Lawyers for Hunter Biden have asked a federal court in Delaware to approve subpoenas for former president Donald Trump, his former attorney general William P. Barr, and other former senior Justice Department officials, as Biden fights gun charges by seeking to show the probe was politically motivated.
In court papers filed Wednesday, Biden’s legal team sought permission to issue the subpoenas to try to gather more information about “certain instances that appear to suggest incessant, improper, and partisan pressure applied by then President Trump to” Barr, as well as two of his former top deputies, Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue. In a book, Barr has described getting angry at Trump for pressing him over the status of the Hunter Biden investigation, which was opened in 2018.
The president’s son has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges related to a gun purchase - a case that could end up going to trial amid President Biden’s 2024 campaign for a second term. Trump is the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Federal prosecutors have accused the younger Biden in a four-page indictment of making two false statements in 2018 when he completed paperwork to purchase a gun. Biden asserted on the form that he was not addicted to or using illegal drugs, the indictment says, “when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.” He is also charged with unlawfully possessing the gun.
Republicans, including Trump, have tried to link President Biden to his son’s alleged wrongdoing, and make the Hunter Biden investigation a major theme of the 2024 presidential race.
Federal law makes it illegal to possess a weapon while using illegal drugs. Hunter Biden has publicly acknowledged being addicted to drugs at the time of the 2018 gun purchase. He allegedly owned the Colt revolver for 11 days.