Fox News has said it has filed a request for a mugshot of Hunter Biden to be released to the public, after news emerged that the president’s son now faces federal felony charges after an attempted plea deal fell through.
Jesse Watters, the anchor who took over the network’s prime time spot after the departure of Tucker Carlson earlier this year, informed his viewers on Tuesday that Fox News had submitted a Freedom of Information request to have the image, apparently taken in July, released, and questioned why it had not already been made public.
“It turns out Hunter Biden has a mugshot,” he said on Tuesday’s edition of “Jesse Watters Primetime,” breaking the news for the first time. “Back in July when Hunter first appeared in court, his lawyers say he was photographed and fingerprinted.”
BREAKING: Hunter Biden has a mugshot from July. Primetime is on the case. pic.twitter.com/hP8LBfIx69
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) September 20, 2023
“Sources tell us that federal inmates rarely have their mugshots released to the public—only in cases where the federal inmate escapes, and a leak would be very unlikely. The U.S. Marshals have a rigorous digital footprint,” he added.
“So, what is so special about a mugshot that they don’t want us to see? Did he smile? Did he look defiant?” Watters asked. “In light of transparency, this mugshot must be released.”
“‘Prime Time’ has put out a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals to have Hunter Biden’s released to the public,” he announced.
On Tuesday, his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, wrote in a letter to a judge that Biden will plead not guilty and was “not seeking any special treatment.”
“He also noted that during his July court appearance, Biden was processed at the courthouse by the U.S. Marshals Service including ‘the usual procedures (e.g., submitted to multiple sets of fingerprints, had his photograph taken, and filled out the required forms for release),’” according to the outlet. “The statement appears to suggest that a mugshot was, in fact, taken of Biden, but it remains unclear as to why it has not been released to the public.”
On Wednesday, the anchor informed viewers that a judge denied Hunter Biden’s request to attend his arraignment for federal gun charges via remote connection. The judge was not convinced by his attorney’s argument that Biden’s physical presence would strain government resources and disrupt operations in the Wilmington, Delaware courthouse and its surrounding areas. Watters also updated viewers on the mugshot situation and made an appeal to the federal Marshals.
“Sources tell us that it will be extremely hard to obtain the mugshot because if a U.S. Marshall merely searches the database for Hunter Biden, it’ll be flagged and that U.S. Marshall will be fired,” he said. “So we are calling on all federal Marshals close to retirement to do what they think is right.”
🚨Jesse Watters on Hunter Biden’s Mugshot: “If a U.S. Marshal merely searches the database for Hunter Biden, it will be flagged and that U.S. Marshal will be fired.” pic.twitter.com/0xksTPbvj6
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 21, 2023
Kim Reeves, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware, said Department of Justice policy “prohibits my office from providing photographs of defendants prosecuted in federal court.”
“As a matter of longstanding policy and general practice, the U.S. Marshals Service does not release a federal defendant’s post-arrest imagery, such as a mugshot,” U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson Drew Wade told the outlet.
“The policies of the state of Georgia’s regarding the release of a mugshot do not comport with federal statutes or policies by which [U.S. Marshals Service], a federal law enforcement agency, is governed,” Wade said, noting the differences between the public release of former President Donald J. Trump’s booking picture and Hunter Biden’s.