Jun 4, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Hunter Biden's request to remove trial evidence denied by judge

Hunter Biden walks outdoors through a gate. He is wearing a dark suit and tie with a white shirt.

Hunter Biden, son of President Biden, arrives to the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 4. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A Delaware judge declined requests on Tuesday from Hunter Biden's legal team to remove pieces of evidence from the record in his federal gun trial, multiple outlets reported.

Why it matters: The judge's decision will allow messages, videos and photos that show President Biden's son with drugs or discussing them around the time of a 2018 gun purchase to be included in the trial, which is a win for prosecutors from the Department of Justice.

  • "His admissions in his messages have probative value which is not substantially outweighed by danger of unfair prejudice or other issues," the prosecution wrote regarding the messages in a court document objecting to Biden's request.

Zoom in: Hunter Biden objected to a video that he said featured him naked, but the prosecution said it showed him only from the chest up.

  • "This video is evidence of the ongoing and long-running addiction the defendant admits to during the time period in question," the prosecution wrote in the document.

Catch up quick: Biden faces three felony gun charges with a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

  • Special Counsel David Weiss charged Biden with crimes related to making false statements on a form when he purchased a firearm in 2018 that prosecutors allege he possessed while using a narcotic.

Friction point: Evidence submitted by the Justice Department includes divorce materials, text messages with family, receipts and tax documents, and pictures and videos of Biden smoking crack cocaine.

  • Some legal experts argued that the level of personal detail is meant to embarrass rather than prosecute, Axios' Alex Thompson reported.

Go deeper: Hunter Biden trial jury seated, opening statements set for Tuesday

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