Hunter Biden requests new trial after conviction in gun case

Lawyers for the US president’s son argue that a Delaware court did not have jurisdiction over the case when it proceeded to trial

Hunter Biden was found guilty earlier this month on three felony counts related to a handgun purchase while he was a user of crack cocaine. Photograph: Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times

Lawyers for Hunter Biden have filed a motion requesting a new trial, arguing that a Delaware court did not have jurisdiction over the case when it proceeded to trial.

Mr Biden, the eldest living son of the US president, was found guilty earlier this month on three felony counts related to a handgun purchase while he was a user of crack cocaine.

Mr Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, in a court filing on Monday, argued that his client’s “convictions should be vacated” because the judge overseeing the case lacked jurisdiction to hold a trial because of pending rulings in his appeals case.

A federal appeals court had rejected two attempts by Mr Biden’s lawyers to dismiss the gun charges, but Mr Lowell said that the court had not yet issued a formal mandate denying one of those appeals.

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“Naturally, any district court action taken after it has been divested of jurisdiction by an appeal must be vacated,” he wrote in the Monday filing. “Mr Biden’s convictions should be vacated because the court lacked jurisdiction to proceed to trial.”

In a separate filing, Mr Biden’s lawyers argued that a recent supreme court ruling, which upheld a federal ban on a firearms for people under domestic violence restraining orders, supported their motion for an acquittal in the case, or “at a minimum” a new trial.

Mr Biden faces a maximum of 25 years in prison, though first-time offenders are rarely given the maximum penalty. No sentencing date has been set.

The president has said he will not use his power to pardon or commute his son’s sentence. - Guardian