Hunter Biden used crack ‘about every 20 minutes,’ court hears

Legend, Hunter Biden (seen with wife Melissa Cohen Biden) could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts

  • Author, Nadine Yousif
  • Role, BBC News

Biden Hunter’s ex-girlfriend told a jury he abused crack “about every 20 minutes” when they first met.

The US president’s son is on trial in Wilmington, Delaware, on charges related to his possession of a firearm while allegedly using drugs.

Zoe Kestan, who met Mr Biden, 54, at a ‘private dance’ at a ‘gentleman’s club’ in New York, told court he often withdrew money for drug deals .

This is the first criminal trial brought against the son of a sitting US president.

He is accused of knowingly lying on federal documents when he said he was not a drug user in order to purchase a revolver and ammunition at a Wilmington gun store on October 12, 2018. as well as illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Mr. Biden faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all three federal counts in the case.

He has pleaded not guilty and his legal team says he was recovering at the time he bought the gun.

The prosecution is expected to rest its case Thursday after calling six more witnesses, including Hallie Biden, Mr. Biden’s former partner and his brother’s widow, as well as agents from the Delaware State Police, a DEA agent and a forensic expert.

Other prosecution witnesses included Gordon Cleveland, the former gun store employee who sold the gun to Mr Biden in 2018.

In his testimony Wednesday, Mr. Cleveland said he asked Mr. Biden — and all other customers — to “honestly” fill out the form.

The prosecution is trying to prove that Hunter Biden, who wrote a memoir about his drug addiction, was using crack cocaine at the time he bought the gun.

During his opening speech earlier this week, Mr. Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told jurors that the revolver was an impulse purchase resulting from the tactics of a pushy salesman — Mr. Cleveland.

In his testimony, Mr. Cleveland acknowledged his reputation as a “whale hunter”, known for being able to “sell everything he had”, mainly expensive, high-quality weapons.

He, however, denied ever trying to “sell” Mr. Biden, who he said had entered the store and “talked about” purchasing a firearm, specifically a revolver.

On Wednesday, the accused’s mother-in-law, US First Lady Jill Biden, was in court again.

She sat in the front row behind Hunter Biden, with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, and a Secret Service agent.

President Joe Biden is in France for events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

FBI agent Erika Jensen, Ms. Kestan and the defendant’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, also tested positive on the third day of the trial.

Legend, Zoe Kestan leaves the field after a test

Ms Kestan detailed Hunter Biden’s drug use during their relationship.

The first day they met at the gentlemen’s club in December 2017, she said he started smoking crack “within 10 minutes.”

She said she saw this pattern repeated during their relationship in luxury hotel rooms in New York, New Jersey and California.

She said Mr Biden “would want to smoke as soon as he wakes up”.

Ms. Kestan also said she saw him smoking crack cocaine in Malibu, California, for several days in September 2018, a month before he bought the gun.

Prosecutors showed the jury images allegedly taken by Ms. Kestan showing crack pipes in the rooms where she stayed with Hunter Biden.

Another allegedly showed the defendant in a bath with a crack pipe in his hand.

Ms Buhle, who was married to Mr Biden between 1993 and 2017 and has three daughters with him, said she first learned of his drug use in 2015 after finding a crack pipe in a ashtray.

She also said he was “not himself” when using drugs and would become “angry”. At the end of their marriage, she testified that “he didn’t want to go to rehab.”

Legend, First lady Jill Biden arrives in court

But when Mr. Lowell asked her if she had seen the defendant use drugs in 2018, she replied: “No.”

Earlier in the day, FBI agent Ms. Jensen testified about text messages found on a laptop left by Mr. Biden at a Delaware repair shop and never recovered.

The day after purchasing the gun, he texted his then-girlfriend Hallie Biden – the widow of his late brother Beau Biden – to inform her that he was “sleeping in a car in smoking crack on 4th and Rodney.”

“This is my truth,” he added in another text.

Mr Biden’s lawyers explained the texts by suggesting their client had lied to avoid seeing Hallie Biden.

On Thursday, the jury is expected to hear during the trial how Hallie Biden also became addicted to crack cocaine during her brief relationship with Mr. Biden following the death of her husband Beau in 2015.

She took Hunter Biden’s gun and threw it in a grocery store trash can 11 days after he bought it, worried about what he might do with the gun.

The laptop at the center of the testimony became a political grenade during the 2020 election campaign as explicit images of Hunter Biden and messages about his business activities were leaked.

Joe Biden claimed at the time that the data constituted Russian disinformation, but the laptop has since been confirmed to be authentic by the FBI.

The Bidens have denied any wrongdoing in their overseas business dealings, which are the subject of an ongoing Republican impeachment inquiry.

Hunter Biden will also face trial in California in September for failure to pay $1.4 million in taxes.

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