Hunter Biden Convicted of All 3 Felonies in Federal Gun Trial

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – Hunter Biden was convicted Tuesday of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, when prosecutors say the president’s son lied on a mandatory gun purchase form by claiming he was not using it illegally or addicted. from drugs.

Judges found Hunter Biden guilty of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false statement on his application that he was not using drugs and illegally possessing a gun for 11 days. The jury in Wilmington, Delaware, deliberated for about three hours over two days.

Hunter Biden started right away and showed no emotion after the verdict was read. After the verdict, he hugged both of his lawyers and smiled faintly. He kissed his wife, Melissa, and they left the courtroom together. First lady Jill Biden arrived at the courthouse minutes after the jury announced its verdict and was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Hunter Biden left the courthouse holding hands with the first lady and his wife. They didn’t talk to reporters, got into waiting SUVs and drove away.

Hunter Biden arrives in federal court with wife Melissa Cohen Biden, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

When Judge Maryellen Noreika sentences him to up to 25 years in prison, although the penalty for first-time offenders is nowhere near the maximum, it is unclear whether the judge will allow him to spend time behind bars. The judge did not set a sentencing date.

Hunter Biden and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s main political rival, were convicted by U.S. judges in an election year that focused as much on the courtroom as it did on campaign events and rallies.

Joe Biden avoided the federal courtroom in Delaware where his son was on trial and said little about the case, fearful of appearing to interfere with a criminal case brought by his own Justice Department. But Democratic allies worry about the toll that the trial — and now the guilty verdict — will take on the 81-year-old, who has long worried about the health of his only living son and his lasting sobriety.

Both Hunter Biden and Trump argued that they were victims of current politics. But while Trump continued to falsely claim that the verdict was “rigged,” Joe Biden said he would accept the results of the verdict and would not seek to pardon his son.

This is not the end of Hunter Biden’s legal problems. He faces trial in California in September on charges of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes, and congressional Republicans have signaled they will pursue him as part of a thwarted effort to impeach the president. The prosecutor’s office investigating his son’s case did not bring any charges or charges against the president.

Prosecutors spent much of the trial highlighting the seriousness of Hunter Biden’s drug problem through highly personal testimony and embarrassing evidence.

Hunter Biden (right) leaves federal court, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The jury heard testimony from Hunter Biden’s ex-wife and ex-girlfriend about his frequent crack use and failed attempts to help him get clean. Jurors saw photos of the president’s son, bare-chested and disheveled in a dirty room, and half-naked and holding crack pipes. Jurors watched video of his crack cocaine being weighed on a scale.

Hunter Biden did not testify, but jurors heard his voice as prosecutors played audio portions of his 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things,” in which he talks about how he hit rock bottom after the death of his brother Beau in 2015 and fell into drugs before finally sobering up.

Prosecutors said the evidence was necessary to prove that Hunter, 54, was in a state of addiction when he bought the gun and therefore lied by checking “no” on a form asking whether he was an “illegal user of or addicted to” drugs.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued that Hunter Biden’s state of mind was different when he wrote the book than when he bought the gun – when he didn’t believe he was an addict. Lowell pointed out to jurors that some of the questions on the firearms transaction log are asked in the present tense, such as “are you using drugs illegally or addicted to them?”

Lowell suggested that Hunter Biden may have felt at the time that he had a drinking problem, but not a drug problem. Alcohol abuse does not preclude purchasing a gun.

Hunter Biden hoped last year to resolve the long-running federal investigation in a deal with prosecutors that would avoid the spectacle of a trial so close to the 2024 election. Under the deal, he would plead guilty to a tax offense and avoid prosecution in the gun case if he stayed out of trouble for two years.

But the deal fell apart when Trump appointee Noreika questioned unusual aspects of the proposed deal, and lawyers were unable to resolve the issue.

Then last August, Attorney General Merrick Garland named lead investigator David Weiss, a U.S. attorney for Delaware, as special counsel, and a month later Hunter Biden was impeached.

Hunter Biden said he was charged because the Justice Department bowed to pressure from Republicans who argued that the Democratic president’s son was receiving special treatment.

The reason law enforcement has asked any questions about the revolver is because Hallie Biden, Beau’s widow, found it unloaded in Hunter’s truck on October 23, 2018, panicked and threw it into a garbage can at Janssen’s Market, where the man he unintentionally fished it out of the trash. She testified about the incident in court.

Hallie Biden, who had a romantic relationship with Hunter after Beau’s death, eventually called the police. Officers recovered the gun from a man who had inadvertently taken it from the trash along with other recyclable waste. The case was ultimately closed due to lack of cooperation from Hunter Biden, who was considered the victim.