Hunter Biden gun trial: key takeaways from the first week

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Federal prosecutors rested their lawsuit against Hunter Biden connected Friday greeting aft days of grounds that revealed profoundly individual and grim specifications astir his struggles pinch supplier addiction.

Hunter Biden, nan only surviving boy of Joe Biden, faces 3 felony charges tied to a 2018 firearm acquisition while utilizing narcotics. He is accused of making mendacious statements connected a gun-purchase shape erstwhile he said he was not illegally utilizing aliases addicted to drugs, and past unlawfully possessing nan weapon for 11 days.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could look up to 25 years successful prison, though specified a condemnation would beryllium highly different fixed that he would beryllium a first-time offender. It is unclear whether nan presiding judge, Maryellen Noreika, would springiness him clip down bars. Hunter Biden besides faces a abstracted national proceedings successful California connected charges of failing to salary $1.4m successful taxes.

Here are immoderate cardinal takeaways from nan trial’s first week’s proceedings:

  1. 1. Jury action centered connected nan toll of nan US supplier epidemic

    A assemblage of 12 – six men and six women– and 4 alternates was seated from a excavation of much than 60 group connected Monday. Potential jurors were quizzed individually by Noreika astir their knowledge of nan lawsuit and views connected weapon ownership to find whether they could beryllium adjacent and impartial.

    Among nan questions asked of imaginable jurors was whether they, aliases anyone adjacent to them, had struggled pinch constituent maltreatment aliases addiction. Many said they did, arsenic stories of loved ones’ battles pinch addiction unravelled complete nan people of nan day. One said they had a puerility champion friend who died from a heroin overdose, 1 had a girl who was a recovering addict, and different had a relative addicted to PCP and heroin.

    Drug addiction plays a cardinal domiciled successful nan case, arsenic prosecutors person delved into Hunter Biden’s conflict pinch supplier usage aft nan decease of his older brother, Beau Biden, arsenic they activity to beryllium that he knowingly lied connected a shape to bargain a Colt Cobra revolver astatine a Wilmington weapon shop successful October 2018.

    Hunter Biden has been unfastened astir his conflict pinch ace cocaine, and nan defense is hoping that nan assemblage will spot successful him a acquainted and sympathetic communicative reflected successful their ain lives. A study published this month recovered that 1 successful 3 Americans cognize personification who has died of a supplier overdose; astir 20% said nan personification they knew who died was a family personnel aliases adjacent friend.

  2. 2. Prosecutors utilized Hunter Biden’s memoir against him

    The assemblage heard agelong excerpts from nan audiobook of Hunter Biden’s 2021 memoir, Beautiful Things, narrated by nan president’s boy himself, detailing his descent into supplier addiction starring up to and aft nan weapon purchase.

    Hunter Biden and his family listened for much than an hr connected Tuesday arsenic a lead charismatic for nan typical counsel, Derek Hines, played extracts from nan memoir detailing really ace cocaine plunged nan president’s boy into nan “darkest recesses of your soul”, including a communicative of really he tried to bargain narcotics from a bum female successful Franklin Park successful Washington DC.

    Prosecutors pointed to really Hunter Biden elaborate his four-year addiction to ace cocaine that would screen nan clip play erstwhile he bought nan firearm to reason that he was a high-functioning supplier addict who lied to friends and family and yet collapsed nan law. “Addiction whitethorn not beryllium a choice, but lying and buying a weapon is simply a choice,” Hines said. “Nobody is supra nan law.”

    Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, based on that his customer did not “knowingly” dishonesty erstwhile filling retired forms to bargain a weapon. Pointing to a two-week rehab sojourn successful August 2018, Lowell suggested that Hunter Biden was not utilizing narcotics astatine nan clip he bought nan gun.

