A court filing from Hunter Biden’s lawyers on Tuesday states that he is planning to plead not guilty on three felony gun charges, and he has requested that his arraignment take place virtually.
Biden was indicted last week on one count of illegally possessing a firearm and two counts of falsifying claims in paperwork while purchasing the firearm.
The charges revolve around a gun purchase Biden made in 2018, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. He affirmed in the purchase paperwork that he was not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any drugs or narcotics, “when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious,” the indictment alleges.
Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, wrote a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge from the District of Delaware Christopher Burke to “respectfully request that the Court hold Mr. Biden’s initial appearance in this matter by video conference.”
Lowell stated that Biden “has attended and will attend any proceedings in which his physical appearance is required,” adding that he “is not seeking any special treatment in making this request,” per Fox News.
Biden currently lives in California, and the arraignment is expected to take place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Lowell stated that conducting the arraignment virtually would “minimize an unnecessary burden on government resources and the disruption to the courthouse and downtown areas when a person protected by the Secret Service flies across the country and then must be transported to and from a downtown location,” according to NBC News.
“Mr. Biden also will enter a plea of not guilty, and there is no reason why he cannot utter those two words by video conference,” added Lowell, per Fox News.
“In short, Mr. Biden is satisfied that his constitutional rights will be met by conducting his initial appearance by video conference.”
On Monday evening, prior to the submission of the letter, Judge Burke announced that Biden would prefer to appear virtually, and the prosecution would like him to appear in person, according to NBC News. Burke informed Biden’s lawyers that they must make their request in writing by Tuesday, while the prosecutors would be expected to file a response by Wednesday.
A previous plea deal between the two sides would have allowed Biden to bypass the felony gun charges if he pleaded guilty to not paying taxes on over $1 million of income in 2017 and 2018, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The deal fell apart after Judge Maryellen Noreika voiced concerns that Biden would receive immunity for other charges not addressed in the deal.