Hunter Biden Asks to Postpone Next Month’s Tax Trial in L.A.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hunter Biden’s lawyers will ask a judge on Wednesday to postpone his trial, scheduled for next month in Los Angeles, where he’s accused of scheming to avoid paying $1.4 million in taxes.

The son of President Joe Biden seeks to delay the June 20 trial date until at least September, arguing that he’s also set for trial in Delaware on June 3 on federal firearms charges. Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to both indictments brought by Justice Department special counsel David Weiss, which he claims are politically motivated.

His lawyers argue that they can’t adequately prepare for both trials simultaneously and have sought delays—and dismissals—in both cases. Should Judge Mark C. Scarsi deny his request to delay the California case, Hunter Biden might face trials in two federal cases on opposite coasts next month, while his father campaigns for reelection against former President Donald Trump.

Judge Scarsi, appointed by Trump, will consider the request, which prosecutors oppose. The defense is also seeking to block both prosecutions by arguing that the special counsel’s funding was not properly approved by Congress.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers cited the “uniquely challenging and high-profile nature of this case” and “the fact Mr. Biden and the same counsel will be starting trial in Delaware just two and a half weeks before this trial is set to begin” in their request for a delay.

Prosecutors, however, argue that the increased media coverage does not affect the defense’s trial preparation, describing it as a “straightforward tax case.”

“He is not above the rule of law and should be treated like any other defendant,” the special counsel’s team stated in a recent court filing.

The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over four years while living an “extravagant lifestyle” during a period in which he has admitted struggling with addiction. He has since paid the back taxes.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defense attempt to dismiss the case. The appeals court did not rule on the merits of his claims, stating that the issues can’t be appealed at this time.

In the firearms case, prosecutors allege that Biden lied about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a firearm that he possessed for about 11 days in Delaware. He has acknowledged an addiction to crack cocaine during that period, but his lawyers assert that he didn’t break the law.

His lawyers urged the judge last week to delay that trial until September, noting their need for time to gather witnesses and review evidence. However, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Delaware denied the request, stating her belief that “everyone can get done what needs to get done” by June 3.

The lengthy federal investigation into the president’s son appeared close to concluding last year with a plea deal, but the agreement fell apart after a judge raised questions. Hunter Biden was subsequently indicted.

Under the deal, he would have received two years’ probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax charges. He also would have avoided prosecution on the firearms charge if he stayed out of trouble.

His attorneys argue that prosecutors succumbed to political pressure to indict him amid criticism of the plea deal from Trump and other Republicans.

Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City.

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