  3. 3. Witnesses called to nan guidelines included Hunter Biden’s exes and daughter

    Prosecutors said portion of their lawsuit would travel from nan grounds of respective women from Hunter Biden’s past, including his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and 2 girlfriends, Zoe Kestan and Hallie Biden, who is besides nan widow of Hunter Biden’s relative Beau.

    Buhle was joined to Hunter Biden for astir 25 years and shares 3 daughters pinch him. Buhle testified astir her ex-husband’s agelong conflict pinch addiction, and really his supplier usage and infidelity fueled nan illness of their marriage.

    Kestan, who was progressive pinch Hunter Biden astir 2017-2018, told jurors astir his near-constant ace cocaine usage astatine lavish hotels. “He would want to fume arsenic soon arsenic he woke up,” she testified, and described meetings pinch a “scary” supplier trader and hunting for instructions connected nan net to navigator powder cocaine into crack.

    Hunter Biden’s daughter, Naomi Biden, gave affectional grounds connected Friday arsenic nan defense’s witness, telling jurors that she was “proud” to spot her begetter successful rehab successful 2018. As she near nan stand, she stopped to springiness her begetter an clasp and was seen wiping her eyes.

  4. 4. Widow of Beau Biden testified astir uncovering weapon successful Hunter Biden’s truck

    The prosecution’s astir important witness, Hunter Biden’s sister-in-law turned girlfriend, Hallie Biden, took to nan guidelines connected Thursday. The brace had a little romanticist narration aft Beau Biden, Hallie Biden’s hubby and Hunter Biden’s brother, died of encephalon crab successful May 2015.

    Hallie Biden is simply a cardinal portion of nan prosecution lawsuit because she discovered nan weapon that Hunter Biden had bought and threw it out. The acquisition of nan Colt revolver by Hunter Biden – and Hallie Biden’s disposal of it – are nan fulcrum of nan lawsuit against him.

    Hallie Biden told jurors that she “panicked” erstwhile she discovered nan weapon and ammunition successful his truck, and described really she put it into a leather pouch, stuffed it into a shopping container and tossed it into a trash tin extracurricular a marketplace adjacent her home. “I didn’t want him to wounded himself, and I didn’t want my kids to find it and wounded themselves,” she said.

    Early successful her testimony, Hallie Biden testified to utilizing drugs, saying that Hunter Biden introduced her to ace cocaine successful 2018. She testified she stopped utilizing narcotics successful August 2018, but that Hunter Biden continued smoking ace cocaine. “It was a unspeakable acquisition that I went through, and I’m embarrassed and ashamed, and I regret that play of my life,” she said.

  5. 5. Biden family turned retired for trial

    Hunter Biden’s family and adjacent friends person attended nan proceedings en masse to show their support, moreover arsenic their father’s statesmanlike run and nan White House strive to region themselves retired of fearfulness of handing governmental grist to Republicans searching for a distracting rumor successful nan aftermath of Donald Trump’s 34-count condemnation past week.

    The first lady, Jill Biden, was seated successful nan Delaware courtroom down her stepson for nan first 3 days of nan proceedings until leaving precocious connected Wednesday to be a D-day commemoration ceremonial successful France. Joe Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, flew successful from nan westbound seashore to return nan first lady’s spot successful tribunal connected Thursday, adjacent to Hunter Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen-Biden. Hunter Biden’s sister, Ashley Biden, has appeared successful tribunal arsenic person respective of his adjacent friends.

    In contrast, respective members of nan Trump family steered clear of nan New York courthouse during nan erstwhile president’s hush-money trial. Most notably, Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, and daughter, Ivanka Trump, were conspicuously absent.

    Joe Biden, who is successful France this week for nan 80th day of nan D-day landings, has indicated he will not pardon his son if he is convicted astatine his national weapon trial. “Jill and I emotion our son, and we are truthful proud of nan man he is today. Hunter’s resilience successful nan look of adversity and nan spot he has brought to his betterment are inspiring to us,” Biden said successful a connection connected Monday.

Source theguardian