Judge Blocks Defense Witness and Evidence in Hunter Biden Gun Trial

 June 5, 2024

CNN reported that a federal judge overseeing Hunter Biden's gun trial blocked a defense expert witness and excluded a key piece of evidence on Sunday.

The decisions, which came just before jury selection was set to begin, could make it more challenging for Biden to defend against charges of illegally buying and owning a gun while using drugs.

Judge Noreika blocked one of Hunter Biden's expert witnesses from testifying. The expert witness, Dr. Elie Aoun, is a Columbia University-based psychiatrist. The defense had intended for Dr. Aoun to challenge the prosecution's claim that Biden knew he was an addict when he purchased the gun in 2018.

Judge Excludes Key Evidence in Case

The judge found the defense's disclosure of Dr. Aoun's opinions inadequate, leaving the government unprepared to respond effectively to his testimony. As a result, the judge granted special counsel David Weiss's request to exclude Dr. Aoun's testimony.

"The inadequacy of Defendant’s expert disclosure for Dr. (Elie) Aoun leaves the government in the dark as to what his opinions about the facts of this case will be, thus rendering the government unable to prepare for trial," Judge Noreika wrote in her ruling.

Judge Noreika also excluded an altered federal firearms form from being used as evidence. In 2021, gun store employees modified the form. Hunter Biden's lawyers argued that the altered form would undermine the credibility of the employees, who are expected to testify for the prosecution.

The defense claimed the altered form showed the prosecutors' political bias. However, Judge Noreika ruled the form "irrelevant and inadmissible." She criticized the defense's arguments as "conspiratorial" and "unsupported rhetoric."

Legal Strategies Face Judicial Scrutiny

The judge stated that the form's probative value was outweighed by potential prejudice and confusion. Only the original ATF Form 4473, which Hunter Biden filled out when he purchased the gun, will be shown to the jury. On that form, Biden is accused of falsely stating that he was not using or addicted to drugs.

Prosecutors contend that Biden was addicted to crack cocaine at the time. This is supported by Biden's own descriptions in his memoir. The trial's jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday morning in Wilmington. Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial's outcome could have significant implications for both Biden and his father, President Joe Biden. As the case proceeds, the defense will face increased challenges without their expert witness and key piece of evidence.

Controversy Surrounds Excluded Evidence

Judge Noreika explained her reasoning for excluding the altered form, stating that any defense attempts to use it to show political bias would be "unduly prejudicial." Such attempts could mislead the jury and create unfair bias against the prosecution's witnesses. The ruling emphasized the need to maintain a fair and unbiased trial. The judge's decisions aim to prevent evidence confusing the jury, ensuring the trial remains focused on the facts.

Hunter Biden's legal team saw the exclusion of this evidence as a significant setback, believing the altered form was crucial for their defense. With Dr. Aoun's exclusion and only the original ATF Form 4473 permitted as evidence, the defense must now adjust its strategy. Jury selection becomes a pivotal moment as the defense seeks alternative ways to counter the prosecution's argument that Biden was aware of his addiction.


Hunter Biden's defense faced major setbacks just before the start of his gun trial, as Judge Maryellen Noreika blocked an expert witness and excluded key evidence. These decisions could make it harder for Biden to defend himself against charges of illegally buying and owning a gun while using drugs.

The judge's rulings aim to keep the trial focused on the facts and prevent potential jury prejudice. As the trial begins with jury selection, the defense must adapt its strategy in light of these significant exclusions. The outcome of this high-profile case could have broader implications beyond the courtroom.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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