Hunter Biden
Hunter BidenReuters

US President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he lied about his drug use while buying a handgun, Reuters reported.

Hunter Biden was charged last month with three counts related to lying on a federal form to acquire a Colt Cobra handgun in 2018 and for being an illegal drug user in possession of the gun.

During his appearance at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware, which lasted 25 minutes, Biden said, "Yes your honor," when asked by US Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke if he understood the charges and the not guilty plea entered by his attorney, Abbe Lowell.

Burke set conditions for Hunter Biden's release pending trial, including clearing travel with a probation officer, abstaining from illegal drugs and alcohol and seeking employment. Burke said Hunter Biden submitted to tests for illegal drug use multiple times recently and had tested negative.

Hunter Biden's lawyers told the court in advance the President's son is expected to plead not guilty, while requesting his first appearance take place on video conference. The judge rejected that request and ordered Biden to appear in court for his arraignment.

The President's son also attended a hearing in July in Wilmington related to the charges.

In that hearing, an agreement to resolve the gun charges and separate tax charges unraveled when a US District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Wilmington refused to accept it.

Under that deal, Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax violations and would avoid punishment on the gun charges if for two years he did not possess a firearm and refrained from using illegal drugs and alcohol.

Biden’s legal troubles could also have political implications, as Republicans have questioned his father’s connections to his financial affairs.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that House Republicans will launch an impeachment inquiry against President Biden over “allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption" in his involvement with the foreign business dealings of his son.

President Biden linked the impeachment inquiry to the upcoming showdown over funding the government.