Hunter Biden found guilty on all three charges in federal gun case

by Admin
Hunter Biden found guilty on all three charges in federal gun case

Hunter Biden, the eldest living son of the US president, was found guilty Tuesday on all three felony counts he faced relating to buying a handgun while being a user of crack cocaine.

Biden received the verdict in court as his friends and family, including the first lady, Jill Biden, stood in support.

The jury reached its verdict after about three hours of deliberation over two days. It followed a weeklong trial in the Biden family’s home town of Wilmington, Delaware, that featured sometimes excruciating testimony about his addiction habit, from some of his closest relatives. Hunter Biden chose not to take the witness stand in his own defence.

Joe Biden said Tuesday: “I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.

“Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support,” he continued. “Nothing will ever change that.”

The president has previously said he would not pardon his son should he be convicted. He has also praised his son’s resilience and strength throughout his recovery from addiction.

No sentencing date is set yet, though the maximum time in prison Hunter Biden could face is 25 years, which would be far more than expected for a first-time offender.

In a statement, Hunter Biden said he’s more grateful for his family and friends for their support than he is disappointed by the verdict.

“Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time,” he added.

His attorney Abbe Lowell said they were “naturally disappointed” by the verdict, but respected the process and would “vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter”.

The Trump campaign sent a statement to CNN that the trial was “nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family”.

Hunter Biden was accused of making two false statements when filling out a form to buy a Colt revolver in October 2018: first by stating untruthfully that he was not addicted to or using drugs, and then by declaring the statement to be true. A third charge alleged that he then illegally owned the gun possession for 11 days, before his sister-in-law and then lover, Hallie Biden, threw it in a trash bin in panic.

Lowell argued that the prosecution had provided no evidence that he had taken crack cocaine – to which he later admitted in a memoir to having been addicted before going into rehabilitation – in the month that he bought and owned the gun.

The defence lawyer also established that no one had seen Hunter use the drug in that period.

But messages retrieved from Hunter’s mobile phone undermined the argument that he had not been ingesting drugs in the period before and after purchasing the weapon. The day after he bought the gun, he sent a text to Hallie Biden saying he was meeting a known drug dealer called Mookie. Then, a day later, he revealed in another text that he was sleeping on a car and smoking crack.

His daughter, Naomi Biden Neal – testifying in his defence – told the court that her father had seemed sober in the weeks before the purchase. But the prosecution introduced more text messages that betrayed a strained and fraying relationship between the pair, including one in which Naomi told her father he had driven her to breaking point.

The prosecution called other members of the Biden family, including his former wife Kathleen Buhle, to whom he was married for 24 years, and Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother Beau, as it tried to show that Hunter’s drug use continued during 2018 and 2019.

The testimony painted a portrait of Hunter Biden falling deeper into addiction as he struggled to cope with the death of Beau, who died from brain cancer in 2015.

After the breakup of his marriage, he formed a romantic relationship with Hallie Biden, who admitted to having smoked crack with him.

Summing up on Monday, prosecutor Leo Wise said Hunter Biden’s text message showed him trying to make drug deals before and after his gun purchase.

Related: Hunter Biden gun trial: key takeaways

Calling the evidence against the defendant “personal, ugly and overwhelming”, he noted that Hunter Biden told Hallie Biden on 14 October 2018, two days after buying the gun, that he had been smoking crack. “That’s my truth,” he quoted Hunter as writing.

The evidence had included lurid testimony of Hunter Biden smoking crack pipes, backed up by photographs shown in court.

Zoe Kestan, Hunter’s former girlfriend who met him at a gentleman’s club, told the court last week that he frequently withdrew money to fund drug purchases.

She said he would smoke what she presumed was crack “every 20 minutes or so” and that she had seen him smoke it over several days in Malibu, California, in September 2018, the month before he bought the gun.

The proceedings were witnessed by Hunter’s stepmother, Jill Biden, who was present every day apart from last Thursday, when she flew to Normandy in France to attend the 80th anniversary of D-day with her husband.

Lowell told jurors that the fact that Hunter Biden had a famous last name did not mean he was less entitled to his rights than any other defendant, urging them to find him not guilty.

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