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Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 crimes in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 crimes in federal gun trial

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – Hunter Biden was found guilty Tuesday of three related criminal charges when purchasing a revolver in 2018 whenProsecutors say the president’s son lied on a mandatory gun purchase form by claiming he was not illegally using drugs or addicted to drugs.

Hunter Biden stared straight ahead and showed little emotion as the verdict was read after jurors deliberated for three hours over two days. He hugged his lawyers, smiled weakly and kissed his wife, Melissa, before leaving the courtroom with her.

He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, although first-time offenders do not reach the maximum sentence, and it is unclear whether she would give him time behind bars. The judge did not set a sentencing date.

What you need to know about Hunter Biden’s conviction:

  • What happened? Jurors declared Hunter Biden guilty lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, make a false statement on the application saying he was not a drug user and had illegally possessed a firearm for 11 days.
  • Key witnesses: Hunter Biden an ex-wife and a former girlfriend testified to find his crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia.
  • Follow live updates: A exact date of sentencing has not been resolved. He faces up to 25 years in prison, although first-time offenders fall far short of the maximum sentence, and it is unclear whether the judge would sentence him to prison.

“No one in this country is above the law,” special counsel David Weiss, the prosecutor who led the long federal investigation into Hunter Biden, told reporters after the verdict.

First lady Jill Biden, who attended most of the trial, arrived at the courthouse minutes after the jury returned its verdict and was not in the courtroom when it was read. Hunter Biden left the courthouse holding hands with the first lady and her wife. They did not speak to reporters, got into waiting SUVs and drove away.

Hunter Biden, right, leaves federal court, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, right, leaves federal court, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After the jury’s decision was announced, President Joe Biden said he would accept the outcome of the case and “will continue to respect the legal process while Hunter considers an appeal.” The president said he and the first lady were proud of Hunter, who has been sober since 2019.

“Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that,” the president said in a statement.

In a written statement following the verdict, Hunter Biden said he was disappointed by the outcome but grateful for the support of his family and friends. His lawyer said they would “continue to vigorously pursue all possible legal challenges.”

Jurors found Hunter Biden guilty of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false statement on the application that he was not a drug user and illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Now Hunter Biden and Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential candidatethe president’s main political rival, were both convicted by U.S. juries during an election year that was as much about the courtroom as it was about campaign events and rallies.

AP correspondent Julie Walker reports that jurors in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial find him guilty.

Joe Biden stayed away from the federal courtroom in Delaware where his son was tried and said little about the case, wary of creating the impression of interference in a criminal case filed by his own Ministry of Justice. But the Democrat’s allies worry about the toll the trial — and now conviction — will take on the 81-year-old, who has long worried about the health and sustained sobriety of his only living son.

Both Hunter Biden and Trump said they were victims of the politics of the day. But while Trump continued to falsely claim that the verdict was “rigged.” Joe Biden said he would accept the verdict and would not seek a pardon for his son.

The verdict came shortly before the president delivered a speech about his administration’s efforts to curb gun violence at a conference hosted by the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund in Washington.

Hunter Biden’s legal troubles aren’t over. He faces a trial in September in California for charges of non-payment of $1.4 million in taxes, and congressional Republicans have indicated they will continue to pursue him in their effort to impeach the president. The president has not been accused or charged with wrongdoing by prosecutors investigating his son.

The prosecution spent much of the trial highlighting the seriousness of Hunter Biden’s drug problem, through highly personal testimony and embarrassing evidence.

Jurors heard Hunter Biden’s ex-wife and a former girlfriend testify about his habitual crack use and their unsuccessful efforts to help him get clean. Jurors saw images of the president’s son shirtless and disheveled in a dirty room, and half-naked holding crack pipes. Jurors also watched a video of his crack dose being weighed on a scale.

Hunter Biden didn’t testify, but jurors heard his voice when prosecutors played audio excerpts from his 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things,” in which he talks about hitting rock bottom after his brother’s death Beau, in 2015, and his descent into drugs. before he finally achieved sobriety.

Prosecutors said the evidence was necessary to prove that Hunter, 54, was in the throes of an addiction when he bought the gun and therefore lied when he checked “no” on the form that asked him to s He was “an illegal or dependent user of drugs.”

Hunter Biden arrives at federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hunter Biden’s lawyers had argued that he did not consider himself an “addict” when he purchased the gun. They sought to demonstrate that he was trying to change his life at the time, after following a rehabilitation program at the end of August 2018. The defense called three witnesses, including Naomi, the hunter’s daughterwho told jurors he seemed to improve in the weeks before purchasing the gun.

The trial took place in the president’s home statewhere Hunter Biden grew up and where the family runs deep. Joe Biden has passed 36 years as a senator from Delaware, traveling daily to Washington, and Beau Biden was the state’s attorney general.

Hunter Biden had hoped last year to resolve a long-running federal investigation as part of a deal with prosecutors that would avoid the spectacle of a trial so close to the 2024 election. Under the deal, he would have pleaded guilty of tax crimes and would have avoided prosecution in the gun case if he stayed out of trouble for two years.

But the deal collapsed after Noreika, a Trump appointee, questioned unusual aspects of the proposed deal, and lawyers were unable to resolve the issue.

Attorney General Merrick Garland then named the lead investigator, Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware, as special advisor last Augustand a month later, Hunter Biden was indicted.

Hunter Biden said he was charged because the Justice Department bowed to pressure from Republicans who claimed the Democratic president’s son was getting special treatment.

The reason law enforcement raised questions about the gun is because Hallie Biden, Beau’s widow, found it unloaded in Hunter’s truck on October 23, 2018, panicked and threw it in the trash can of a grocery store, where a man inadvertently fished it out. out of the trash. She testified about the episode in court.

Hallie Biden, who was romantically involved with Hunter after Beau’s death, eventually called the police. Officers recovered the gun from the man who had taken it with other recyclables from the trash can. The case was ultimately dismissed due to lack of cooperation from Hunter Biden, who was considered the victim.


Richer and Long reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Mike Catalini in Wilmington contributed to this report.

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