Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. President Joe Biden, will not be able to make his arraignment on federal gun charges through a video conference, a federal judge ruled this week. The decision came after Hunter Biden's legal team requested that he be allowed to appear virtually instead of traveling to the courtroom in person.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke, from the District of Delaware, rejected the request in an order on Wednesday afternoon. In his ruling, Burke stated that the appearance in court is important because it emphasizes the "integrity and solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding." He also noted that this will be the first time that most of the charges against Hunter Biden will be discussed in court, making it necessary for him to be physically present.
The special counsel, David Weiss, indicted Hunter Biden earlier this month on three charges related to the purchase of a firearm. These charges include making multiple false statements and being unlawfully in possession of a firearm. The indictment comes as a result of an investigation into Hunter Biden's financial dealings and tax affairs.
Burke also pointed out that in his 12 years as a judge, he cannot recall ever conducting an initial appearance other than in person. He stated that this has been the case for defendants of all types, regardless of their location or personal circumstances. The judge also noted that Hunter Biden should not receive special treatment in this matter and should be treated just like any other defendant in the court.
The decision to deny Hunter Biden's request was based on multiple factors, including the fact that this will be the first time the new charges are discussed in court and the need to address any potential alterations to his pre-trial release conditions. Burke also stated that the court expects that the current conditions will remain in place, but in case of any changes, they must be addressed in person.
The court appearance for Hunter Biden is scheduled for October 3 at 10 a.m. in Delaware. He will be required to attend in person, just like any other defendant in a federal criminal proceeding. This ruling serves as a reminder that no one is above the law, and everyone must be treated equally.
It is worth noting that Hunter Biden's initial appearance was conducted through a video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the expiration of the CARES Act standing order, the court is now returning to in-person appearances for all defendants.
In conclusion, Hunter Biden's request to appear virtually for his arraignment on federal gun charges has been denied by a federal judge. The judge has emphasized the importance of appearing in court in person and treating all defendants equally. Hunter Biden's court appearance is scheduled for October 3 in Delaware.