Hunter Biden jury returns guilty verdict in federal trial

WashingtonHunter Biden He pleaded guilty to all three counts of possessing and possessing a firearm while under the influence of cocaine.

The verdict is the first time a sitting president’s son has been convicted of a crime. One juror told CBS News after the verdict that Hunter Biden “knew what he was doing when he was told he had to fill out an application” to buy a gun.

“When he checked that box, he knew he was a drug addict,” the juror said. He knew he was using crack.

Hunter Biden showed little emotion as the 12-member Delaware jury’s verdict was read, hugging his wife and addressing his lawyers after the verdict.

In a statement after the verdict, Hunter Biden said he was “more grateful today for the love and support I’ve experienced this past week” from his wife Melissa and the rest of his family than he was “disappointed with the outcome. Recovery is possible by God’s grace and I am blessed to experience this gift one day.”

First Lady Jill Biden arrived in the courtroom after the verdict was read. The first lady and other members of the Biden family attended the trial, often sitting in the front row. Although not mentioned by name, prosecutor Leo Wise noted their possible influence in his closing argument, saying that “people sitting in the gallery are not evidence.”

President Biden, who did not attend the trial, issued a statement saying he “accepts the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter pursues an appeal.” But he also noted that “I’m also a father,” adding that “so many families who have had loved ones struggle with addiction understand the sense of pride when you see a loved one come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

First Lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, and wife Melissa Cohen Biden leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 11, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware.

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President Biden will travel to Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon after delivering previously scheduled remarks on gun safety.

Special counsel David Weiss, who indicted Hunter Biden in September after a proposed plea deal fell through, said after the verdict that “this case was about the wrongful choice the defendant made in shooting addiction and his choice to have that gun.” But hinting at a possible prison sentence, Weiss said Hunter Biden “should not be held more accountable than any other defendant who commits the same conduct.”

A court heard difficult testimony from several women in Hunter Biden’s life about his struggles with drugs. Prosecutors called his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan, and Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother Beau Biden, with whom Hunter Biden was romantically involved during the time he owned a firearm. He was Hallie Biden who found the gun in his truck. He testified that Hunter Biden was using drugs in October 2018 when he bought the gun, and prosecutors showed texts that said he was “sleeping in the car smoking crack.”

Naomi BidenTestimony given by the defense confirmed that her father “seemed fine” in late October 2018 and that he did not notice any drugs when he borrowed her truck. But she also said she knew her father was “struggling with addiction” and told the court that “after my uncle (Beau Biden) died, things got bad.” According to him, Hunter Biden has never used illegal drugs in front of him.

Oath #10 reaction

After the verdict, one of the jurors, Juror #10, spoke to CBS News about the verdict, saying it was 6-6 Monday night, but when they returned Tuesday, 11 of the 12 jurors had decided to acquit.

“I might have been one of the six who pleaded not guilty,” the juror said. “It’s not that we believed he was not guilty. We needed to turn the evidence over. We didn’t want to rush to judgment. We didn’t want to ruin somebody’s life.”

He said the panel on Tuesday morning had a problem with some of the language in one of the paragraphs, so they decided to finish reviewing the evidence and come back to it. “He admitted that no one could make him change his mind,” the juror said.

Juror #10 told CBS News it was “solemn” when they returned to read the verdict, though he said he wasn’t looking at Hunter Biden. “That’s where I feel sorry for his family,” Nafitz said.

The jury said the main factors in their decision were that “there wasn’t a wide window of time when Hunter was sober and clean” and “the key piece of evidence in the whole case was the form that Hunter filled out.”

“He wanted to buy a rifle,” he said. “What does Hunter Biden need a gun for? What was his intent? His intent was to purchase a gun. He knew what he was doing when they told him he had to fill out an application.”

But as for jail time, the juror said: “He needs more help than jail. Jail isn’t going to help anybody.”

What are they accusing Hunter Biden of?

He was He is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm After a proposed plea deal with federal prosecutors in September unfolded.

He is accused of illegally possessing a firearm while he was addicted to cocaine. Federal law prohibits illegal drug users from possessing firearms.

Prosecutors allege the president’s son lied about his drug use to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when he bought a revolver, speed loader and ammunition on Oct. 12, 2018, from StarQuest Shooters and Survival Supply, a gun store. Wilmington.

Hunter Biden owned a Colt Cobra .38 rifle for 11 days Hallie Biden He found it in the console of his truck and threw it in the trash can outside the grocery store.

She later confirmed that she was going to “pretend” she didn’t do it, but Hunter Biden texted her about the missing gun.

“Are you crazy?” he allegedly asked her on Oct. 23, 2018, according to text messages read aloud during the trial. “Tell me now. This is not a game. And you are completely irresponsible and inflexible.”

“Hard to believe anyone could be this stupid,” he wrote in another message.

Hallie Biden went back to the trash can to retrieve the gun, but it was gone. An old man looking for recycling found a gun and took it home. Delaware police later recovered the man’s gun.

Years later, prosecutors charged Hunter Biden with a gun crime Ineligible charges against him.

What is Hunter Biden accused of?

Two of the three counts are related to the paperwork Hunter Biden filled out when purchasing the gun. The form includes questions about a person’s criminal history, whether they buy guns for themselves or others, drug use and mental health. He is charged with making a false statement on an application that he was not a drug user and lying to a licensed gun dealer.

The third point concerns the possession of weapons. Prosecutors say he knowingly possessed the gun for 11 days because he was battling an addiction to illegal drugs, a violation of federal law.

Defense of Hunter Biden

His lawyers argued that prosecutors must prove he was using drugs the day he bought the gun. The form uses the word “is,” defense attorney Abbe Lowell said in her opening statement.

“It doesn’t say you’ve ever been. It doesn’t say you’ve ever used it,” Lowell said. The defense also argued that Hunter Biden was using alcohol, not drugs, at the time.

All three charges are felonies and he could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

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