President’s Biden Son Convicted Of Lying About Drug Use To Buy Gun

Hunter Biden convicted

On Tuesday, a jury convicted President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden of lying about his illegal drug use to buy a gun, making him the first child of a sitting U.S. president to be convicted of a crime. The 12-member jury in Wilmington, Delaware, the Bidens’ hometown, found Hunter Biden guilty on all three counts against him.

Hunter Biden, 54, lightly nodded his head after the verdict but otherwise showed little reaction. He then patted his lawyer Abbe Lowell on the back and hugged another member of his legal team. First lady Jill Biden and Hunter’s wife Melissa held his hands as they left the courtroom. Lowell stated they would “vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter.” Biden also faces a separate tax case in California.

Hunter Biden, seen at a Wilmington food hall after the verdict, referred Reuters reporters to his statement when asked for further comment, saying, “all is good.” He added, “How could it not be?” while motioning to a child on his lap he did not identify.

Trump vs Biden

The trial took place against the backdrop of a Nov. 5 election, pitting Democrat Joe Biden against his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, who was himself found guilty at a landmark New York state trial last month. Prosecutors provided an intimate view of Hunter Biden’s years of struggle with alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, which they said legally precluded him from buying a gun.

After about three hours of deliberation, the jurors concluded that Hunter Biden falsely claimed to be free of illegal drugs when he filled out a government screening document for a Colt Cobra revolver in 2018 and then illegally possessed the weapon. In a statement, Hunter Biden expressed gratitude for the love and support he had received, despite his disappointment in the guilty verdict. He said he was “blessed” to experience the gift of recovery “one day at a time.”

Sentencing not set

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika did not set a date for sentencing but mentioned it would typically be within 120 days, which places it no later than about a month before the Nov. 5 U.S. presidential election. Joe Biden issued a statement saying he accepted the outcome of the case and would respect the judicial process as his son considers an appeal.

Hours after the verdict, Hunter and his family met the president’s helicopter at a Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle. The president embraced his son and hugged and kissed his daughter-in-law and grandchild. Sentencing guidelines for the gun charges range from 15 to 21 months, but legal experts say similar cases often result in shorter sentences, with defendants less likely to be incarcerated if they abide by the terms of their pretrial release.

In an audio interview with CNN, a juror identified only as No. 10 stated, “In deliberating, we were not thinking of the sentencing and I really don’t think that Hunter belongs in jail.” The juror emphasized that no politics influenced their decision, focusing solely on Hunter Biden’s actions.

The trial followed the May 30 criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first U.S. president to be found guilty of a felony. Trump, convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a sex scandal, claimed without evidence that the multiple criminal prosecutions he faces were orchestrated by Joe Biden to block his reelection. On Tuesday, Trump’s campaign maintained its stance, with spokesperson Karoline Leavitt calling the trial a distraction from the “real crimes of the Biden Crime Family.”

Democrats say no witch-hunt

Congressional Democrats pointed to the Hunter Biden trial and ongoing federal prosecutions of two Democratic members of Congress as evidence that President Biden was not using the legal system for partisan ends. The president himself stated last week he would not pardon his son if convicted.

The Delaware trial included testimony from Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, former girlfriend, and sister-in-law, who described his addiction struggles in the weeks surrounding his purchase of the gun. Prosecutors presented text messages, photos, and bank records indicating Biden was deep in addiction when he bought the gun and knowingly lied about his drug use on a government screening form. Hunter Biden’s lawyers argued he was not using drugs when he bought the gun and did not intend to deceive, as he did not consider himself a drug user when filling out the form. His daughter, Naomi Biden, testified that her father seemed to be doing well around the time he bought the gun.

U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel David Weiss, a Trump appointee, brought the case against Hunter Biden. At a press conference, Weiss emphasized that the case was about the illegal choices Hunter Biden made while struggling with addiction, highlighting the combination of guns and drugs as dangerous.

Weiss also charged Hunter Biden with three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses in California, alleging he failed to pay $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2019 while spending millions on drugs, escorts, exotic cars, and other high-ticket items. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to those charges, with a trial scheduled for Sept. 5 in Los Angeles.