‘No One Is Above The Law,’ As Hunter Biden Trial Takes Off

Biden Trial Takes Off

On Tuesday, prosecutors in the historic criminal trial of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden told jurors that overwhelming evidence shows Hunter lied to hide his drug addiction so he could illegally buy a gun. The defense argued that he had no intent to deceive.

In federal court in Delaware, jurors heard opening statements from prosecution and defense lawyers in the first trial of a child of a sitting U.S. president before witness testimony began.

The prosecution presented text messages in which Hunter Biden arranged drug deals and discussed smoking crack cocaine, including within days of his October 2018 purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver. They also played excerpts from the audiobook version of his autobiography, where he described his “bloodhound” instinct for finding crack around the time of his gun purchase.

Prosecutor Derek Hines stated during his opening statement that “the evidence is overwhelming” and written in Hunter Biden’s own words. “Addiction is not a crime. Lying is,” Hines said.

Hunter Biden, 54, pleaded not guilty to three felony charges accusing him of failing to disclose his use of illegal drugs when he bought the gun and of illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika presides over the trial, which began after Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president convicted of a crime last week. Trump, the Republican candidate challenging Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 U.S. election, was not directly addressed by either the prosecution or the defense.

No dispute on addiction

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell told jurors in his opening statement that no one disputes Hunter Biden was a drug addict before and after the gun purchase. Lowell argued that the gun purchase form asked Hunter Biden only if he was currently an addict, not whether he had used in the past, and added that his client had no “intent to deceive.”

The trial, held in the Bidens’ hometown of Wilmington, unfolds as Trump and his congressional allies continue to accuse the Justice Department of politicizing the prosecution of the former president.

U.S. Special Counsel David Weiss, a Trump appointee, brought the case against Hunter Biden and attended the courtroom on Tuesday. Weiss has separately filed federal tax charges against Hunter Biden in California.

The trial showcases Hunter Biden’s years-long struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. Hunter Biden told Noreika at a hearing last year that he has been sober since mid-2019.

If convicted on all charges, Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, although defendants generally receive shorter sentences, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

FBI agent Erika Jensen testified as the first prosecution witness about Hunter Biden’s texts, bank records, and writings about his drug use. This included a text the day after Hunter Biden bought the gun, in which he said he was “waiting for a dealer named Mookie,” and another the next day, in which he said he had been sleeping on top of a car and smoking crack.


Hines asked Jensen about Hunter Biden’s 2021 autobiography, “Beautiful Things,” in which he documented his addiction. Hines played about 30 minutes of Biden’s voice narrating the audiobook, including passages detailing his constant hunt for drugs and his “superpower – finding crack anytime, anywhere.”

Jensen also described Hunter Biden’s bank records, showing almost daily cash withdrawals totaling $151,000 from September to November 2018, covering the period of the gun purchase. Lowell argued that Hunter Biden did not have a credit card at the time and was spending thousands of dollars on drug recovery.

Tuesday’s proceedings ended soon after Lowell began cross-examining Jensen, which is set to continue on Wednesday.

Hines said prosecutors will call Hunter Biden’s former wife, Kathleen Buhle, as a witness. She accused him in their 2017 divorce proceedings of squandering money on drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. Hallie Biden, the widow of Beau Biden, Hunter’s brother who died of cancer in 2015, is also expected to testify.

Trump is due for sentencing on July 11 after a jury in New York state court convicted him last Thursday of 34 felony counts of falsifying documents to cover up hush money paid to a porn star shortly before the 2016 U.S. election. He pleaded not guilty in three other pending criminal cases, two related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden and one accusing him of unlawfully keeping classified national security documents after leaving office in 2021.