Hunter Biden’s team wants to subpoena Trump and DOJ officials

Attorneys argue his felony gun case stems from ‘vindictive or selective prosecution’ and a pressure campaign directed by the former president

Alex Woodward
Wednesday 15 November 2023 11:25 EST

Related video: Why has Hunter Biden been indicted?

Attorneys for Hunter Biden have asked a judge to subpoena Donald Trump and several former US Department of Justice officials in a case surrounding his felony gun charges.

A filing from the legal team for President Joe Biden’s son lists Mr Trump’s “incessant, improper, and partisan pressure” campaign to investigate Hunter, his “incendiary” rhetoric, and a “sustained, almost-nonstop public pressure campaign” from Mr Trump and his allies in Congress who have criticised the Justice Department’s handling of the case.

The proposed subpoenas also seek testimony from former US Attorney General Bill Barr, former deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and former US Attorney Richard Donoghue.

Hunter Biden seeks information “that goes to the heart of his defense that this is, possibly, a vindictive or selective prosecution arising from an unrelenting pressure campaign beginning in the last administration,” according to Mr Biden’s attorneys.

Mr Biden has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges related to a gun purchase, a case that could go to trial during his father’s campaign for re-election and Mr Trump’s pursuit of the 2024 Republican nomination for president while he faces four criminal trials of his own.

The younger Biden is accused of making two false statements in 2018 while filing paperwork to purchase a handgun. He previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and agreed to a diversion agreement following a years-long federal inquiry, an “agreement on which the prosecution has now unilaterally reneged,” according to Mr Biden’s attorneys.

A subsequent grand jury indictment under US Attorney David Weiss, who was appointed special counsel status, charged Mr Biden with illegally owning a gun as a drug user and with allegedly lying on a form when he bought it.

Congressional Republicans also have continued to investigate the younger Biden and have threatened an impeachment inquiry against the president, fuelled by GOP allegations that he was involved with and profited from his son’s business dealings. They have not provided any evidence that the president was influenced by or profited from such dealings while in office.

Mr Trump’s threats for his rival’s son to get a “death sentence” and his “other incendiary comments” are “just a few examples” of his threatening rhetoric towards Mr Biden and his political rival, along with “similar statements at his rallies, on TV, and in his post-presidency,” according to Mr Biden’s attorneys.

His statements while “in office or since then necessitate, and provide ample justification for, this set of requests for documents, communications, and personal records relating to or concerning Mr Biden,” according to the filing.

Following the collapse of the plea deal earlier this year, “Republicans pushed for more severe charges … in an effort to make Mr Biden’s prosecution an election issue,” Mr Biden’s attorney wrote.

That “outside pressure” culminated with special counsel Weiss “changing course” and indicting Mr Biden, “yet Republicans now say this is not enough,” according to the filing.

“It is clear no measure of charges against Mr Biden will ever be enough to appease” congressional Republicans and their “MAGA allies,” attorneys wrote.

“As anyone can readily tell, it is not just pressure from within the Trump-era executive branch that is the problem; it is also incessant, unrelenting outside interference from congressional Republicans and their allies in the prosecutorial process, which is supposed to be independent and free from political interference,” the filing added. “Undoubtedly, the current political climate has jeopardized that longstanding and fundamental American principle.”

The proposed subpoenas seek any communications relating to the investigation as well as “any documents and records” from the House select committee that investigated the events surrounding the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021.

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