Hunter Biden loses bid to dismiss gun charges

A federal appeals court panel has rejected a bid by US President Joe Biden's son to dismiss criminal gun charges, clearing the way for Hunter Biden's June 3 trial, a first for the child of a sitting president.

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia said Hunter Biden could not appeal because the lower court had not yet entered a final judgment in the case.

Shortly after the appeals court ruled, US District Judge Maryellen Noreika ordered the trial of up to six days to begin June 3 in Wilmington, Delaware.

"In reviewing the panel's decision, we believe the issues involved are too important and further review of our request is appropriate," said a statement by Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Hunter Biden.

The statement did not specify if Hunter Biden would request that the entire appeals court in Philadelphia review the panel's decision.

Hunter Biden was appealing orders issued last month by Noreika.

The judge denied motions to dismiss two counts accusing Hunter Biden of lying about using illegal narcotics when he purchased a Colt Cobra handgun in 2018 and a third count of illegally possessing that weapon.

Hunter Biden's legal team had argued that the lower trial court had to wait for the federal appeals court to rule before it could push ahead with a trial.

Hunter Biden faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison on the gun charges.

The trial will come as Joe Biden is ramping up his campaign for re-election.

Hunter Biden is also facing criminal tax charges in California.