After Republicans charged David Weiss with showing political bias in orchestrating a failed (“sweetheart”) plea deal arrangement for Hunter Biden, Weiss is now compelled to take a stronger approach in the case.
Hunter, son of President Joe Biden, faces multiple felony accounts and requested to appear virtually for his arraignment.
Lawyers representing Hunter disclosed the request, which was made via a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge from the District of Delaware Christopher Burke.
According to Fox News, Hunter’s legal team, led by lead attorney Abbe Lowell, stated that Hunter would plead “not guilty” and formally requested “the first son’s initial court appearance take place by video.”
The request stood in stark contrast to the four indictments former President Donald Trump received in recent months — all of which compelled him to travel to appear in court in person.
Weiss stated in a Wednesday court filing that he opposes the request.
“The government opposes the defendant’s request to hold a virtual initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment that was returned by a grand jury on September 14, 2023,” Weiss wrote in the filing. “Fifteen months ago, the Court’s standing order authorizing virtual proceedings during the pandemic expired.”
Weiss added: “Given the serious felony gun charges at issue in this case, this Court should have an opportunity to assess the defendant in a live setting when discharging its obligations under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(f) and (g), and considering recommendations for conditions of release. Accordingly, the government opposes the defendant’s request for a virtual proceeding.”
Lead counsel Abbe Lowell is arguing for the virtual arraignment and has stated that Hunter is “not seeking any special treatment in making this request.”
Lowell asserted that the request for a virtual court appearance was “to minimize an unnecessary burden on government resources and the disruption to the courthouse and downtown areas when a person protected by the Secret Service flies across the country and then must be transported to and from a downtown location.”
Lowell assured the Court that Hunter “has scrupulously complied with [Court] conditions since returning home to California (D.E. 15), and it is his expectation that those conditions will remain in place until the Court orders otherwise.”
Hunter’s attorney added: “Hunter Biden possessing an unloaded gun for 11 day [sic] was not a threat to public safety, but a prosecutor, with all the power imaginable, bending to political pressure presents a grave threat to our system of justice. We believe these charges are barred by the agreement the prosecutors made with Mr. Biden, the recent rulings by several federal courts that this statute is unconstitutional, and the fact that he did not violate that law, and we plan to demonstrate all of that in court.”
Hunter is charged with “making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer;” and one count of “possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.”
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