Hunter Biden found guilty on all counts: NPR

Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Del., on Monday after jurors began deliberating in his trial on gun-related criminal charges.

Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Del., on Monday after jurors began deliberating in his trial on gun-related criminal charges.

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A federal jury in Delaware convicted President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, of felony gun charges stemming from his purchase of a Colt revolver in 2018 while he was addicted to crack cocaine.

The verdict, delivered after three hours of deliberations, capped a weeklong trial in federal court in Wilmington, Del. The jury found Hunter Biden guilty of two counts of making false statements about his drug use when he purchased the gun, and one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a consumer of drugs or an addict.

Hunter Biden showed no emotion as the assistant judge read the verdict. Afterwards, the president’s son hugged his lawyers and kissed his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, before leaving the courtroom.

In a statement after the verdict, Hunter Biden said: “I am most grateful today for the love and support I felt last week from Melissa, my family, my friends and my community that I am disappointed by the result. »

His attorney, Abbe Lowell, said his team “will continue to vigorously pursue any legal challenges Hunter may face.”

This was the first of two lawsuits against Hunter Biden filed by Justice Department Special Counsel David Weiss. The president’s son also faces tax charges in a separate lawsuit scheduled for trial in September.

Biden has said he will not pardon his son and said in a statement Tuesday: “I will accept the outcome of this case and continue to respect the legal process while Hunter considers an appeal.”

Biden then made an unexpected trip to Wilmington where he was greeted on the tarmac by Hunter Biden, Melissa Cohen Biden and his son Beau. The president hugged them and spoke to them for several minutes.

The gun case has its roots in a difficult time in Hunter Biden’s life, when he was reeling after the death of his brother Beau in 2015 and was addicted to crack and alcohol.

It’s the Colt revolver that the president’s son bought at a Wilmington gun store in October 2018. It was thrown into a trash can outside a grocery store 11 days later.

Prosecutors said Hunter Biden lied on the federal form that every gun buyer is required to fill out when he said he did not use or be addicted to illegal drugs.

During the trial, prosecutors attempted to prove to the jury that Hunter was a drug user at the time, that he knew it and lied when he bought the gun.

Prosecutors called 10 witnesses, including three women who were at one time romantically involved with Hunter Biden: his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle; an ex-girlfriend, Zoe Kestan; and his brother Beau’s widow, Hallie Biden.

Buhle, who was subpoenaed to testify, told the jury she first discovered her then-husband’s drug use when she found a crack pipe on the porch of their home the day after their 22nd wedding anniversary. The couple divorced in 2017.

Kestan and Hallie Biden, who were both granted immunity to testify, told jurors they saw Hunter Biden smoking crack and buying it from drug dealers. Kestan also testified that she was with the president’s son in 2018 while he cooked his own crack cocaine from powder cocaine.

Hallie Biden, meanwhile, testified about how she and Hunter Biden became romantically involved over time after the death of her husband — Hunter’s brother — in 2017. She told jurors that Hunter introduced her to crack and that they had smoked it together – a period of her life, she said, about which she was embarrassed and ashamed.

Hunter’s own words also factored into the government’s case. Prosecutors played lengthy excerpts from his memoir in which he described in painful detail his spiral into addiction.

The government also presented the jury with text messages sent and received by Hunter Biden between 2017 and 2019 in which he discussed his drug use, purchase and addiction to crack cocaine.

This includes two text messages he sent just days after purchasing the gun. In one, he says he’s waiting for a drug dealer named Mookie, and in another he says he was “sleeping on a car smoking crack.”

Hunter Biden’s attorney, Lowell, did not dispute that Hunter Biden was addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol. But he argued his client completed a rehabilitation program in August 2018 and did not consider himself a drug user when he purchased the gun on Oct. 12, 2018, nor during the time he possessed her.

In his closing argument, Lowell accused prosecutors of using sleight of hand to try to cover up what he called flaws in his case.

Throughout the trial, Lowell attempted to focus the jury’s attention on a narrow period of time: the 11 days Hunter Biden possessed the gun before Hallie Biden found it and threw it in a trash can outside a Wilmington grocery store.

Lowell repeatedly pointed out that the government received numerous text messages from before and after October 2018 in which Hunter Biden discussed his drug use or even arranged for his purchase — but not in October 2018.

The drug texts the government produced date from the period when Hunter Biden owned the gun that Lowell attempted to pass off as nothing more than facetious messages his client sent to Hallie Biden.