Hunter Biden’s daughter testifies in his defense as gun trial nears completion

by Admin
Hunter Biden’s daughter testifies in his defense as gun trial nears completion

WILMINGTON, Delaware — Naomi Biden, a daughter of Hunter Biden and a granddaughter of the president, took the stand at her father’s criminal trial on Friday, recounting in emotional testimony how she visited him while he was in a drug rehab program about six weeks before he bought the gun at the center of the case.

Naomi, 30, was called by the defense after prosecutors rested their case earlier in the day.

When the trial reconvenes on Monday, there is one more witness who might testify: Hunter himself. His lawyer indicated Friday afternoon that the defense team will decide over the weekend whether he will take the stand in his own defense before the case moves to closing arguments.

Naomi’s testimony was intended to strengthen the defense’s argument that Hunter could have been sober in October 2018, when he allegedly bought a Colt revolver and possessed it for 11 days.

But during cross-examination, prosecutors presented text messages that painted a different picture of Hunter’s life during the critical period.

Prosecutors led by special counsel David Weiss have charged the president’s son with three felonies. They say that he lied on a federal gun purchase form by claiming he wasn’t using drugs and that he violated a federal law barring drug users from having guns.

Late in the summer of 2018, Naomi testified, her father asked her to visit him in rehab in California, where he was fighting an addiction to crack cocaine. She met him at a coffee shop in Los Angeles with his sober coach, then had lunch and went shopping.

“He seemed like the clearest I had seen him since my uncle died,” she said, referring to the 2015 death of Hunter’s brother, Beau. “He just seemed really great.”

She later texted him that she was proud of him.

Naomi also testified that she met her father again in New York, in mid-October. She was living there at the time, and Hunter had driven to the city. She told defense lawyer Abbe Lowell that the meeting gave her hope. But prosecutor Leo Wise presented a series of text messages between Naomi and Hunter from the time of that visit. The texts showed that Hunter was uncommunicative and that Naomi was concerned about him.

In one text sent around 2 a.m., Hunter asked if he could pick up his truck — which Naomi and her boyfriend had borrowed — at a specific intersection. Naomi testified that she didn’t know what her father was doing at the time.

He still seemed good, she added. “I was hopeful.”

Wise then directed her to more texts. In one, she raised concern that she might not be able to see her father on his New York visit and sent an unhappy face.

“I’m really sorry, Dad, I can’t take this,” she wrote, according to a copy of the text read aloud in court.

“I just miss you so much,” the text continued. “I just want to hang out with you.”

Her father replied by apologizing for being so “unreachable.” “It’s not fair to you,” he wrote.

After her testimony ended, Naomi hugged her father. As Hunter walked out of the courtroom for a break, he held first lady Jill Biden’s hand. The first lady has attended most of the trial, which began Monday, but traveled briefly to France with the president on Thursday. She flew back to return to court on Friday.

Before calling Naomi, Hunter’s defense team called a former employee of the Wilmington gun store that sold Hunter the gun. Lowell peppered the employee, Jason Turner, about the form on which Hunter allegedly lied.

Turner told jurors there was an inconsistency on the form as he remembered it. The form requested a piece of identification that lists an address. Because Hunter provided his passport, which does not include his address, a second form of identification was required.

Turner said they included Hunter’s vehicle registration to meet the address requirement. But the form entered into evidence did not mention his registration.

“That form’s wrong,” Turner, who appeared frustrated on the stand, said about the missing information.

Earlier on Friday, the prosecution rested its case after three and a half days of calling its own witnesses, including three of Hunter’s former romantic partners who testified in raw terms about Hunter’s struggles with addiction.

The prosecution’s final two witnesses, both of whom testified on Friday morning, were Jason Brewer, an FBI forensic chemist, and Joshua Romig, an assistant special agent in charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration. Brewer testified about testing residue he determined to be cocaine from a pouch where Biden allegedly kept the gun. Romig testified about a series of text messages that showed Biden was buying crack in 2018.

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