Hunter Biden Trial Prosecutors End Their Case

Prosecutors rested their case against Hunter Biden on Friday after days of testimony detailing the intimate aspects of his crack addiction, as they seek to prove he lied about his drug use as part of a federal gun application in October 2018.

The government plans to call two additional witnesses, law enforcement and drug experts, likely extending the trial into a second week and clearing the way for Mr. Biden’s lawyers to mount their defense in gains . His lawyers have raised the possibility of summoning other members of the Biden family, possibly Mr. Biden and his daughter Naomi.

The trial was a stark reminder of a painful drama that has been playing out in the Biden family for years, with three former romantic partners called as witnesses to recount the depths of Hunter Biden’s addiction around the time he got the ‘armed. Family and friends were a regular presence in the courtroom, including Jill Biden, the first lady, who returned from France on Thursday to support Mr. Biden in court.

Mr. Biden is charged with three crimes: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false statement on the federal firearms application, and possessing an illegally obtained weapon. If convicted, Mr. Biden could face up to 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. But nonviolent first-time offenders who have not been charged with using the weapon in another crime rarely receive long prison sentences for those charges.

The defense has said it will seek to demonstrate that Mr. Biden was not using drugs at the time he asked to buy a gun, pointing to the lack of evidence in testimony, text message exchanges and lack of evidence by Mr. Biden’s own memoir. Already during some of his cross-examinations, one of Mr. Biden’s lawyers, Father Lowell, has attempted to poke holes in the prosecution’s stated timeline regarding Mr. Biden’s pattern of drug use. Biden in the months before and after purchasing the weapon.

Even as the prosecution relied on Mr. Biden’s former partners to detail a habit that escalated into a drug-fueled party and a cross-country odyssey in halting efforts to get sober, the women also admitted that neither had seen Mr. Biden the month he purchased the gun.

To obtain the firearm, he had to fill out a federal form as part of a required background check. He answered “no” to the question: “Are you an illegal user or addict of marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic or other controlled substance?”

The defense argues that the question is phrased in the present tense and that the government cannot prove that on the day he acquired the gun, October 12, 2018, Mr. Biden was using crack cocaine.

The judge presiding over the case, Maryellen Noreika, said she wants the trial to move forward quickly. She has already ruled that Mr. Biden’s lawyers cannot rely on the fact that local authorities decided not to pursue him when the gun was recovered.

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