Judge’s Rulings Impact Hunter Biden’s Gun Trial on Eve of Jury Selection

As jury selection looms, the federal judge overseeing Hunter Biden’s gun trial made significant decisions on Sunday, dealing blows to his defense by excluding an expert witness and blocking a crucial piece of evidence.

Judge Maryellen Noreika’s rulings addressed contentious issues just before the trial’s start, potentially complicating Hunter Biden’s defense against accusations of illegally acquiring and possessing a firearm while grappling with substance abuse.

Noreika backed special counsel David Weiss in blocking one of Hunter Biden’s expert witnesses, a psychiatrist from Columbia University. The defense sought to call this witness to challenge claims that Hunter Biden was cognizant of his addiction when he purchased the gun in 2018.

In her decision, Noreika emphasized, “The inadequacy of Defendant’s expert disclosure for Dr. (Elie) Aoun leaves the government in the dark as to what his opinions about the facts of this case will be, thus rendering the government unable to prepare for trial.”

Furthermore, the judge barred Hunter Biden’s legal team from presenting an altered version of the federal firearms form he filled out during the 2018 purchase. This modified form, altered by gun store employees in 2021, aimed to discredit their testimony and insinuate political bias.

Noreika dismissed this strategy, labeling the altered form “irrelevant and inadmissible.” She criticized the defense for advancing “conspiratorial” theories and unsupported claims against the Wilmington gun store employees, warning of potential unfair prejudice and jury confusion.

Only the original ATF Form 4473, where Hunter Biden purportedly falsely denied drug use, will be shown to the jury. Prosecutors allege that he was addicted to crack cocaine at the time of the firearm purchase, a contention supported by his own admission in his memoir.

With jury selection scheduled to commence on Monday morning in Wilmington, Hunter Biden faces significant hurdles as he confronts charges linked to the gun acquisition.

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