Hunter Biden Convicted on All Charges in Gun Trial

A jury convicted Hunter Biden of three felony counts in Delaware on Tuesday, marking the first time the child of a sitting president has been convicted of a crime.

Biden was found guilty of lying on gun paperwork and possessing a gun while battling an addiction to illegal drugs, all in violation of federal laws. The jury only deliberated for three hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Because they are federal crimes, his father, President Joe Biden, has the authority to offer him a pardon or at least commute his sentence to a lesser punishment. The White House has ruled out a pardon in the past, and the president confirmed to ABC News this week that he would not pardon his son.

President Biden responded to the verdict shortly after it was handed down, noting that he will “accept the outcome of the case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.”

The trial, which lasted just over a week, centered around a gun Hunter Biden owned for 11 days in October 2018 while he used crack cocaine and alcohol. Two of three counts involved Biden’s filing of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) paperwork stating he was not a drug user and lying to a licensed gun dealer. The third count regarded his possession of the gun while he battled an addiction to drugs.

Hunter Biden’s legal team has argued he did not consider himself to be an addict when he filled out the paperwork, attempted to paint his addiction as a battle with his mental health, and maintained that the trial was politically motivated. “Hunter Biden possessing an unloaded gun for 11 days was not a threat to public safety, but a prosecutor, with all the power imaginable, bending to political pressure presents a grave threat to our system of justice,” Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told CNN in September.

Witnesses in the trial included his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle; Biden’s late brother Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, whom Hunter later dated; his ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan; and his daughter Naomi Biden.

Hunter Biden’s exes detailed finding him smoking crack and their attempts to get him clean. Jurors were shown photos of Biden holding a crack pipe, a video from his phone weighing crack on a scale, and tests from his exes about his habitual crack usage.

Hallie Biden testified she found Hunter’s unloaded gun in his truck on Oct. 23, 2018, and tossed it into a Wilmington grocery store garbage can. “I didn’t want him to hurt himself, and I didn’t want my kids to find it and hurt themselves,” she told jurors, explaining her brief relationship with Hunter following the death of her husband and his brother Beau from brain cancer.

She testified that she did not see Hunter use drugs between a 2018 trip to a California rehabilitation center and the day she threw out the gun — which included the day he bought the gun. However, texts between Hunter and Hallie Biden show he told her he was waiting for a dealer and smoking crack, sent within the two days after he bought the gun.

Lowell said there was no connection between Hunter Biden’s previous drug use and that of his state when he purchased the gun. Lowell pointed to a detoxification and rehabilitation program Hunter completed at the end of August 2018. “There is no evidence of contemporaneous drug use and a gun possession,” Lowell filed in court papers. Naomi Biden testified about the rehab program, saying she visited him at the rehab center and recalled him feeling “hopeful.”

Lowell added in the filing: “It was only after the gun was thrown away and the ensuing stress that the government was able to then find the same type of evidence of his use (e.g., photos, use of drug lingo) that he relapsed with drugs.”

Hunter Biden’s conviction comes less than two weeks after his father’s Republican opponent in the 2024 presidential race, Donald Trump, was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Trump and his allies have repeatedly insisted that the Justice Department is doing President Biden’s political bidding — despite its current investigations into multiple Democratic lawmakers, and its probe into the president’s son.

Lowell has accused the Justice Department of succumbing to political pressure from Trump and Republican lawmakers. Hunter Biden is also the subject a separate tax case that he will also go on trial for after a deal with prosecutors fell through last summer after Trump-appointee U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika raised concerns about the deal.

Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, although being a first-time offender, he will likely get much less. He also faces a tax trial in September over felony charges alleging he didn’t pay $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

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