Hunter Biden is on trial for federal firearm charges

The Associated Press

(AP) — Jurors in Hunter Biden’s gun trial began deliberating Monday whether the president’s son is guilty of federal firearms charges over a revolver he bought in 2018 when prosecutors say he was addicted to crack cocaine.
Hunter Biden is charged with three felonies in the case that has laid bare some of the darkest moments of his drug-fueled past.
The case has pitted Hunter Biden against his father’s Justice Department in the midst of the Democratic president’s reelection campaign.
At one point Monday, Hunter Biden leaned over a railing to whisper in Jill Biden’s ear.
The trial has put a spotlight on a turbulent time in Hunter Biden’s life after the 2015 death of his brother, Beau, from brain cancer.
The proceedings have played out in the president’s home state, where Hunter Biden grew up and where the family is deeply established.
The defense told jurors that there was no actual witness to drug use by Hunter during the 11 days that he had the gun.
Hunter Biden also faces a trial scheduled for September on felony charges alleging he failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

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DELMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The jury in Hunter Biden’s gun trial started deliberating on Monday, trying to decide if the president’s son is guilty of federal firearms charges related to a revolver he purchased in 2018, when prosecutors claim he was crack cocaine addicted.

Three felonies are being brought against Hunter Biden in this case, which has exposed some of the worst episodes of his drug-addled past. Hunter Biden’s legal case has been strengthened by the prosecution’s use of text messages, testimony from previous romantic partners, and images of him partially or fully clothed or holding drugs.

First lady Jill Biden was seated in the front row of the Wilmington, Delaware courtroom as prosecutor Leo Wise made his closing statement to the jury, telling them that “no one is above the law.”.

The jurors adjourned the courtroom for the day after less than an hour of deliberation. Tuesday am was set aside for further discussion.

The son of President Joe Biden has openly discussed his battle with a crack cocaine addiction prior to achieving sobriety over five years ago. On the form that asked if he was “an unlawful user” of drugs or addicted to them, he checked “no,” and the defense tried to demonstrate that he did not consider himself an “addict” at the time he purchased the gun.

In the midst of the Democratic presidential candidate’s reelection campaign, Hunter Biden finds himself up against his father’s Justice Department. David Weiss, a special counsel appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump to be the U.S. S. headed the lengthy investigation as an attorney for Delaware.

The prosecutor asked jurors to ignore the president’s family members seated in the courtroom and concentrate only on the “overwhelming” evidence against Hunter Biden before the case went to trial.

Wise held up his hand, pointing to the gallery and telling the jury, “All of this is not evidence.”. “The individuals seated in the gallery do not serve as evidence. “.

Not long after the deliberations started, first lady Jill Biden and other family members departed the courtroom. The first lady only missed one day of the trial to attend D-Day anniversary events in France with the president last week. She sat through the majority of the proceedings. Hunter Biden once leaned over a railing on Monday and whispered in Jill Biden’s ear.

In his last remarks, defense lawyer Abbe Lowell informed the jury that the prosecution had not produced enough evidence to support their claims. Even though his client has a well-known last name, Lowell stated that, like all defendants, he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

As he breathed his last in this case, Lowell pleaded not guilty, saying that this was the only verdict that would hold the prosecutors accountable to the law.

After completing a detoxification and rehabilitation program at the end of August 2018, Hunter Biden’s attorneys have suggested that he was attempting to turn his life around at the time of the gun purchase. In the weeks prior to Hunter purchasing the gun, his daughter Naomi testified on behalf of the defense, telling the jury that her father appeared to be getting better.

Closing arguments came shortly after the defense rested its case without calling Hunter Biden to the witness stand. After telling U, he didn’t go into detail about his choice. s. District Judge Maryellen Noreika that he was waiving his right to testify, according to a transcript of the sidebar discussion at the bench.

As he spoke with members of his defense team and gave a thumbs-up to a fan in the gallery following the testimony of the last witness, an FBI agent called by the prosecution in their rebuttal, Hunter Biden grinned.

The trial has brought attention to a difficult period in Hunter Biden’s life following the brain cancer death of his brother Beau in 2015. The events have taken place in the home state of the president, where Hunter Biden was raised and where his family is well-established. Beau Biden served as Delaware’s attorney general while Joe Biden served as a senator for 36 years, traveling daily to Washington.

Witnesses for the prosecution included Hunter Biden’s ex-wife and two previous girlfriends, who discussed their unsuccessful attempts to assist him in quitting crack. When she stayed with Hunter Biden at a hotel in 2017, a woman who met him that year at the strip club where she worked said he would smoke crack every twenty minutes or so.

Through audio excerpts of his 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things,” that were played in court, jurors have also heard him speak in-depth about his plunge into addiction. Written after his sobriety, the book discusses the time he owned the gun but doesn’t go into detail about it.

Prosecutors used Beau’s widow, Hallie, as a key witness. Following her brother’s death, Hallie and Hunter had a brief but rocky relationship. On October, she discovered the unloaded firearm in Hunter’s truck. panicked on September 23, 2018, and threw it into a Wilmington grocery store trash can. A man who was looking for recyclables accidentally pulled it out of the refuse.

The prosecution cited text messages that purportedly showed Hunter attempting to deal drugs in the days leading up to the gun purchase. Hunter admitted to smoking crack to Hallie in one message. As Hunter put it, “That’s my truth.”.

“Believe what the accused says. That is his reality, according to Wise. He asked the jury to reject the defense’s argument that Hunter was only attempting to avoid spending time with Hallie and did not truly mean what he was texting at the time.

When entering the jury box, Wise remarked, “you don’t leave your common sense behind.”.

Hunter’s drug use during the 11 days he owned the gun was not actually witnessed, the defense informed the jurors. Lowell also made an attempt to refute Hallie’s and another ex-girlfriend’s testimony. Instructing the jury to evaluate their testimony “with great care and caution,” he pointed out that jurors received immunity agreements in return for testifying on behalf of the prosecution.

Joe Biden ruled out giving his son a presidential pardon last week, saying instead that he would accept the jury’s decision. The president spent Monday at his Wilmington home following his flight back from France. Later that evening, he returned to Washington for a Juneteenth concert. Later this week, he was supposed to go to Italy for the Group of Seven leaders conference.

When the judge, who was Trump’s nominee for the bench, voiced concerns about the gun case last summer, a deal with the prosecutors broke down. Hunter Biden appeared to be spared prosecution altogether. September is Hunter Biden’s trial date for felony charges that he failed to pay at least $1.04 million in taxes over a four-year period.

Though first-time offenders rarely receive sentences close to the maximum, he could spend up to 25 years in prison if found guilty in the gun case. It is also unclear whether the judge would sentence him to any time in prison.

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