Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

How Biden’s team plans to approach his son’s criminal trial

By 37ci3 May25,2024

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and his top advisers will be watching closely when his son Hunter Biden’s criminal trial on felony gun charges in Delaware begins in early June, but for different reasons.

Biden, who will travel abroad for part of the trial, will watch primarily as a concerned parent rather than as an incumbent seeking re-election during a critical part of the campaign, according to three people familiar with the president’s thinking. His advisers will partially monitor any reference to the president during the proceedings and plan to decide whether to react in real time, according to two people familiar with the plans.

Given that text messages will be used during the trial, including some exchanges with Hunter Biden’s father, it seems highly likely that the president will be subpoenaed. Case does As prosecutors plan to call Hunter Biden’s ex-wife and the widow of his late brother Bowe to testify, the president and his family are expected to bring some deeply personal dynamics into the public eye. Some of Hunter Biden’s drug-addicted lowest moments are expected to be cataloged graphically, fodder for Republicans who have criticized his father for years.

“The unknown certainly brings stress,” said one Biden adviser.

At a hearing Friday in Delaware ahead of a June 3 trial, Hunter Biden’s attorneys will argue that some evidence in the case should be excluded.

The convergence of political intersections around Hunter Biden’s trial is unprecedented. It is the first time that charges have been brought against the son of a sitting president. The trial begins five months before the presidential elections. And it will begin shortly after the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, the first former president to be tried on criminal charges, could receive a silent monetary sentence in New York.

There are still no formal plans for the White House or the 2024 team to conduct a rapid response operation during Hunter Biden’s trial, according to five people familiar with the current strategy.

The goal is to be “deliberately mean,” one of the people said, revealing that Hunter Biden is a private citizen who faced charges at one point in his life when he was addicted to drugs. Hunter Biden also has his own legal defense team and communications specialists who can speak on his behalf, which is considered the preferred approach by the president’s aides.

The White House counsel’s office does not plan to impose any privilege or intervene in the court proceedings regarding the inclusion in the court proceedings of text messages between Hunter Biden and his father during October 2018 related to work. A source familiar with the White House plans. The source said that any text messages between the president and his son that could be released in court are expected to reflect the father’s concern for his son during a turbulent time in his life.

“For the president and the first lady, it’s really about being there for their son as parents and showing him love and support,” a White House official said in response to the story. The Biden campaign declined to comment.

According to a recent court hearing, more than 2,500 text messages between Hunter Biden and others may become available at trial. Which messages will be admissible as evidence is still being debated between the parties.

The trial in Delaware is the first one Hunter Biden has faced. Another trial in California, currently scheduled to begin in September, focuses on tax charges stemming from the same investigation that began in 2018 and was overseen by David Weiss, Trump’s appointed US attorney for the state of Delaware. The Biden administration kept Weiss in place after taking office to avoid any perception of impropriety. Attorney General Merrick Garland granted Weiss special counsel status last August when Weiss requested it after his plea deal with Hunter Biden fell apart.

Weiss’ prosecutors acknowledged that the perception of political motivation could be a problem for potential jurors. Among the questions they are proposing to jurors in an upcoming Delaware gun case are: “Do you think Hunter Biden is being tried in this case because his father is the president of the United States and is running for president?”

For the president, his son’s trial is raising concerns that he could retaliate under judicial pressure that could result in prison terms and political attacks from Republicans.

“It touches him as a father, but not as a president or a candidate,” said one person familiar with the president’s thinking.

Part of the concern stems from Hunter Biden’s lack of revenue. Hunter Biden’s lawyers and allies are exploring whether to set up a legal defense fund to cover legal fees that were previously billed late last year, NBC News reported.

The trial will also begin just days after the ninth anniversary of the death of Beau Biden, the president’s son, who died of brain cancer on May 30, 2015.

Biden aides hope voters will see Hunter Biden’s trial as a complicated family issue, noting that some of them may even have relatives or friends who have struggled with substance abuse.

Throughout Hunter Biden’s legal ups and downs over the past few years, the president and first lady have repeatedly said they support their son.

“I trust him. I have faith in him. And it affects my presidency and makes me proud of it,” Biden told MSNBC last May.

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By 37ci3

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