Hunter Biden, Abbe Lowell, 2023
Hunter Biden (son of US President Joseph Biden) on the left, lawyer Abbe Lowell on the right, surrounded by a gaggle of reporters asking about Biden's potential testimony before the House of Representatives about his foreign business dealings, December 13, 2023. Photo credit: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call / Wikimedia

Hunter Biden’s defense against gun charges got off to a rocky start after the judge in the case prevented a piece of evidence from being exhibited in court and also ruled that an expert witness would not be allowed to testify.

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Hunter Biden’s defense against charges that he lied about his drug use on a form required for purchasing a gun got off to a rocky start… even before the trial began.

The judge in the case blocked an important piece of evidence from being presented to the jury, which was selected today, and also prevented an expert witness from testifying. 

Hunter Biden’s attorneys had hoped to use an altered copy of the form on which the defendant had checked a box saying that he was not abusing drugs at the time of the gun purchase. He later admitted to drug use in a memoir.

There are apparently two versions of this form. One was sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) shortly after the purchase, and there was also a paper copy that Biden’s lawyers claim was tampered with.

It is this second form that the attorneys hoped to present as evidence to show that the documents are not identical. 

However, Judge Maryellen Noreika said the document was inadmissible and chided the defense team for pushing conspiracy theories. 

She also ruled that an addiction psychiatry expert is not allowed to testify. 

Now, if you followed the trial of Donald Trump over the past few weeks, you may recognize some similarities. 

In the former president’s case, the judge blocked one of the defense witnesses from expansively testifying on federal campaign finance law. 

Trump later falsely claimed that election law expert Brad Smith, who once served on the Federal Election Commission, was barred from making an appearance on the witness stand. Instead, the judge’s ruling would merely have limited the scope of that testimony. In the end, Smith was not called as a witness. 

But that’s where the similarities end. 

You may be shocked to hear that, after Noreika made her ruling in the gun case, Hunter Biden did not immediately lose his mind and go on social media to endlessly rant about a biased judge.

That’s because, while the president’s son may be an extremely troubled individual in real legal peril, he is not apparently nuts.

Another major difference between the two trials is that a lot fewer people are paying attention to this one. While you might think that you would get wall-to-wall coverage from Fox News, where Hunter Biden has been a main protagonist, that is not the case (and we explain why here).

Even without the rulings, the president’s son would have faced an uphill battle. Now, his defense seems even more daunting. 

In addition, if he is found guilty, he can’t expect any help from his dad. The White House stated last year that President Joe Biden would not pardon his son. 

Hunter Biden is also scheduled to go on trial for a tax fraud charge in September.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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