge the basis for the trial.

As Joe Biden's son, the verdict meant that Hunter Biden, 54, became the first child of a sitting US president to be criminally convicted.

Over the course of a seven-day trial, prosecutors leaned on witness testimony from Hunter Biden's family members as well as his text messages and memoir to convince jurors he was an active user of crack cocaine when he bought the gun.

His lawyers argued that he was in recovery at the time and did not consider himself an addict when he purchased the weapon. They vowed to challenge the conviction.

In May, a federal appeals court rejected two challenges to the case filed by Biden's legal team.

In a court filing on Monday, Biden's primary attorney, Abbe Lowell, argued his client's conviction "should be vacated" because the trial began without a "mandate" from the appeals court allowing the trial to proceed.

A mandate is the document by which an appellate court formally notifies a lower court of its decision.

A previous motion for a new trial was uploaded at around midday on 17 June, but it was swiftly deleted at the request of Biden's lawyers.

Biden was found guilty of all three criminal counts on 11 June.

Experts say it is possible he could face prison time - although it would be highly unlikely for him to receive the maximum possible sentence of 25 years.

All three criminal counts in the case stem from Biden's purchase of a revolver at a Delaware gun store in October 2018. He kept the gun for about 11 days.

Biden faces another case, in September in California.

The president's son will stand trial for allegedly evading $1.4m (£1.1m) in taxes between 2016-19, while spending millions on drugs, escorts and luxury cars.