Special counsel David Weiss’s office on Tuesday dismissed Hunter Biden’s allegations that he was only indicted on gun charges because of right-wing bias.
Lawyers for the son of the US president are currently attempting to have three felony gun charges against him thrown out, in part by accusing Mr Weiss, who was appointed US attorney by former president Donald Trump, of “[buckling] under political pressure” from congressional Republicans loyal to Mr Trump.
“As a holdover from the Trump Administration, Mr. Weiss faces political pressure from his own party to pursue Mr. Biden more aggressively than similarly situated individuals and to do so for vindictive reasons,” Mr Biden’s legal team argued in a court filing. “His political future within this constituency may depend upon it.”
Mr Weiss pushed back against the allegation, calling Mr Biden’s claim “a fiction designed for a Hollywood script”.
“This claim borders on the absurd,” Mr Weiss’s office wrote in a 57-page response on Tuesday.
The response added that Mr Biden’s argument was “implausible” because Mr Weiss was empowered to bring the charges by an attorney general who was appointed by President Joe Biden.
Hunter Biden’s “motion [to dismiss] is stunningly weak and wholly unsupported by facts and law”, Mr Weiss’ office wrote.
“Stripped of its bluster, the defendant’s theory of vindictiveness is simply not credible. Left with the inconvenient truth of trying to explain how this could happen during the Biden Administration, the defendant suggests that evil motives are lurking deep within the Department of Justice,” prosecutors added.
Hunter Biden was indicted in Delaware in September over a gun purchase in October 2018 when he was in the grips of drug addiction.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Biden unlawfully possessed a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver for 11 days, after he falsely claimed on a gun purchase form that he didn’t use drugs. Under federal law, an unlawful drug user cannot legally possess a firearm.
Attorneys for Mr Biden have claimed that he never fired the gun in the 11 days he owned it. Mr Biden has also pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of lying about his drug use.
The president’s son is facing up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000 on the charges.
On Tuesday, prosecutors said they had “overwhelming” evidence against Mr Biden as they sought to push back on allegations that the charges are politically motivated.
Investigators said they found trace amounts of cocaine on a brown leather pouch that held the firearm after it was recovered by police.
Mr Biden has previously acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine in 2018 but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law. Hunter Biden has since said that he’s stopped using drugs and has worked to turn his life around.
In addition to the gun charges, Mr Biden is also facing a separate tax indictment. He pleaded not guilty to those charges last week.
Congressional Republicans have also threatened to hold Mr Biden in contempt of court over his defiance of a December subpoena for a hearing about his father’s involvement in his foreign business dealings.
However, House Republicans paused such efforts this week, citing negotiations with his attorneys that could end the standoff.