US judge refuses to dismiss Hunter Biden gun charges

Federal Judge Maryellen Noreika on Friday refused to grant Hunter Biden’s motion to dismiss the federal gun charges he is currently facing. This means the case against Hunter Biden, who is US President Joe Biden’s son, will continue.

Hunter Biden’s original motion to dismiss the charges alleged that the appointment of Special Counsel David Weiss, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2023, was unlawful under Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations, which state that “The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.” At the time of Weiss’ appointment, he was a US Attorney for the District of Delaware.

Noreika dismissed Hunter Biden’s argument, citing the last section of the Special Counsel regulations, which states:

The regulations in this part are not intended to, do not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by any person or entity, in any matter, civil, criminal, or administrative.

Hunter Biden also claimed Weiss’ appointment violated the Appropriations Clause of the US Constitution, claiming the appropriations bill that is funding Weiss’ position as Special Counsel has lapsed and Weiss is not “independent” as defined by the statute, citing Weiss’ status as a US Attorney for the District of Delaware.

Noreika also dismissed this argument, writing:

Defendant thus ignores the substantial degree of independence that Special Counsel Weiss has notwithstanding that he remains subject to the DOJ regulations. Moreover, neither the GAO [Government Accountability Office] nor any court has reached the conclusion that Defendant advocates here – i.e., that special counsel subject to the special counsel regulations cannot be “independent” within the meaning of the appropriation.

The federal gun charges against Hunter Biden, brought in the state of Delaware, stem from the allegations that Hunter Biden lied about his drug addiction on federal firearm purchase forms. The charges encompass two counts of making false statements on the federal firearm purchase forms and one count of owning a firearm while using drugs. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to the charges after a federal judge rejected Hunter Biden’s planned plea deal. Biden was originally charged in June of 2023, with Special Counsel Weiss being appointed in August.

Alongside the Delaware gun charges, Hunter Biden is also charged with nine federal criminal tax charges in California. The tax charges stem from Hunter Biden’s activities with his company Owasco, his actions as a board member for a Ukrainian industrial company called Burisma and his dealings with a Chinese private equity fund. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has alleged that he skirted at least $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2019. A Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) informant claimed as part of the investigations into Hunter Biden that both President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden received bribes from Burisma as well, but this has since been proven false, and the informant has been charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record during a federal investigation. 

The charges and allegations against Hunter Biden led to a US House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden. The House alleges that Joe Biden and his family have suspicious foreign financial ties and that the investigation against Hunter Biden was slow-walked due to pressure from the administration of President Joe Biden. Former IRS agent Gary Shapley alleged in his testimony to Congress as part of the inquiry that Hunter Biden received preferential treatment during the IRS investigation into his unpaid taxes.