Hunter Biden files and quickly withdraws motion for a new trial

Hunter Biden asked a judge for a redo of his federal gun trial, but then quickly withdrew the request without explanation, one week after he was convicted by a jury of three felony offenses.

His defense attorneys filed the motion seeking a new trial in the morning but then told the court to remove it from the docket, without publicly providing a reason. Biden’s lawyers have not responded to requests for comment.

The now-removed court filings argued that there was a technical hiccup with the courts, related to Hunter Biden’s pretrial appeals, that should’ve prevented the trial judge from proceeding to a jury trial in Delaware. This challenge is similar to several of Biden’s previous legal gambits to delay or derail the case, which have all fallen flat in court.

“The Court empaneled a jury and proceeded to trial before the Court of Appeals returned jurisdiction to the Court by issuing its mandate. Consequently, the conviction must be vacated here,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers told the trial judge in the Monday filing, which was reviewed by CNN before it was removed from the docket.

The apparent request for a new trial comes after Hunter Biden’s historic conviction – the first time the son of a sitting US president went on trial while his father was in the White House.

These latest legal maneuvers relate to what’s called a “mandate.” When an appellate court hands down a decision, it notifies the lower court of that decision by issuing a “mandate,” often a couple days or weeks later. This mechanism is typically how the lower court gets back jurisdiction for the case, to proceed with the case as appropriate.

In this case, Hunter Biden’s lawyers claimed in the Monday filing that even though they lost their pretrial appeals, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals never issued its final “mandate” that would’ve returned the case back to District Judge Maryellen Noreika. She presided over a jury trial that began June 3 and ended last week with guilty verdicts on all charges.

Noreika said in previous rulings that she believes Biden’s appeals “will not independently divest this Court of jurisdiction” and that her trial court and the federal appellate court “shall have jurisdiction to proceed.”

The Delaware-based jury found Hunter Biden guilty of three felonies stemming from his October 2018 purchase of a revolver at a Wilmington gun shop. The jury unanimously concluded that he lied about his drug use on federal background check forms, and possessed the weapon while addicted to or using illegal drugs, which is a federal crime.

Hunter Biden has spoken publicly about his lifelong struggle with alcoholism and his spiral into crack cocaine addiction after his brother Beau Biden died from cancer in 2015. Prosecutors used his memoir against him, and also relied on testimony from three former romantic partners who said his rampant drug use destroyed their relationships.

The president’s son also is facing a separate trial on federal tax offenses, which is scheduled to begin in September. He has pleaded not guilty to all nine charges in that case.

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