Biden Hunter Guilty of All Charges in Federal Gun Trial

Video caption, BBC reporter describes Hunter Biden’s reaction in court as verdict read

  • Author, Bernd Debusmann and Madeline Halpert
  • Role, BBC News in Delaware and New York court

Biden Hunter was convicted on all three counts in his federal gun trial, becoming the first son of a sitting US president to be convicted criminally.

Biden has pleaded not guilty, saying he was recovering from drug addiction at the time and was therefore truthful on the gun application form.

A panel of 12 Delaware jurors reached their verdict after about three hours of deliberations.

Biden showed little emotion upon learning of her fate Tuesday. He looked ahead with his arms crossed before turning to hug some of the associates on his legal team.

He faced two charges related to lying about his drug use during a federal background check, and one for possessing a firearm while addicted or using drugs.

After court adjourned, he hugged and kissed his wife before leaving the room, escorted by Secret Service agents.

Biden said in a statement that he was “disappointed by the outcome” but “grateful today for the love and support I felt last week from Melissa, my family, my friends and my community.

Several members of Biden’s family had supported him in court throughout the trial. However, only two were present for the sentencing: his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, and James Biden, his uncle and brother of US President Joe Biden.

US First Lady Jill Biden arrived in the court lobby minutes after the verdict was read and left with her stepson in front of a crowd of photographers and journalists.

Experts say it’s possible that Hunter Biden could face prison time – although it would be highly unlikely that he would receive the maximum sentence of 25 years.

The judge did not set a date for sentencing, but noted that it would typically take place within 120 days of conviction.

Father Lowell, the defense attorney, said he would “vigorously pursue all legal challenges available to Hunter.”

Speaking after the sentencing, special counsel David Weiss said the case was not about addiction, but “the illegal choices the defendant made” while in the throes of addiction – echoing to comments made by trial prosecutors.

“No one in this country is above the law,” Mr. Weiss said. “Everyone must answer for their actions, even this accused.”

Video caption, New Yorkers react to Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict

Meanwhile, President Biden was addressing a gun control conference in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Following this event, he traveled to Wilmington. After landing, he greeted his son, his daughter-in-law, Ms. Cohen, Biden and their child, Beau, on the tarmac.

The president said after the verdict that he was “very proud” of his son and his efforts to overcome his addiction.

“Many families with loved ones battling addiction understand the feeling of pride in seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in their recovery,” he said.

Before the verdict, the president said he would not pardon his son if he was found guilty.

“I will accept the outcome of this case and continue to respect the legal process while Hunter considers an appeal.”

The three gun-related charges all relate to Biden’s purchase of a Colt Cobra Special revolver from a Delaware gun store in October 2018, which he kept for about 11 days.

The gun was later discovered in his truck and thrown by his then-girlfriend, Hallie Biden – the widow of his brother Beau – into a trash can outside a store.

Biden has been outspoken in the past about his “real addiction” to crack cocaine, including in his memoir.

Jurors also heard from his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and a former girlfriend, Zoe Kestan, who described long bouts of crack cocaine in luxury hotels across the country.

Legend, Biden Hunter with Jill Biden (left) and Melissa Cohen Biden, leaving court Tuesday

Biden’s conviction comes at a politically difficult time for his father, who is in a tight race with Donald Trump for re-election in November.

Mr Trump, the former US president who was convicted last month of falsifying business records in New York, rejected any suggestion that the trial of his political opponent’s son would show that the US justice system is politically impartial.

“This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the true crimes of the Biden Crime Family,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.

But the conviction was welcomed by other Republicans who interviewed Hunter Biden as part of their impeachment inquiry into his father.

“Today’s verdict is a step toward accountability,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

In court, Mr. Lowell and prosecutors repeatedly told jurors that Biden’s family should have no influence on their decision, even though the first lady and Secret Service agents were clearly visible from the jury box.

Speaking to the BBC hours after the verdict, one of the jurors – known as Number 10 – said he and other members of the jury were taking these messages to heart.

“I never thought about President Joe Biden” during the trial, he said. “Even though Mrs. Biden was there and I knew it was his wife, somehow you forget that.”

“His father was not on trial,” he said. “Among all the jurors, no one mentioned political motivations.”

Biden’s legal troubles won’t end after Tuesday’s verdict. He was also charged in a separate criminal case with evading $1.4 million (£1.1 million) in taxes between 2016 and 2019, while spending millions on drugs, escorts and luxury cars. luxury.

This case will be judged in September.

Video caption, Judge says Hunter is ‘treated harsher’ because he’s Biden

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