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Hunter Biden’s gun case goes to jury

The jurors began their deliberations Monday afternoon at the Federal Parliament. Hunter Biden gun trial, who is accused of possessing and possessing a firearm while a drug addict. They deliberated for about an hour before being released for the day.

His lawyers chose not to call him to the stand, even though they did so last Friday. mentioned the possibility that he would testify.

Prosecutors said in their closing argument Monday that the central question is whether Hunter Biden was an illegal or addicted user of a controlled substance when he purchased the firearm. They reviewed testimonies, text messages, photographs, bank withdrawals and Memoirs of Hunter Biden. Prosecutors acknowledged the evidence was very “personal,” ugly” and “damning,” but said it was “absolutely necessary” to prove his addiction.

Two of the three charges against Hunter Biden relate to accusations that he made false statements on a federal firearms form about his drug use, certifying that he was not a user or addicted to no controlled substances during a period when prosecutors allege he was addicted to the substance. crack.

He was also charged with illegal possession of the weapon, possession of the weapon for 11 days prior Hallie Biden, with whom he had a romantic relationship, found it and got rid of it. Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell said in his closing statement that the prosecution’s case was based on “conjecture and suspicion” and that prosecutors unfairly used Hunter Biden’s own words in his texts and memoirs out of court. their context.

Prosecutors said Hunter Biden’s rehabilitation treatments were themselves proof that he knew he was a drug addict and that they met their burden of proving that he knowingly made false statements about his drug use for purchase.

But Lowell countered that Hunter Biden’s admission that he was a drug addict was an expression of “what he had been” and not who he was at the time, and that it was a ” cry for help” from someone looking back.

Lowell argued that there were gaps in evidence of Hunter Biden’s drug use during the 11-day period he possessed the firearm, arguing that key witnesses, like ex -girlfriend of Hunter Biden Zoe Kestan, had no evidence of his drug use. Lowell said prosecutors failed to prove that the large cash withdrawals were used for drug transactions.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, joined by his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, arrives at the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building June 10, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


Referring to the structure and language of the firearm form that alternated questions beginning with “have you ever” and “are you,” Lowell argued that Hunter Biden did not knowingly make a false statement about his drug use with intent to deceive and reiterated one of his main arguments during the trial, that Hunter Biden did not consider himself an addict at the time he purchased the gun.

Lowell also pointed to the testimony of Gordon Cleveland, the gun store employee who sold the gun to Hunter Biden and said he did not appear to be under the influence at the time of the purchase.

While prosecutor Leo Wise did not directly refer to the first family members present, he reminded the jury that “the people sitting in the gallery do not constitute evidence” and that “their presence in the courtroom has no bearing on the case.” Although President Biden is not in the courtroom, first lady Jill Biden is there almost every day. The Bidens’ daughter Ashley Biden, Mr. Biden’s siblings Valerie and Jimmy Biden, and Hunter Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, all sat in the front row with the first lady on Monday.

Testimony

The prosecution rested its case against President Biden’s son on Friday after testimony from Hunter Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, his ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan and Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother Beau Biden . The man who allegedly sold the gun to Hunter Biden, Gordon Cleveland, also testified.

Hallie Biden, considered the prosecution’s star witness, said last week that she “panicked” when she found the gun and “just wanted to get rid of” the gun and bullets .

“I didn’t want him to get hurt or the kids to find out and get hurt,” she said. Hallie Biden testified that Hunter Biden introduced her to crack cocaine after her husband’s death. “It’s a terrible experience that I went through, and I’m embarrassed and ashamed, and I regret that time in my life,” she said.

At the heart of the accusation is the question of whether Hunter Biden knowingly lied about his drug use. Prosecutor Derek Hines noted in his opening statement that “addiction may not be a choice, but lying and buying a gun is a choice.”

Cleveland testified that Hunter Biden did not seem confused by the form when he sold him the firearm in October 2018.

Hallie Biden leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building after testifying at the trial of Hunter Biden on June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images


Hallie Biden testified that Hunter Biden was using drugs in October 2018 when he bought the gun, and prosecutors showed texts saying he was “sleeping on a car smoking crack.”

Naomi Biden testified that her father “looked great” in late October 2018 and that she didn’t spot any drug paraphernalia when she borrowed his truck. However, she also said she knew her father “suffered from addiction,” telling the court that “after my uncle (Beau Biden) died, things got bad.” But she maintained that her father never used illegal drugs in front of her. She also admitted that she never observed what her father looked like when he was using drugs.

Jury deliberations resume Tuesday.

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News Source : www.cbsnews.com

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