Judge orders warrants unsealed in Hunter Biden gun case
The judge presiding over the federal weapons cases involving Hunter Biden has issued an order mandating the release of search warrants employed in two separate investigations concerning the embattled first son.
Delaware District Judge Maryellen Norieka on Friday, responding to a request, agreed to unseal four search warrants integral to the special counsel David Weiss' probe into Hunter Biden's alleged illegal gun possession and tax fraud, as Fox News reported.
Scope and Implications of the Unsealed Warrants
The unsealing of these warrants is expected to provide insight into the federal government's rationale for confiscating Biden's electronic devices and the evidence underpinning the dual criminal cases against him, as the New York Post reported.
The move came after Weiss' office cited these warrants in a legal argument to counter Hunter Biden's attempt to dismiss the charges.
The decision to make these records public faced no opposition from either Hunter Biden's defense or Weiss' office.
The precise date when these documents will be available remains unclear.
Details of the Warrants and Charges Against Hunter Biden
The unsealed warrants, dating back to 2019 and 2020, were used by tax authorities and the FBI to investigate Hunter Biden's Apple iCloud account and his now-notorious laptop.
Another warrant related to the gun case was issued in late 2022 to gather electronic evidence following the indictment's unsealing against Biden.
Hunter has pled not guilty to three federal gun charges, stemming from allegations of lying about his drug use while purchasing a firearm in 2018.
The severity of these charges could result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Defense attorney Abbe Lowell has indicated plans to challenge the constitutionality of these charges, referencing a recent appellate court decision that a federal ban on drug users possessing guns infringes upon Second Amendment rights.
Legal Developments and the Collapse of a Plea Deal
Hunter Biden's legal saga saw a significant turn earlier when he agreed to plead guilty to minor tax offenses, potentially averting prosecution on gun charges if he remained compliant over two years.
This agreement, however, disintegrated following judicial scrutiny. More recently, Hunter Biden's legal team sought to dismiss the gun charge indictment, arguing it breaches the now-failed plea agreement, which they believe still holds.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors revealed that a brown leather pouch used by Hunter Biden to store a firearm was found to have traces of cocaine on it.
These prosecutors requested the judge to deny Hunter Biden's attempts to have the gun charges against him dismissed based on the discovery of cocaine residue on the pouch used to contain his gun.
In his 2021 memoir, Hunter Biden had previously admitted to incriminating statements regarding his drug use.
However, investigators are now asserting that cocaine residue was discovered on the gun pouch after it was removed from a state police vault last year. Prosecutors have confirmed that a chemist from the FBI identified the residue as cocaine.