Hunter Biden is asking a federal judge for permission to subpoena former President Donald Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and other Justice Department officials in his criminal gun case.
“Mr. Biden seeks specific information from three former DOJ officials and the former President that goes to the heart of his defense that this is, possibly, a vindictive or selective prosecution arising from an unrelenting pressure campaign beginning in the last administration, in violation of Mr. Biden’s Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution,” Biden’s lawyers wrote to the judge.
In addition to Trump and Barr, Hunter Biden also wants to subpoena former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, who served as the acting deputy attorney general from December 2020 through the end of Trump’s term.
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has been charged by special counsel David Weiss with lying on federal firearm forms and illegally possessing a firearm while using illicit drugs. He has pleaded not guilty.
The proposed subpoenas would require the four recipients to turn over any documents in their possession from the start of Trump’s term to now that relate to Hunter Biden, particularly any materials discussing “any formal or informal investigation or prosecution” of him.
“It would be material to Mr. Biden’s defense if pressure had been placed on prosecutors to investigate or charge Mr. Biden for political reasons, based on who he is and not on any conduct for which there is probable cause to believe he engaged in,” the attorneys said of the materials.
The lawyers pointed to “a plethora of concerning public statements” from Trump “calling for an investigation or possible prosecution of Mr. Biden, both while in office and since leaving.” They argued his statements “necessitate, and provide ample justification for, this set of requests for documents, communications, and personal records relating to or concerning Mr. Biden.”
“Moreover, each of the former DOJ officials from whom Mr. Biden now seeks documents had known contacts with then President Trump concerning Mr. Biden, and according to now-public IRS investigative case files, each of these officials interacted in one capacity or another with the teams investigating Mr. Biden, either in Delaware or elsewhere,” the attorneys wrote in their filing.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell has claimed for some time that his client’s indictment earlier this year was the result of political pressure, including from Republicans.
GOP politicians, Lowell told CNN in September, “have been pressuring this US attorney to do something to vindicate their political position.”
“And guess what? They succeeded,” he added.
Hunter Biden also faces potential tax charges from Weiss’ office.
This story has been updated with additional details.