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Hunter Biden guilty in criminal gun trial

Hunter Biden found guilty on all three counts in gun trial

A jury convicted Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, of all three counts at his criminal gun trial in Delaware federal court on Tuesday morning.

Hunter Biden, 54, was found guilty of making a false statement in connection with the sale of a firearm, a false statement in a firearms transaction, and possessing a firearm while being a drug user or drug addict.

The felony charges relate to his purchase of a Colt Cobra handgun from a Delaware gun store in October 2018 while being an active user of illegal drugs.

Biden, who has admitted being a cocaine and alcohol addict, was accused of lying on a federally mandated form he filled out in connection with that sale, where he had said he was not an unlawful user or addict of a narcotic drug.

He is the first child of a sitting U.S. president to be tried in a criminal case.

The verdict came nearly three weeks after former President Donald Trump — who is set to face President Biden in November’s election — was convicted in a New York state court of falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Hunter Biden looked straight ahead at the jury and nodded slightly as three guilty verdicts were read, eight days after the trial began and after only about three hours of jurors deliberating.

First lady Jill Biden entered the courtroom after the verdict was announced, as did his aunt, Valerie Biden Owens.

Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, was in the room when the verdict was read out.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs from the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 3 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden is standing trial for felony gun charges.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

The verdict came after a trial that included testimony from his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, Hallie Biden, who is the widow of his brother Beau Biden, and a third romantic ex-partner of Hunter’s.

Hallie Biden, who told jurors that she had smoked crack cocaine at the suggestion of Hunter while engaged in a romantic relationship with him, testified that she found the handgun he had purchased in his car 11 days after he bought it. She testified that she threw the gun out near a grocery store.

In a statement Tuesday, Biden said, “I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome.”

“Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time,” Biden said.

Jurors began deliberating on Monday afternoon after hearing closing arguments from prosecutors and Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, and instructions from Judge Maryellen Noreika.

Noreika said she would set Biden’s sentencing date later.

Biden faces a maximum possible prison sentence of 10 years on two of the felony counts and a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison on the third count.

Biden’s lawyer Lowell, in a statement, said, “We are naturally disappointed by today’s verdict.”

“We respect the jury process, and as we have done throughout this case, we will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter,” Lowell said.

President Biden is due to speak about gun control at an event on Tuesday afternoon.

The president told ABC News last week that he would not issue a pardon to his son if he was convicted in this case.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden and U.S. first lady Jill Biden leave the federal court after the jury finds him guilty on all three counts in his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 11, 2024. 

Hannah Beier | Reuters

In a statement Tuesday about Hunter’s conviction, the president said, “As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad.”

“Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” President Biden said. “So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

“As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal,” the president said. “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.”

Hunter Biden is separately charged in Los Angeles federal court with failing to pay taxes on more than $1.4 million in income over several years.

He is due to stand trial in that case in September, two months before his father faces the Republican Trump in the election.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in the hush money case on July 11 in Manhattan Supreme Court. He faces a maximum possible prison sentence of four years for each of the 34 felony counts of which he was convicted.

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Biden’s gun case and second case in Los Angeles was filed last year after the collapse of a plea deal between Biden and U.S. Attorney David Weiss last summer.

Weiss, after being named special counsel for the case by the Department of Justice, lodged the two separate cases against Biden after Judge Noreika questioned the terms of the deal, which likely would have seen Biden getting no jail time after pleading guilty to tax crimes and entering into a so-called pretrial diversion agreement from the gun case.

The cases also came after Republicans in Congress suggested that Weiss, who was appointed U.S. Attorney by Trump, had been too lenient in prosecuting Biden.

In a statement Tuesday on the gun charges verdict, the Trump campaign said, “This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine.”

“Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit,” said Karoline Leavitt, the campaign’s spokeswoman.

Trump himself faces three other pending criminal cases besides the hush money case.

Two of those cases, one in federal court in Washington, D.C., the other in Georgia state court in Atlanta, accuse Trump of crimes in connection with his efforts to undo President Biden’s victory over him in the 2020 election. The third case, in Florida federal court, relates to Trump’s retention of classified documents after he left the White House in January 2021, and his efforts to withhold them from government officials who sought there return.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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