Judge Agrees to Delay Hunter Biden’s Tax Trial Until September

Judge Agrees to Delay Hunter Biden’s Tax Trial Until September

Hunter Biden arrives at the Thomas P. O'Neil Jr. House Office Building for a closed door deposition in Washington on Feb. 28, 2024. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Congressional Integrity Project)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

5/22/2024

Updated: 5/22/2024

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LOS ANGELES—A federal judge in Los Angeles granted Hunter Biden’s request on May 22 to delay his trial on tax evasion charges to Sept. 5, moving the trial months closer to election day.
Some states start early voting up to 46 days before the Nov. 5 election.
Mr. Biden faced two trials in June on separate coasts, which didn’t give his attorney Abbe David Lowell enough time to prepare for the Los Angeles trial, he told U.S. District Court Judge Mark Scarsi. He said he wanted to host a 10-day family get-together in August, making September a better month for him.
“It’s a chance to take a deep breath in between [trials] and a chance to see family,” Mr. Lowell said.
The decision follows a Delaware judge’s rejection of a time extension in Mr. Biden’s gun case, which is set for June 3.
“The court finds for the needs of the defendant to have more time,” Judge Scarsi said Wednesday. “The court will move this trial to Sept. 5.”
Federal prosecutor Leo Wise disputed the argument by Mr. Lowell, saying the government was “ready to go” on the originally assigned date of June 20, saying the motion was “simply an attempt to delay the trial.”
“The time to try this case is now,” Mr. Wise told the judge. “This latest attempt to put it off should fail.”
Beyond the time crunch issue, Mr. Biden’s attorney claimed he could only find one expert witness who was willing to work on the cases and needed more time to prepare and review documents and other witnesses before the trial.
Mr. Biden’s legal team has tried multiple times to have both cases dismissed or delayed since charges were filed late last year.
The new trial date will put President Joe Biden’s son in a courtroom two months before voters decide whether to reelect his father in November. Mr. Wise, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, estimates the trial would take about six days.
With other procedural actions, the case could run into October, with the jury starting deliberations mid-October, the judge estimated.
Mr. Biden faces charges alleging he failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over three years while living an “extravagant lifestyle,” while he was in the grips of an illegal drug addiction.
In the Los Angeles case, Special Counsel David Weiss and federal prosecutors allege he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on “various women,” another $190,000 on adult entertainment, and about $400,000 on clothes, according to financial information filed by Mr. Weiss’s team.
In total, Mr. Biden spent nearly $5 million while failing to pay at least $1.4 million in federal taxes, according to the indictment.
His attorney Abbe David Lowell claims the prosecutions against his client are politically motivated. He also says Mr. Biden eventually paid his taxes in full and is being prosecuted because he is part of the Biden family.
Mr. Biden faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted on all charges related to the Los Angeles case.
Last month, Judge Scarsi denied Mr. Biden’s request to throw out the tax evasion charges. He appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but the court declined to hear his appeal earlier this month.
After the court rejected Mr. Biden’s appeal to dismiss the case, he asked Judge Scarsi for a stay, which would have suspended the hearings, but that was denied on May 10.
He also faces a trial in Delaware on felony gun charges after a judge also denied his request to delay the proceedings. Jury selection in that case is set to start June 3.
Mr. Biden’s attorneys lost a bid to delay proceedings in his felony gun trial in Delaware. His attorneys asked the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for a delay citing constitutional questions related to his illicit drug use in the indictment, violations of his First Amendment rights, and a scheduling conflict with the California case.
The Delaware indictment against the president’s son includes three felony weapons charges from 2018. It also claims he purchased and possessed a revolver when he was using illegal drugs.
His legal team is also appealing a U.S. District judge’s decision to reject a claim that the case violates the Second Amendment regarding firearm ownership.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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