Light Wave

U.S. News

Biden gun case: judge asked to allow subpoenas of Trump, DOJ

By Jake Beardslee · November 16, 2023

In brief…

  • Hunter Biden seeks to subpoena Trump, Barr, and other DOJ officials in his criminal gun case
  • Biden's lawyers argue subpoenas could show political pressure behind his prosecution
  • Proposed subpoenas target officials with contacts about investigating Biden
  • Move aims to bolster Biden's claim of selective/vindictive prosecution
Hunter Biden is requesting court approval to subpoena former President Trump, ex-Attorney General Barr, and other DOJ officials for documents he argues could reveal political motivation behind his criminal prosecution.  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States/Wikimedia

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, is requesting permission from a federal judge to subpoena former President Donald Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and other Justice Department officials as part of his defense in an ongoing criminal case related to firearms charges.

In a new court filing, Biden’s lawyers argue that the proposed subpoenas for documents and communications could reveal information about “pressure” placed on prosecutors “to investigate or charge Mr. Biden for political reasons,” CNN reported.

Specifically, Biden aims to subpoena Trump, Barr, former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue. His attorneys contend these officials had contacts with Trump regarding Hunter Biden and interacted with investigative teams looking into him.

“It would be material to Mr. Biden’s defense if pressure had been placed on prosecutors to investigate or charge Mr. Biden for political reasons, based on who he is and not on any conduct for which there is probable cause to believe he engaged in,” the lawyers wrote.

They pointed to past “concerning public statements” by Trump calling for probes or prosecution of Hunter Biden while in and out of office as justification for the subpoena requests.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to charges brought by special counsel David Weiss of making false statements on federal firearm forms and illegally possessing a firearm while using drugs. His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, has previously accused Republicans of pressuring prosecutors to indict Biden for political reasons.

In addition to the current charges, Biden also faces potential tax charges from Weiss’ office related to his past business dealings.

The proposed subpoenas underscore claims by Biden’s defense team that his indictment stems from political pressure rather than legal grounds. The judge has yet to rule on whether Biden can move forward with subpoenaing Trump and former top DOJ officials as part of his defense.