Hunter Biden, the president’s son, plans to plead not guilty to gun charges leveled against him last week, his attorney said in a letter filed Tuesday in court.
A grand jury indicted Biden on three charges related to a gun he bought in 2018, with prosecutors saying he lied about his drug use on a form he submitted as part of the purchase.
On Tuesday, attorney Abbe Lowell asked a judge to allow Biden to enter a not-guilty plea by video conference rather than requiring him to appear in person in court. In his letter to Judge Christopher Burke, Lowell noted that Biden is protected by the Secret Service, complicating travel plans between his home in California and the courthouse in Delaware.
“The financial impact on government resources and the logistical burden on the downtown area of Wilmington are significant in having him travel across the country for what should be a rather short proceeding,” Lowell wrote.
“No matter whether in person or virtual, he will waive reading of the indictment, which is merely a few pages and could easily be read at a video conference. Mr. Biden also will enter a plea of not guilty, and there is no reason why he cannot utter those two words by video conference.”
As of Wednesday, no date had yet been set for Biden’s initial court appearance.
The president’s son earlier planned to plead guilty to a pair of federal tax charges, but changed his mind after a deal he had reached with prosecutors was rejected by a judge. The deal would have required Biden to admit that he had possessed a firearm while being a user of or addicted to a controlled substance and to enter a pretrial diversion agreement.
Biden was regularly abusing crack cocaine at the time that he got the gun, The Washington Post reported. He had the Colt Cobra 38 special for less than two weeks in October 2018, according to court records.
Last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel over the investigation into Biden. Weiss began probing Biden’s business and financial dealings in 2019.