The federal judge overseeing Hunter Biden’s gun trial handed his defense two setbacks on Sunday, just before jury selection. He blocked one of his expert witnesses and excluded a key piece of evidence that the president’s son had hoped to use.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika’s recent rulings addressed some of the unresolved issues before the trial, potentially complicating Hunter Biden’s defense. Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally purchasing and possessing a firearm while using illegal drugs, CNN noted.

Noreika granted a request from special counsel David Weiss to block one of Hunter Biden’s expert witnesses from testifying. The defense had lined up a Columbia University-based psychiatrist who would have tried to poke holes in prosecutors’ assertions that Hunter Biden knew he was an addict in 2018 when he bought the gun that led to his indictment.

“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,” Noreika wrote in her ruling.

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The judge also prevented Hunter’s lawyers from using what they believed to be a crucial piece of evidence in his defense — an altered version of the federal firearms form that he had filled out when purchasing a gun in 2018. The form was later modified by the employees of the gun store in 2021.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers recently argued in court that they wanted to use the altered form to undermine the credibility of the employees who are expected to testify on behalf of the prosecutors. They also claimed that it showed the prosecutors are politically “biased,” according to CNN.

However, Noreika ruled the altered version of the form was “irrelevant and inadmissible,” and she went on to blast Hunter Biden’s team for pushing “conspiratorial” theories and “unsupported rhetoric” about the motivations of the Wilmington gun store employees.

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“Any probative value it arguably has is substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, and misleading the jury,” she wrote, noting further that any attempts by the defense to use the altered form to demonstrate the employees’ alleged political bias would have been “unduly prejudicial and invites (jury) nullification.” Just the original form – known as ATF Form 4473 – will be presented to the jury.

In the form, Hunter Biden is accused of falsely stating that he wasn’t using or addicted to drugs, which allowed him to buy the gun. Prosecutors argue that he was still addicted to crack cocaine at that time, as he has described in his memoir.

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.