The Request for Hunter Biden’s Virtual Court Appearance

Federal prosecutors are urging a judge to reject Hunter Biden’s request for a virtual court appearance on felony firearm charges. The son of President Joe Biden should be treated no differently than other defendants, according to Department of Justice special counsel David Weiss. In a court filing in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, Weiss emphasized that virtual proceedings have expired, and defendants’ first court appearances are now predominantly held in-person.

Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, argued that a virtual court appearance would alleviate the burden on government resources and minimize disruption in the courthouse and downtown areas of Wilmington. Lowell asserted that his client, who will plead not guilty to the charges, can easily utter those words via video conference.

Special counsel David Weiss countered that convenience alone cannot justify a virtual appearance. He contended that if convenience were a sufficient reason, every defendant would request virtual proceedings in every case. Weiss further emphasized that Hunter Biden’s prior court appearance was far from routine. A plea deal between Hunter Biden and prosecutors on criminal tax charges collapsed during scrutiny from a judge, leading Hunter Biden to plead not guilty. This development also impacted a pretrial diversion agreement on a gun-related charge. Due to these unforeseen issues, Weiss believes an in-person proceeding may be more conducive to address any further complications.

Hunter Biden, age 53, was indicted last week on three criminal counts related to his possession of a firearm while being an unlawful drug user. He has been open about his struggles with substance abuse. The charges include two counts of lying about his illegal drug use in connection with his purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver. The third count accuses him of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful drug user.

Federal prosecutors are opposing Hunter Biden’s request for a virtual court appearance on felony firearm charges. They argue that he should be treated the same as any other defendant, and convenience alone is not a sufficient reason to grant a virtual appearance. The defense attorney emphasizes the potential benefits of a virtual proceeding, such as reduced burden on resources and minimized disruption. However, prosecutors believe that an in-person proceeding would be more conducive to address any unforeseen issues. Hunter Biden will plead not guilty to the charges, which stem from his possession of a firearm while being an unlawful drug user. The court’s decision on his request for a virtual appearance remains pending.


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