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Judge bars prosecutors from using some salacious evidence in Hunter Biden's gun trial

The judge presiding over Hunter Biden's federal gun case in Delaware ruled that prosecutors on Special Counsel David Weiss' team cannot use some salacious evidence in the first son's trial.

The judge presiding over Hunter Biden's federal gun case in Delaware on Friday ruled that prosecutors on Special Counsel David Weiss' team cannot use some salacious evidence in the first son's criminal trial next month, including references to his U.S. Navy discharge and the child support case for his out-of-wedlock daughter in Arkansas. 

The court met for its final hearing before jury selection begins on June 3. Fox News has previously reported that prosecutors planned to use portions of his book and laptop, including photos, to convince a jury that the first son is guilty of making false statements on a federal form when he purchased a revolver in 2018, while actively using narcotics. Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge Maryellen Noreika on Friday said that Weiss must show Hunter Biden was addicted to drugs — but not necessarily using drugs the day he purchased the gun. 


Noreika said the government may use part of Hunter Biden's book where he discusses his addiction to drugs. 

The prosecution does not plan to bring out the entire infamous laptop containing details of Hunter Biden's life, but will introduce certain portions. Noreika ruled that Hunter Biden’s team will be able to question aspects of the laptop in front of the jury. The laptop, which leaked in 2020 just before the presidential election, was decried as Russian disinformation by 51 former intelligence officials.

In court documents filed Friday morning, Hunter Biden's defense attorneys asked the court to block certain salacious details of his life from being shown to the jury to avoid "significant risk of unfair prejudice."

In what is called a "motion in limine," Hunter Biden asked the court "to exclude reference to the child support proceedings in Arkansas and reference to his discharge from the Navy." This is in reference to the child he fathered out-of-wedlock with ex-stripper Lunden Roberts, whose daughter is President Biden's grandchild

Acknowledging that some of the evidence prosecutors wish to bring forward may be relevant to the case, including purported drug purchases, ATM withdrawals and the purchase of the revolver, Hunter Biden's lawyers said other details like references to money allegedly spent on "adult entertainment, online chat rooms, or escort services are not relevant to the charges." 


"Characterizing or referencing unnecessary salacious details — such as how much things cost, whether they are upscale, or citing expenses concerning collateral alleged sexual conduct unrelated to the charges here — are the exact type of prejudicial, inflammatory evidence that has a tendency to make a conviction more likely because it provokes an emotional response in the jury," the defense argued.

"Accordingly, Mr. Biden respectfully requests that this Court grant his Motion in limine to exclude any reference to an ‘extravagant’ or ‘lavish’ lifestyle during periods of his addiction," his lawyers wrote. 

Noreika agreed in part, and ruled that the special counsel cannot use the phrase "extravagant lifestyle," but can include evidence Hunter Biden was spending a lot of money.

Noreika also ruled that the special counsel cannot discuss Hunter Biden's discharge from the U.S. Navy. He was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.

Noreika also said Weiss cannot use Hunter Biden's comments from the day he initially pleaded guilty as part of a collapsed plea deal.

According to Weiss's gun indictment, Hunter Biden bought a Colt Cobra revolver on Oct. 12, 2018, and "knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm… certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious." 

The indictment also charges Hunter Biden with possessing that firearm — which was "shipped and transported in interstate commerce" — for nearly a week despite being addicted to narcotics.

With all counts combined, the total maximum prison time for the charges could be up to 25 years. Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. 

Fox News first reported in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018, when a gun owned by Hunter Biden was thrown into a trash can outside a market in Delaware.


A source with knowledge of the Oct. 23, 2018, police report told Fox News that it indicated that Hallie Biden, who is the widow of President Biden's late son, Beau, and who was in a relationship with Hunter Biden at the time, threw a gun owned by Hunter Biden in a dumpster behind a market near a school.

Hallie Biden may be required to testify during Hunter Biden's trial. 

Noreika also decided Friday that Hunter Biden's defense attorneys cannot tell the jury that Delaware state police declined to charge the first son at the time of the gun incident. Federal prosecutors did not bring charges against him on the matter until five years later. 

Noreika also ruled that the special counsel cannot mention Hunter Biden's pending federal tax trial in California during the trial in Delaware, which is also part of Weiss' investigation and scheduled for a September trial.

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to those charges — specifically, three felonies and six misdemeanors concerning $1.4 million in owed taxes that have since been paid. Weiss alleged a "four-year scheme" when the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports. 

On Wednesday, Judge Mark Scarsi heard arguments during a pre-trial hearing in California. That criminal trial was scheduled for June 20, but Hunter Biden’s attorneys requested to delay the trial. 

Scarsi sided with Hunter Biden’s attorneys, and moved the tax trial to Sept. 5, when jury selection will begin. 

Fox News Digital's Chris Pandolfo and Fox News' David Spunt contributed to this report. 

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