Hunter Biden tries again to delay gun trial two weeks before start date

Hunter Biden is once again trying to delay his fast-approaching trial on felony gun charges, which is scheduled to begin in two weeks.

The president’s son has already tried – and failed – to postpone the proceedings, which are expected to kick off June 3 at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware.

His lawyers on Monday asked a federal appeals court to rehear his bid to throw out the indictment. A three-judge panel unanimously rejected his appeal earlier this month, but he’s now asking for the full 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case.

Biden’s legal team also asked the 3rd Circuit to pause any trial proceedings while it considers his new appeal petitions.

“There is no urgency in having an immediate trial of Robert Hunter Biden, but the district court is pressing forward with a June 3, 2024 trial and imposing all the pretrial burdens that come with that,” his lawyers wrote in the filing.

The special counsel prosecutors who charged Biden claim he illegally purchased and possessed a revolver in 2018, which allegedly violated federal law because he was using illicit drugs at the time. He has pleaded not guilty to all three felony counts. He is also challenging the constitutionality of the gun statute at the heart of the case and has alleged the charges were politically motivated.

In addition to the gun case, Biden is facing a federal tax indictment in California. He is also pursuing appeals in that case and trying to delay that trial, which is scheduled to begin in late June after the expected conclusion of the gun trial.

Special counsel David Weiss filed both cases against President Joe Biden’s son – the first-ever criminal prosecutions against the child of the sitting US president. Weiss was previously the Trump-appointed US attorney in Delaware but was elevated to special counsel status last year by Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee.

Prosecutors say 3 Hunter Biden exes to testify about his addiction at trial

Weiss plans to present extremely personal testimony about Hunter Biden’s drug addiction from three of his former romantic partners, according to a filing Monday evening.

In the filing, prosecutors described some of their key witnesses and what they plan to say on the stand, and they also released text messages and photos that they plan to show to the jury.

These revelations about Weiss’ trial strategy and witness list underscore the extremely personal nature of this case, which will shine a national spotlight on what Hunter Biden has said was his rock bottom and allow Weiss the chance to prove in court that Hunter Biden was abusing drugs when he owned the gun.

The expected prosecution witnesses include Hunter Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle; his late brother’s widow, whom he later also dated, Hallie Biden; and Lunden Roberts, an Arkansas native who has a daughter with Hunter Biden. The filings don’t identify the women by name, but Weiss’ description of their testimony matches other public details and court filings from related cases.

Prosecutors say one witness, who CNN has identified as Hallie Biden, will testify that Hunter Biden possessed the revolver in 2018 and that she took it from his car and threw it in a dumpster near a grocery store in Wilmington, Delaware.

Prosecutors said in the filing that another witness, who appears to be Roberts, will testify that she “observed the defendant using crack cocaine frequently — every 20 minutes except when he slept.”

The filing also includes scores of text messages they say are from Hunter Biden, including images of drugs, as well as messages about sobriety and meeting with drug dealers. Other witnesses prosecutors will call include federal agents and the gun store employee who allegedly sold Hunter Biden the pistol in 2018.

Hunter Biden wants judge to prohibit testimony about his ‘alleged extravagant lifestyle’ at trial

Hunter Biden wants to block prosecutors from presenting testimony at his gun trial about his “alleged extravagant lifestyle,” as they did in his separate tax indictment in which they described his past spending sprees on luxury cars, strippers, escorts and drugs while he struggled with addiction, his attorneys wrote in a filing earlier in the day.

“Any reference to this issue … would not be relevant to the issues or charges in the Delaware gun case and would be prejudicial beyond any probative value and pose a danger of confusing the issues and misleading the jury,” his lawyers wrote.

They proposed witnesses could be directed to stick to the bare bones of the facts and not delve into salacious details. They wrote: “For example, a witness who testifies to meeting Mr. Biden at a hotel room or having dinner with him, should not be asked such questions as whether the hotel room or meal was extravagant, or how much the hotel room or meal cost.”

The filing was part of the routine pretrial maneuvering by both sides in a criminal case. District Judge Maryellen Noreika ultimately gets to decide what can be presented to the jury.

Biden’s legal team also wants the judge to prevent prosecutors from telling jurors in the Delaware gun trial that he is facing a separate tax indictment in California.

Lawyers for the president’s son also want to make sure that the jury doesn’t hear about his paternity dispute with Roberts. The attorneys said Weiss was unlikely to bring up the paternity dispute at the gun trial, but they asked the judge anyway to formally make it out of bounds.

Biden initially denied paternity, but a DNA test confirmed he was the girl’s father. The parents later fought over child-support payments and settled the matter last year. The saga put President Biden in an uncomfortable spot, and he publicly acknowledged his granddaughter for the first time last summer.

Roberts, who lives in Arkansas with her daughter, and her attorney Clint Lancaster have both been subpoenaed to also potentially testify at Hunter Biden’s later tax trial in California, Lancaster told CNN.

They previously cooperated with Weiss’ investigation, and the indictment described payments from Biden to Roberts that were part of his alleged tax-evasion scheme. Their subpoenas were first reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

What both sides want to ask potential jurors

Jury selection in the Delaware gun case is scheduled to begin June 3.

During the process, Biden and Weiss want to ask potential jurors about heated political topics such as the 2024 election and gun rights, according to a court filing.

The opposing sides submitted a joint filing to the judge with a list of questions they agree should be posed to potential jurors. The judge gets the final say on which questions are asked.

They want to know whether potential jurors think Biden “is being prosecuted in this case because his father is the President of the United States and a candidate for President” and whether jurors think he is being protected from prosecution for “other crimes” because his father is the president.

Biden’s team has argued he is being unfairly targeted because of his famous political family, while some GOP critics claim he’s getting soft treatment because of his father.

Both sides also want to know whether potential jurors are closely following the 2024 election, whether they donate to any politicians, or whether they have participated in any campaigns. And they want to know whether members of the jury pool can still be “fair and impartial” despite paying attention to the election.

In addition, they want to ask whether potential jurors have ever bought a gun and how they feel about various restrictions on gun possession. One of the proposed questions says: “Do you have any strong views about gun ownership in this country, the gun lobby, or the Second Amendment?”

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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