Hunter Biden and the 3 weapons-related charges he faces 4:04

(CNN) -- A federal judge rejected the request of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, to appear virtually at the first court hearing in the case against him related to weapons, so he set the arraignment for next September 26 in Delaware.

Hunter Biden's initial arraignment and arraignment will take place that day at 10 a.m. local time before Coroner Christopher J. Burke.

"Ultimately, the court agrees with both the defendant and the government that the defendant should not receive special treatment in this matter because, barring exceptional circumstances, he should be treated like any other defendant before our court. Any other defendant would be required to attend his initial appearance in person. So too in this case," the judge wrote.

Earlier Wednesday, special counsel David Weiss argued that Hunter Biden should be required to attend his first court appearance in person to "promote public confidence" that the president's son does not receive special treatment.

Weiss' office cited as an argument the unexpected twist at the previous plea agreement hearing in July.


"An in-person hearing is important to promote public confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants in this District and other Districts," Weiss' team wrote in a letter to the federal judge Wednesday.

  • Hunter Biden Tells Court He Plans to Plead Not Guilty to Gun Charges

"In addition, the previous hearing that was held in relation to this matter was anything but routine, because the defendant and his previous attorney were not prepared to answer the court's questions," the special counsel added.

Prosecutors also cited former President Donald Trump's recent in-person appearances in multiple jurisdictions as an example of the need to promote public confidence that Hunter Biden would not be treated differently from others, even as he is among those protected by the U.S. Secret Service. Hunter Biden's lawyers pointed to the cost to government resources of an in-person appearance, given that he has the protection of the Secret Service.

"Over the past several months, the U.S. Secret Service has coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service and court personnel on multiple occasions and in various jurisdictions to provide protective services in connection with initial appearances and arraignments," prosecutors wrote.

  • Hunter Biden sues Internal Revenue Service, alleging agents illegally disclosed his tax information

Biden appeared in Delaware federal court in July with the intention of pleading guilty to two tax crimes and striking a deal to avoid being prosecuted for gun possession. The agreement fell apart under the scrutiny of another federal judge, who took several breaks to allow lawyers to regroup and see if they could resolve the disagreements. Ultimately, the judge was unwilling to approve the settlement.

Given the seriousness of the weapons-related charges Hunter Biden faces, prosecutors say the judge should evaluate him in person before deciding on his conditions of release.

Biden's lawyers said he plans to plead not guilty to three weapons charges: lying on an official form when buying a gun, lying to a gun dealer when he made the purchase in October 2018 and illegal gun possession.

Hunter Biden