Joe Biden has had a rough few weeks. After losing three consecutive Democratic primary election battles in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, an Arkansas judge has now ordered the former vice president's son to testify in court in person.
According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Circuit Judge Holly Meyer has ordered Hunter Biden to appear next month for a deposition after he said he was unavailable until April.
"He needs to make himself available and unless his hair is on fire, he needs to be in Arkansas and he needs to be in a deposition," she told the lawyers involved in the case during a recent telephone call.
What's this about?
Hunter Biden is the defendant in a paternity lawsuit filed by Lunden Alexis Roberts. In January, an Arkansas court determined that the 50-year-old Biden is the father of her toddler after a DNA established his paternity.
The legal battle now turns to the issue of child support, which Biden has delayed, claiming that he is unemployed.
In a Nov. 27 affidavit, Biden swore to the court that he did not have a reliable source of income since last May.
Clint Lancaster, an attorney representing the child's mother, had tried unsuccessfully to depose Biden before a March 13 pretrial hearing. However, Biden's attorney, Brent Langdon, has argued a notice of deposition instructing Biden to testify in Little Rock on March 5, was "unduly burdensome and oppressive."
Langdon wrote that Biden "can be available April 1, 2020," in a "motion to quash" and "motion for protective order" he filed on Tuesday.
"My client cannot be available prior to that date," he argued.
However, during a conference call with lawyers on Wednesday, Judge Meyer probed Langdon on Biden's availability and current employment status.
"My question to you is, why could your client not be available until after April 1? All the information I have is that he's unemployed," she said, according to the Democrat Gazette.
Langdon did not tell the court what was keeping Biden so busy, the report said.
Democrats fret that Hunter Biden testifying in court could further jeopardize his father's campaign, as he could be forced to disclose the nature and sources of his business dealings in Ukraine, which came under scrutiny during the Democratic-led impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.
Judge Meyer ordered Hunter Biden to appear in court in January after he was accused of improperly withholding financial records. Hunter Biden was instructed to "show cause, if any exists, as to why he should not be held in contempt for any of the alleged violations of this Court's orders."
Hunter Biden has denied any allegations of wrongdoing.