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Hunter Biden pleads not guilty in gun charges: legal battle commences

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, pleads not guilty to charges of lying about drug use while buying a handgun.

In a historic turn of events, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to charges of lying about his drug use while purchasing a handgun. This marks the first-ever criminal prosecution of a sitting US president's child.

During his appearance at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware, the 53-year-old Biden wore a dark suit and tie. When asked if he understood the charges and the not guilty plea entered by his attorney, Abbe Lowell, Biden respectfully responded, "Yes, your honor." The court proceedings lasted for approximately 25 minutes and were attended by six Secret Service agents who sat near Hunter Biden and escorted him out of the courtroom.

US Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke set conditions for Hunter Biden's release pending trial, including seeking employment, abstaining from illegal drugs and alcohol, and clearing any travel plans with a probation officer. The judge also noted that Hunter Biden had recently undergone multiple tests for illegal drug use, all of which came back negative.

This hearing sets the stage for a historic moment as the adult child of a sitting president faces a criminal trial while his father campaigns for re-election. In contrast, former President Donald Trump, who is likely to be President Biden's Republican rival in 2024, is facing four upcoming criminal trials of his own, two of which are linked to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Hunter Biden previously attended a hearing in July related to the charges against him. At that time, an agreement to resolve the gun charges and separate tax charges fell apart when a US District Judge refused to accept it. Under the proposed deal, Hunter Biden would have pleaded guilty to misdemeanour tax violations and avoided punishment for the gun charges on the condition that he refrained from possessing firearms and using illegal drugs and alcohol for two years.

Hunter Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, stated on Tuesday that he would file a motion to dismiss the case, citing the belief that the July agreement remains in effect and that the statute itself is unconstitutional. The deadline for filing this motion is November 3.

Legal experts have speculated that any charges related to firearms against Hunter Biden could face a constitutional challenge. This comes after the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling last year, which expanded gun rights under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, protecting the right to bear arms.

Hunter Biden has long been the target of relentless attacks by Republicans, particularly led by former President Trump. Republicans have accused him of wrongdoing in relation to his work in Ukraine and China, making him a focal point of a congressional impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.

It is important to note that Hunter Biden has never held a position in the White House or his father's campaign. President Joe Biden has consistently stated that he has not discussed foreign business dealings with his son and has emphasized the independence of the Justice Department in any investigation involving a member of his family.

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