Cocaine residue was found on Hunter Biden’s gun pouch in 2018 case, prosecutors say

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors on Tuesday urged a judge to dismiss Hunter Biden’s efforts to dismiss gun charges against him, revealing that investigators last year found cocaine residue on the pouch in which the president’s son held his gun.

In pushing for the case against President Joe Biden’s son to continue, prosecutors said “the strength of the evidence against him is overwhelming” and pushed back against Hunter Biden’s claims that he is being singled out for political purposes.

In addition to the “incriminating statements” Hunter Biden made in his 2021 memoir about his drug use, investigators found a white powdery substance on the brown leather pouch in which he stored the gun after removing it from the state police safe last year, they wrote prosecutors. An FBI chemist determined it was cocaine, they said.

“To be clear, investigators literally found drugs on the bag where the suspect kept his gun,” prosecutors said.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to purchase a gun that he kept for about 11 days. He has acknowledged that he was struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period in 2018, but his lawyers have said he did not break the law. Hunter Biden has since said he has stopped using drugs and has worked to turn his life around.

His attorneys did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment on the plaintiffs’ filing.

These criminal proceedings could have been avoided with a plea deal last year, but an agreement with federal prosecutors fell through and now the president’s son faces the spectacle of a trial this year while his father campaigns. He was charged after the plea deal fell through when a judge who was supposed to sign the agreement instead asked a series of questions about the deal.

He had initially agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges and also would have avoided prosecution on weapons charges if he had stayed out of trouble for two years. It was the culmination of a years-long investigation by federal prosecutors into the president’s son’s business dealings.

His lawyers have urged the judge to dismiss the gun case, arguing he was “selectively charged” for improper political purposes. They have argued that special counsel David Weiss — who also serves as U.S. attorney for Delaware and was originally appointed by former President Donald Trump — “succumbed to political pressure” to bring more serious charges amid criticism of the deal. Trump and other Republicans.

However, prosecutors said there is no evidence “to support his claim that the executive branch, led by his father, President Biden, and the Department of Justice, led by his father’s appointed attorney general, prosecuted the U.S. Attorney’s Office and special officials have allowed.” A counselor of their choice for an ‘improper political purpose.’”

“The charges in this case were not fabricated or because of former President Trump – instead, they are the result of the defendant’s own choices and were filed despite, and not because of, any outside noise from politicians,” prosecutors wrote .

Hunter Biden’s criminal proceedings also parallel so-far failed attempts by Republicans in Congress to link his business activities to his father. Republicans are pursuing an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, alleging he was involved in an influence-peddling scheme with his son. But House Republicans on Tuesday halted plans to charge Hunter Biden with contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena in their ongoing investigation, citing negotiations with his lawyers that could bring an end to the impasse.

So far, no evidence has emerged that the president, in his current or previous office, abused his role or accepted bribes, although questions have been raised about the ethics surrounding the Biden family’s international business dealings.


Richer reported from Boston.