Hunter Biden on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to all three federal gun charges, meaning the case now heads to a possible trial as the 2024 presidential election heats up.
Biden is accused of failing to disclose his drug use while buying a firearm, and possessing a firearm while addicted to a substance.
The plea comes nearly two months after Biden reached a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to plea guilty to two federal tax crimes while avoiding prosecution for the gun charges. That negotiation fell through after a judge expressed concern about the scope of the deal.
Attorney General Merrick Garland in August assigned the Trump-appointed attorney investigating Biden special counsel status. The decision came amid an investigation by House Republicans into complaints by IRS agents that Weiss pulled his punches on the case — charges Weiss and Garland have forcefully denied.
Biden has admitted to struggling with a crack cocaine addiction when he purchased the firearm, but his legal team continues to deny any wrongdoing.
The trial will also test the court’s approach to gun rights. In a separate case, a conservative appeals court in September ruled that a ban on drug users having guns violates the Second Amendment, citing new Supreme Court standards.
Biden’s team has also gone on the offensive against the various legal issues surrounding their client. Recently, they filed separate lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani and former Trump aide Garrett Ziegler. Biden’s team accuses them of violating privacy and computer fraud law after accessing data on Biden’s personal laptop, which was made public after he left it at a repair shop.