WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden again asked a judge to dismiss the federal gun case against him on Tuesday, arguing it is politically motivated and key evidence was tested after charges were filed.
Cocaine residue found on the pouch the president’s son used to hold his gun was only identified last year, after a scuttled plea deal and subsequent indictment, Hunter Biden’s defense attorney said in court documents.
The pouch was originally found in a trash can and not tested for fingerprints or to determine how long the residue had been there, defense attorney Abbe Lowell wrote. It had been in police evidence storage since 2018, and testing it last year to bolster the case is “’clear evidence’ of selective prosecution,” Lowell argued.
Prosecutors had been ready to strike a plea deal in the case, but Lowell argued they bowed to “political pressure” after the agreement hit the skids in court and was publicly pilloried by Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, as a “sweetheart deal.”
Prosecutors, meanwhile, have said there’s no evidence the case is politically motivated, while “the strength of the evidence against him is overwhelming.” The charges were “brought in spite of, not because of, any outside noise made by politicians,” they said in court documents this month.
Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days. He has acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law and another non-violent, first-time offender would not have been charged.
The yearslong investigation had looked ready to wrap up with a plea deal last year, but the agreement fell apart and now the president’s son is facing a possible trial this year while his father, President Joe Biden, is campaigning for another term.
Hunter was indicted in Delaware after the plea deal broke down following a hearing where a judge who was supposed to approve it instead raised a series of questions. He is also facing tax charges in Los Angeles.