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Judge Maryellen Noreika blocks key defense evidence and witness on eve of Hunter Biden gun trial



Wilmington, Delaware
CNN

Federal judge supervises Hunter Biden’s gun trial His defense dealt two setbacks on Sunday, the eve of jury selection, by blocking one of its expert witnesses and excluding a key piece of evidence that the president’s son had hoped to use.

The rulings by Judge Marilyn Noreika resolved some sticking points that remained before the trial began on Monday. Combined, these decisions could make it difficult for Hunter Biden to win. President Joe Biden’s son has pleaded not guilty to illegally purchasing and possessing a gun while using illegal drugs.

Noreika granted a request from special counsel David Weiss to block one of Hunter Biden’s expert witnesses from testifying. The defense had lined up a Columbia University psychiatrist who would try to poke holes in prosecutors’ assertions that Hunter Biden knew he was addicted in 2018 when he bought the gun that led to his indictment.

“The defendant’s insufficient expert disclosure about Dr. (Elie) Aoun leaves the government in a state of uncertainty about what his views will be on the facts of this case, making the government unable to prepare for trial,” Noreika wrote in her ruling. .

The judge also barred Hunter Biden’s lawyers from using what they believed was key exculpatory evidence: an edited copy of the federal firearms form he filled out when he bought the gun in 2018 that was modified in 2021 by gun store employees.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers Recently argued in court They wanted to use the manipulated model to undermine the credibility of the employees, who were scheduled to testify on behalf of prosecutors. They also claimed that it showed that prosecutors were politically “biased.”

But Noreika deemed the revised version of the form “irrelevant and unacceptable,” and continued to criticize Hunter Biden’s team for pushing “conspiratorial” theories and “unsupported rhetoric” about the motivations of Wilmington gun store employees.

“Any probative value is arguably vastly outweighed by the risk of unfair bias, confusion of the issues, and misleading of the jury,” she wrote, adding also that any attempts by the defense to use the amended form to prove the employees’ alleged political motives would have been biased.” “Unjustifiably prejudicial and calls for (jury) mistrial.”

Just Original model — known as ATF Form 4473 — will be presented to the jury.

In this case, Hunter Biden was accused of falsely swearing that he was not a drug user or addict, which allowed him to purchase the gun. Prosecutors contend he was still addicted to cocaine at the time, as V. described His diary.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning in Wilmington.



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