What key witnesses in Hunter Biden’s trial, including Hallie Biden, testified

On Tuesday, a jury found Hunter Biden guilty of three criminal charges related to his efforts to obtain a gun in October 2018.

The president’s son was charged with two counts of making false statements in purchasing the firearm and a third count of illegally obtaining a firearm while he was a drug addict.

Over the past week, a jury of 12 Delawareans heard gripping and personal details about President Joe Biden’s family.

Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison, although legal experts believe he would not serve time as a first-time, non-violent offender.

President Joe Biden previously told ABC News he would not pardon his son. In a statement Tuesday, he pledged to respect the jury’s decision.

“I am more grateful today for the love and support I received last week from (his wife Melissa Cohen Biden), my family, my friends and my community, than I am “I’m disappointed by the outcome,” Hunter Biden said in a statement after the ceremony. verdict.

His attorney, Father Lowell, said they “will continue vigorously to pursue any legal challenges Hunter may face.”

In numbers

Hunter Biden’s trial saw 13 witnesses on the stand and at least 70 exhibits, including more than 290 text messages used by the government to make its case against the president’s son.

The testimony heard by the jury was spread over five days, from last Tuesday to Friday, then last Monday morning.

Thirteen different witnesses testified – 10 called by the government and three by the defense. Five of these government witnesses were law enforcement officials or expert witnesses.

Surveillance videos were also played in court.

Key Prosecution Witnesses

Prosecutors last week called his ex-wife and two of his exes to the stand in an effort to undermine the defense argument that the president’s son was not a drug addict when he filled out a form to buy a firearm in 2018.

Hallie Biden

Hallie Biden, the widow of President Joe Biden’s late son Beau Biden, testified as a key government witness, recounting in excruciating detail Hunter Biden’s “terrible experience” of drug addiction in the months before his discovery of a firearm in his vehicle.

Prosecutors used testimony from Hallie Biden, who was Hunter Biden’s romantic partner at the time, to attest to Hunter Biden’s drug use in October 2018, when prosecutors say Hunter Biden lied on an ATF form when he said he wasn’t using drugs at the time. the time he bought the gun.

In dramatic testimony, Hallie Biden said that on the morning of October 23, 2018, she went to “clean” Hunter’s car in hopes of helping him “deal with things” and perhaps “get sober if She wasn’t.” – but she ultimately found both a gun, drug remains and drug paraphernalia.

“What did you find besides trash and clothes?” prosecutor Leo Wise asked him.

“Leftover crack and some paraphernalia,” Hallie said. “Oh and the gun, obviously.”

“I panicked, I wanted to get rid of it,” she told the jury.

When asked why she panicked, Hallie said “didn’t want him to get hurt,” referring to Hunter. She said she was also worried about her children finding the gun, saying she planned to “hide” it somewhere but was worried they would find it.

Video surveillance

During Hallie Biden’s testimony, jurors were shown surveillance video from the grocery store that shows Hallie Biden throwing the gun in the trash.

Ex-wife, another girlfriend

Ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan, who met Hunter Biden as a private dancer at a New York gentlemen’s club when she was 24 and he was 48, said she saw him smoking pot crack in late September 2018, just weeks before he came across a Delaware gun. store and purchased a Colt Cobra revolver from Gordon Cleveland, another witness who testified Wednesday.

Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, testified about Hunter Biden’s alcohol and drug abuse during their 25-year marriage, describing how their relationship deteriorated as his drug addiction her husband was increasing.

When Hunter Biden was on crack, Buhle testified, “He wasn’t himself.”

“He was angry, short-tempered, acting in a way he wouldn’t do when he was sober,” she said.

Buhle said she found “remnants of drugs in little bags” and drug paraphernalia, like “a broken crack pipe,” often enough that she searched her car before allowing her daughters to use it.

She said that despite his mannerisms while on crack, he nevertheless managed to “function” normally as an addict – which could contradict the defense assertion that “there is no such thing as a high-level addict.” level”.

Buhle admitted during cross-examination that she never personally saw Hunter Biden use drugs.

Gun store clerk

Cleveland, the gun store employee who sold Hunter Biden the firearm in question, also testified, saying he watched from “about two feet” as Hunter Biden filled out the form that asked applicants to They were active drug users.

Cleveland testified that he saw Hunter Biden answer several questions before addressing the drug question and then marking the box with an “X.”

Former Delaware State Police Officer

Former Delaware State Police Lt. Millard Greer described finding the gun after Hallie Biden threw it in the trash outside the supermarket.

Greer said he reviewed surveillance footage, interviewed witnesses and ultimately recovered the gun from a local resident, Edward Banner, who was known for “digging through trash cans.”

Greer said Banner placed the gun in a sock with a leather pouch containing the gun.

Banner, called as the government’s final witness of the day, corroborated much of Greer’s account, testifying that he found the gun in a trash can outside the grocery store, put it away on a shelf superior to the house and had finally handed it over to Greer. .

Key defense witnesses

The Hunter’s Daughter

Naomi Biden, Hunter Biden’s 30-year-old daughter, said she saw her father twice in 2018, when Hunter Biden’s lawyers said he was not actively using drugs, and each time, -she testified, he “looked good”. “

“He seemed like the clearest I had seen him since my uncle died, and he looked really great,” she said of a visit to Los Angeles in August 2018 to see his father.

The next time she saw him, in New York, just days after he bought the gun, “He looked great, he looked hopeful,” she said. she declared.

It was important testimony for the defense, which was trying to convince jurors that, despite his recurring addiction in the months before and after his gun purchase, Hunter Biden was not actively using drugs in October 2018.

But Naomi Biden’s testimony then provided favorable moments for the government’s case, particularly when prosecutor Leo Wise read aloud text messages that appeared to run counter to her assertion that Hunter Biden was doing “very GOOD “.

In mid-October 2018, Naomi and her father were in New York trying to trade cars. Naomi Biden had used her father’s vehicle – the one in which, a few days later, Hallie Biden would find the Colt Cobra firearm – to travel from Washington, DC, to New York.

In messages he sent in the early morning hours of October 18, 2018, Hunter Biden suggested that he and Naomi Biden’s then-boyfriend meet to swap cars at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 57th Street in Manhattan – the intersection where, coincidentally, Trump Tower sits.

“Do you know what your father was doing at 2 a.m. and why he asked you for the car at that time? » asked Sage.

“No,” she replied.

Those messages clearly upset her at the time, according to her responses, which prosecutors read aloud to jurors.

“I’m sorry dad, I can’t take this,” she wrote. “I miss you and want to spend time with you.”

What specific conduct precipitated the accusations?

On October 12, 2018, Hunter Biden purchased a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver, a “speedloader” firearm accessory and 25 rounds of ammunition from the gun store StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington, Delaware, according to prosecutors. In doing so, he filled out a federal form and checked a box saying he did not abuse drugs — the document at the heart of the government’s argument — even though he allegedly knew it was false.

Hunter Biden allegedly possessed the firearm for less than two weeks. On Oct. 23, his then-romantic partner Hallie Biden discovered the gun and threw it in a dumpster outside Janssen’s Market, a Wilmington grocery store, according to prosecutors.

He later admitted in his 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things” that he was addicted to crack cocaine around this time.