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Hunter Biden Convicted on All 3 Charges in Federal Gun Trial



CNN

A federal jury has convicted Hunter Biden on all three federal gun charges he faced, finding that he violated laws designed to prevent drug addicts from possessing firearms.

The verdict is the first time a member of the president’s immediate family has been found guilty of a crime committed during his father’s term in office, even though his crimes occurred before Joe Biden took office.

The jury, which deliberated for less than three hours, returned guilty verdicts on all three counts, which involved a revolver that Hunter Biden purchased in October 2018 at a Delaware gun store. The first two charges were for lying about drug use on a federal background check form, and the third was for possessing a gun while addicted or using illegal drugs.

Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000, although he will likely receive a much lower amount than the maximum he is eligible for as a first-time offender. Before dismissing the parties, the judge told them that sentencing is usually set for 120 days after sentencing, meaning it would likely happen before Election Day.

Special prosecutor David Weiss told reporters the conviction related to “the illegal choices the defendant made in the face of addiction,” emphasizing that “no one in this country is above the law.”

In a statement, Hunter Biden said he was “disappointed with the outcome,” but added that he was heartened by the support from his family.

“Today, I am more grateful for the love and support I experienced last week from Melissa, my family, friends and my community than I am disappointed in the outcome,” Hunter Biden said. “Recovery is possible by God’s grace and I am blessed to experience this gift every day.”

In a statement, President Biden said he would “accept the outcome of this case” and pledged support for his son.

“As I said last week, I am the president, but I am also a dad,” the president said. “Jill and I love our son and are so proud of the man he is today. So many families whose loved ones have struggled with addiction understand the feeling of pride in seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery. As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process while Hunter considers his appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

Hunter Biden arrives with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, in federal court for his trial in Wilmington, Delaware, on criminal gun charges, June 10, 2024.

A CNN reporter describes what happened in the courtroom after Hunter Biden was convicted

The outcome ends a painful chapter for the Biden family, including many members who were directly involved in the courtroom drama. Hunter Biden sat in the defendant’s seat; many family members, including first lady Jill Biden, appeared frequently in the courtroom to show support, and several family members were called to testify.

The first lady arrived at the court shortly after the verdict was read. She looked directly ahead and didn’t look away. Moments after the verdict, after the hearing ended, Hunter Biden turned to his legal team and flashed a brief smile, perhaps stunned by the outcome, before hugging all of his lawyers and patting them on the back.

As he left, Hunter Biden kissed and hugged family members and friends in the courtroom, almost like a host. His friend and financial backer Kevin Morris walked out with his arms crossed. Some fans looked stunned.

Valerie Biden, President Biden’s sister, entered the courtroom minutes after the verdict was read.

Leaving the courthouse after the verdict was announced, Hunter Biden pulled family members into an elevator while holding hands with his wife. He smiled briefly and left.

The trial comes against the backdrop of President Biden’s re-election campaign against former President Donald Trump, who was convicted of a crime last month in a New York hush money trial. In reaction to Hunter Biden’s Tuesday sentencing, the Trump campaign initially wished him “good luck with his recovery and legal matters,” then echoed that sentiment in a later version of a statement. She also called the proceedings “a diversion from the true crimes of the Biden crime family,” falsely claiming that the president pocketed “tens of millions of dollars” in foreign dealings, though there is no evidence that Joe Biden received large sums of money from China or otherwise gained wealth in as a result of his son’s business contacts abroad.

Hunter Biden’s sentencing follows a lengthy Justice Department investigation that began in 2018 and raises the stakes of his second scheduled trial, scheduled to begin in September, for federal tax crimes.

Both cases were overseen by Weiss, who previously served as Trump’s appointed U.S. attorney in Delaware. The guilty verdicts in the gun case are a major vindication for Weiss’s prosecutorial team, which has vehemently denied allegations by Hunter Biden’s lawyers that the cases were politically motivated.

President Biden and the White House have repeatedly ruled out pardoning his son.

The week-long gun trial featured deeply personal and gut-wrenching testimony about Hunter Biden’s well-known struggles with alcoholism and crack addiction. It shone a spotlight on a period that Hunter Biden described in his book as “a blur of complete and utter debauchery” during which he “did nothing but drink and do drugs.”

Prosecutors relied on testimony from three of Hunter Biden’s former partners – including their star witness Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother Beau Biden – to tell the jury in painful detail how a crack addiction led to the end of his strained marriage. his relationship with his children and repeatedly put him in danger.

Hunter Biden’s defenders argued unsuccessfully that when he bought and owned the gun, he didn’t actually see himself as a user or addict. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell pleaded with the jury to acquit Hunter Biden on this count.

This story has been updated with additional events and reactions.

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz, Paula Reid and Kit Maher contributed to this report.