Hunter Biden ends bid for gun retrial after prosecutors explain appeal process

By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) -Hunter Biden withdrew his motion seeking a new trial on federal gun charges after government prosecutors said it was based on a “laughable tale” and a misunderstanding of the appeals process.

Hunter Biden became the first child of a sitting president to be convicted of a felony on June 11 after a jury found him guilty on all three counts related to his lying about illegal drug use when he bought a handgun in 2018.

Lawyers for President Joe Biden’s son had requested a new trial last month because they said the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadephia did not give the trial court a formal green light, known as a mandate, to proceed after dismissing his appeals.

Federal prosecutors said in a Monday court filing that Hunter Biden had no basis for his argument, noting the denial of his appeal was clearly stamped “certified order issued in lieu of mandate” under the clerk’s signature.

“The defendant’s motion is meritless and is based on his apparent misunderstanding of appellate practice and his failure to read the Third Circuit’s orders,” said the court filing by lawyers for Special Counsel David Weiss.

The prosecutors described Hunter Biden’s arguments about a lack of a formal green light to proceed to trial as a “laughable tale of the mystery of the missing mandates.”

Hunter Biden’s lawyers said they were withdrawing the motion for a new trial after the special counsel explained 3rd Circuit procedure.

Hunter Biden has denied wrongdoing and his lawyers have said he will appeal the conviction. He will be sentenced later this year and is facing up to 25 years in prison, but legal experts said he may not be incarcerated given he had no prior criminal record.

He still faces a trial on federal tax charges in September.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, DelawareEditing by Tomasz Janowski)


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