Hunter Biden trial: Jury resume deliberations in federal gun case

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Jurors will resume deliberations Tuesday within the felony case towards Hunter Biden over a gun President Joe Biden’s son purchased in 2018 when prosecutors say he was within the throes of a crack cocaine habit.

Jurors deliberated for less than an hour earlier than leaving the federal courthouse in Delaware Monday afternoon. They’re weighing whether or not Hunter Biden is responsible of three felonies within the case pitting him towards his father’s Justice Division in the course of the Democratic president’s reelection marketing campaign.

Prosecutors spent final week utilizing testimony from his ex-wife and former girlfriends, pictures of him with drug paraphernalia and different tawdry proof to make the case that he lied when he checked “no” on the shape on the gun store that requested whether or not he was “an illegal person of, or hooked on” medicine.

“He knew he was utilizing medicine. That’s what the proof reveals. And he knew he was hooked on medicine. That’s what the proof reveals,” prosecutor Leo Sensible instructed jurors in his closing argument Monday.

Hunter Biden’s substance abuse struggles after the 2015 demise of his brother, Beau, are nicely documented. However the protection has argued that he didn’t think about himself an “addict” when he purchased the gun.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys have sought to indicate he was attempting to show his life round on the time, having accomplished a rehabilitation program on the finish of August 2018. The protection known as three witnesses, together with Hunter’s daughter Naomi, who instructed jurors that he appeared be bettering within the weeks earlier than he purchased the gun.

And the protection instructed jurors that nobody witnessed Hunter Biden utilizing medicine throughout the 11 days he had the gun earlier than Beau’s widow, Hallie, discovered it in Hunter’s truck and threw it in a trash can. Protection legal professional Abbe Lowell advised that prosecutors have been presenting circumstantial proof like a magician may current a card trick, attempting to get jurors to give attention to one hand and ignore the opposite.

“With my final breath on this case, I ask for the one verdict that can maintain the prosecutors to what the regulation requires of them” — a verdict of not responsible, Lowell stated in his remaining pitch to jurors.

However prosecutors have proven jurors textual content messages despatched within the days after the gun buy wherein Hunter Biden instructed Hallie he was ready for a supplier and smoking crack. Hallie and Hunter briefly dated after Beau’s demise. Prosecutors have additionally stated they discovered cocaine residue on the pouch wherein Hallie put the gun earlier than tossing it in a trash can outdoors an upscale grocery retailer.

First girl Jill Biden, the president’s brother James and different relations watched from the primary row of the courtroom because the protection rested its case on Monday with out calling Hunter Biden to the witness stand. The primary girl has been in court nearly each day because the trial started final week.

Earlier than the case went to the jury, the prosecutor urged jurors to give attention to the “overwhelming” proof towards Hunter Biden and pay no thoughts to members of the president’s household sitting within the courtroom.

“All of this isn’t proof,” Sensible stated, extending his hand and directing the jury to take a look at the gallery. “Individuals sitting within the gallery will not be proof.”

The protection has tried to poke holes within the case by urgent the prosecution’s witnesses on their recollection of sure occasions. Hunter Biden’s lawyer instructed jurors they need to think about testimony from Hallie and one other ex-girlfriend “with nice care and warning,” noting their immunity agreements with prosecutors in alternate for his or her testimony.

The proceedings have performed out in the president’s home state, the place Hunter Biden grew up and the place the household is deeply established. Joe Biden spent 36 years as a senator in Delaware, commuting day by day to Washington, and Beau Biden was the state’s legal professional normal.

Hunter Biden didn’t testify however jurors repeatedly heard his voice when prosecutors performed audio excerpts of his 2021 memoir “Lovely Issues,” wherein he talks about hitting backside after Beau’s demise, and descending into medicine and alcohol earlier than his eventual sobriety in 2019.

Hunter Biden had hoped final 12 months to resolve a long-running federal investigation into his enterprise dealings underneath a deal with prosecutors that might have averted the spectacle of a trial so near the 2024 election. Below the deal, he would have pleaded responsible to misdemeanor tax offenses in California and averted prosecution within the gun case in Delaware if he stayed out of hassle for 2 years.

However the deal fell aside after U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who was nominated by Trump, questioned uncommon elements of the proposed settlement, and the attorneys couldn’t resolve the matter.

Lawyer Normal Merrick Garland then appointed prime investigator David Weiss, Delaware’s U.S. legal professional, as a special counsel last August, and a month later Hunter Biden was indicted.

Hunter Biden has stated he was charged as a result of the Justice Division bowed to strain from Republicans who argued the Democratic president’s son was getting particular remedy.

Below that deal, prosecutors would have really helpful two years of probation. Within the gun case, the three counts carry as much as 25 years in jail, although the sentence would finally be as much as the decide and it’s unclear whether or not she would put him behind bars if he’s convicted.


Richer reported from Washington. Related Press journalists Mike Catalini and Matt Slocum in Wilmington and Colleen Lengthy in Washington contributed to this report.

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