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Hunter Biden is demanding a delay in his federal tax trial that begins next month in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hunter Biden’s lawyers will urge a judge Wednesday to delay his trial, set to begin next month in Los Angeles, on allegations that he planned to file $1.4 million in taxes dodge.

President Joe Biden’s son is seeking to delay the June 20 trial date until at least September, noting he will also stand trial in Delaware on federal firearms charges starting June 3. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges filed by Justice Department special counsel David Weiss, which he says are politically motivated.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers say they cannot adequately prepare for both trials at the same time, and have asked for a postponement — and dismissal — in both cases. If Judge Mark C. Scarsi denies his attempt to delay the California case, he could go to trial next month in two federal cases on opposite coasts as the Democratic president campaigns for re-election against former President Donald Trump.

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Scarsi, who was appointed to the bench by Trump, a Republican, will hear arguments on the request, which prosecutors oppose. The defense is also trying to prevent both prosecutions from moving forward by arguing that the special counsel’s funding was not appropriately authorized by Congress.

In pushing for a delay, Hunter Biden’s attorneys pointed to the “uniquely challenging and high-profile nature of this case” and “the fact that Mr. Biden and the same counsel will begin trial in Delaware just two and a half weeks before.” The process is about to begin.”

Prosecutors say the increased press coverage in no way affects the defense’s preparation for trial, describing it as a “simple tax case.”

“He is not above the rule of law and should be treated like any other defendant,” the special counsel team wrote in a recent court filing.

The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over four years while living an “extravagant lifestyle” during a period in which he admitted to struggling with addiction. The overdue taxes have now been paid.

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A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals last week rejected a defense bid to dismiss the case. The appeals court did not rule on the merits of his claims, but said the issues are not open to appeal at this time.

In the gun case, prosecutors allege that Biden lied in October 2018 about his drug use on a form to purchase a firearm that he kept in Delaware for about 11 days. He has admitted he was addicted to crack during that period, but his lawyers say he did not break the law.

His lawyers had urged the judge last week to move that trial to September, saying they needed time to line up witnesses and sort through evidence. But U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Delaware denied that request, saying she believes “everyone can get what needs to be done done on June 3.”

The long-running federal investigation into the president’s son appeared poised to conclude with a plea deal last year, but the deal imploded after a judge raised questions about it. Hunter Biden was subsequently indicted.

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Under the deal, he would have been on probation for two years after pleading guilty to tax charges. He also would have avoided prosecution on gun charges if he had stayed out of trouble.

His lawyers have argued that prosecutors bowed to political pressure to charge him amid heavy criticism from Trump and other Republicans over the plea deal.

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Richer reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Lindsay Whitehurst in Washington contributed to this report.

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