A Delaware judge denied Hunter Biden's request to appear virtually for his first hearing regarding a felony gun charge, Breitbart reported. The judge said President Joe Biden's son "should not receive special treatment in this matter."
Hunter Biden is facing up to $750,000 in fines and 25 years in jail if convicted of the three felony firearms charges. He had asked that his initial hearing on Oct. 3 be conducted virtually.
U.S. Magistrate Judge from the District of Delaware Christopher Burke turned down that request. "In the end, the Court agrees with both Defendant … and the Government … that Defendant should not receive special treatment in this matter – absent some unusual circumstance, he should be treated just as would any other defendant in our Court," he wrote, according to CNN.
"Any other defendant would be required to attend his or her initial appearance in person. So too here," Burke added.
The younger Biden is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, one count of false statement related to information required to be kept by federal firearms licensed dealers, and one count of false statement in the purchase of a firearm. Hunter Biden was initially offered a sweetheart plea deal from Special Counsel David Weiss.
However, it fell apart after another judge uncovered the highly favorable terms, forcing the younger Biden to enter a plea of not guilty. Weiss also believes Hunter Biden should appear in person after what happened in July with the plea deal.
"An in-person hearing is important to promote the public’s confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants in this District and in other Districts," a letter from Weiss’ office to the judge said on Wednesday. "Moreover, the previous arraignment held in connection with this matter was anything but routine because the defendant and his previous attorney were not prepared to answer the Court’s questions," the letter added.
Hunter Biden's attorneys had argued that it would be too onerous to get him there with the required security detail. However, prosecutors pointed out it had been done without a problem for former President Donald Trump.
"During the last few months, the United States Secret Service has coordinated with the United States Marshals Service and court personnel on multiple occasions and in multiple jurisdictions to provide protective services in connection with initial appearances and arraignments," prosecutors said. The younger Biden had also already made an appearance at the court in July.
That hearing was likely seen as a formality by Hunter Biden and his attorneys. The plea deal would have let him off the hook without jail time despite the felony weapons charges.
In 2018, Hunter Biden applied for a permit to purchase a weapon and obtained a gun after lying on an application. He answered that he was not a user of or addicted to drugs even as he was in the throes of a crack cocaine addiction.
The judge in that hearing took several recesses to see if attorneys on both sides could come to an understanding. Based on the gravity of the alleged crime, the judge had to reject the terms of the deal.
Hunter Biden has received nothing but special treatment despite the myriad of crimes he's allegedly involved in. According to a Fox News report, Hunter Biden is implicated in international corruption and influence peddling without facing any consequences as of yet.
It's about time the president's son faced up to what he's done. However, even with an in-person hearing, it's difficult to believe that justice will be served based on what he's gotten away with already.