Hunter Biden loses bid to dismiss gun charges, federal court sets June 3 trial date

Hunter Biden arrives with his lawyer Abbe Lowell for a deposition before the US House of Representatives. Washington^ DC USA 02-28-2024.

A federal court panel in Philadelphia rejected an appeal by President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, of three gun charges Thursday, clearing the way for him to stand trial in his home state of Delaware beginning June 3- a first for the son of a sitting president. Hunter Biden was appealing orders issued last month, in which he was denied motions to dismiss two counts accusing Biden of lying about using illegal narcotics when he purchased a Colt Cobra handgun in 2018 and a third count of illegally possessing that weapon. Hunter Biden’s legal team had argued that the lower trial court had to wait for the federal appeals court to rule before it could push ahead with a trial.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia said Hunter Biden could not appeal because the lower court had not yet entered a final judgment in the case. In a four-page order (seen here), the panel dismissed Hunter’s bid to consider having the case thrown out, citing a lack of jurisdiction. Judges Patty Shwartz, Cindy Chung and D. Brooks Smith stated in the order: “This appeal is DISMISSED because the defendant has not shown the District Court’s orders are appealable before final judgment.”  

After the appeals court’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who will preside over the case, ordered the trial of up to six days to begin June 3 in Wilmington, Delaware (per Reuters).

Hunter Biden’s legal team said they will ask the full appeals court in Philadelphia to review the panel’s decision.  A statement from Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell reads that “in reviewing the panel’s decision, we believe the issues involved are too important and further review of our request is appropriate.”

Hunter, 54, has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include two counts of making false statements and one count of firearm possession by an unlawful substance abuser. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison on the gun charges.

Editorial credit: Andrew Leyden /

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