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Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges continues, in Wilmington
Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden arrive at the federal court for his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier Image: Reuters/Hannah Beier
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Jurors begin deliberations in Hunter Biden's criminal gun case

11 Comments
By Jack Queen and Tom Hals

The jury began deliberations on Monday in the case of Hunter Biden, the U.S. president's son accused of lying about his use of illegal drugs when he bought a handgun in 2018.

"We ask you find the law applies equally to this defendant as it would to anyone else," government prosecutor Derek Hines told the jury as the first criminal trial of a child of a sitting president reached its final phase.

"When he chose to lie and buy a gun he violated the law. We ask you return the only verdict supported by the evidence - guilty," Hines said.

Biden, 54, the son of President Joe Biden, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include lying about his addiction when he filled out a government screening document for a Colt Cobra revolver and illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell compared the government's case to the work of a magician who focuses attention on drug use from months or years before the gun purchase to create the illusion Hunter Biden was a user of crack cocaine when he bought the gun.

"They blurred all those years before he walked into StarQuest Shooters and all those years after," Lowell told jurors, referring to the gun store where he made the purchase.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika instructed jurors to be impartial. "You have to decide the case based on the evidence," she told them.

Over four days of testimony last week prosecutors offered an intimate view of the younger Biden’s years of struggle with alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, which prosecutors say legally precluded him from buying a gun.

In the prosecution's closing arguments, a government attorney said commonsense understanding of the grim testimony of Hunter Biden's constant drug use filled in any gaps in evidence about his behavior around the time of the gun purchase.

"It was personal and it was ugly and it was overwhelming," federal prosecutor Leo Wise told the 12-member jury about the testimony of Hunter Biden's drug use. "But it was also necessary."

The trial in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, follows another historic first - the May 30 criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first U.S. president to be found guilty of a felony. Trump is the Republican challenger to Joe Biden, a Democrat, in a Nov. 5 presidential election.

Trump and some of his Republican allies in Congress have alleged the case and three other criminal prosecutions are politically motivated attempts to prevent him from regaining power.

Congressional Democrats cite the Hunter Biden prosecution as evidence that Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political or personal ends.

Wise said it did not matter if well-known people appeared in court or how they reacted to the evidence, a possible reference to first lady Jill Biden's attendance. “None of that matters. What matters came from the witness stand,” he said.

Last week, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, former girlfriend and sister-in-law testified for the prosecution about his drug use, telling jurors that they often found drugs and paraphernalia in his possession and were concerned at times about his spiraling addiction.

Wise read passages of Hunter Biden's memoir about a failed attempt to get clean and relapsing into drug use, just before he bought the gun. "Take the defendant's word for it. That's his truth," Wise said.

Hunter Biden told the judge overseeing the case at a 2023 hearing that he has been sober since 2019.

The sentencing guidelines for the charges against Biden are 15 to 21 months, but legal experts say defendants in cases similar to his often get shorter sentences and are less likely to be incarcerated if they abide by the terms of their pretrial release.

© Thomson Reuters 2024.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.


11 Comments

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Haven’t the Republicans got anything more important to do than analyze a human basket case?

Oh, he did drugs! Oh, he bought a gun!

Then make it harder for him to buy drugs or a gun.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Then make it harder for him to buy drugs or a gun.

Yeah, but Trump and his slimy supporters would rather use this as proof that both sides are at least as bad as the other.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Haven’t the Republicans got anything more important to do than analyze a human basket case?

Says the party obsessively obsessed with the former President

Oh, he did drugs! Oh, he bought a gun!

He broke the law, no one is above the law

Then make it harder for him to buy drugs or a gun.

How about some self-restraint? Hey, now there’s a thought right there.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Republicans are opposing gun ownership. Better gun laws are needed.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Republicans are opposing gun ownership. Better gun laws are needed.

Of course they are

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The epitome of a "nothing-burger".

No one except the Fox News kooks is paying any attention to this...and as we know, there are 787 million reasons proving they lie to their viewers.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The epitome of a "nothing-burger".

Then he wouldn’t have been charged, you can’t lie on a gun application-period.

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ded.82797/gov.uscourts.ded.82797.204.0.pdf

No one except the Fox News kooks is paying any attention to this...and as we know

Wow! Imagine a news organization that actually reports on the news of a crime!

, there are 787 million reasons proving they lie to their viewers.

If half of the people thought that, they wouldn’t be the number one most watched news.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Lock him up.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

There’s more than enough evidence of guilt to convict. If convicted, it’s on Hunter for buying a gun (regardless of addiction issues, actions have consequences), and for not pleading out when he had the chance even if a plea would have meant a period of incarceration.

There’s also an unlikely, but non-zero chance of jury nullification. There are a LOT of families that have family members with addiction problems. Nobody got hurt and no crimes were committed with the gun. There’s a possibility, not a probability but a possibility, of jurors saying in effect “He did it and I don’t care. This case isn’t worthy of a criminal trial.”

Either way, I will support the verdict.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If he's guilty, he's guilty.

And Biden has said he won't pardon him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If a jury of his peers convicts the President’s son, then he must face the music just like any other American.

We are a nation of laws and everyone is held accountable, whether it is the former President, the President’s son, or even my own saintly mother.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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