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Article: Hunter Biden's criminal gun trial nears end

Hunter Biden's criminal gun trial nears end

Hunter Biden's criminal gun trial nears end

PHOTO CAPTION: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, arrive at the federal court for his trial on criminal gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 7, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

 

 

By Jack Queen and Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - Lawyers for President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden could begin making their case on Friday that he did not break the law when he said that he was not addicted to drugs while buying a gun in 2018, as his criminal trial approaches its end.

The jury in the first-ever criminal trial of a U.S. president's child so far this week have heard witnesses including Hunter Biden's ex-wife, former girlfriend and sister-in-law testify about his use of crack cocaine.

His sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, on Thursday recounted finding the gun and throwing it away out of concern for the safety of Hunter Biden and her children.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, to three felony charges accusing him of illegally failing to disclose being a drug user when he bought the Colt Cobra revolver and of illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Prosecutors said there is overwhelming evidence that Hunter Biden was actively using crack in the weeks before and after he purchased the gun in October 2018 and that he lied by answering "no" on a government screening document when asked if he was a drug user.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell has said Biden did not intend to deceive because he did not consider himself an addict when he purchased the gun.

Prosecutors from U.S. Special Counsel David Weiss' office said they expect to call their final witnesses on Friday.

Hunter Biden has yet to decide whether he will testify, according Lowell. Criminal defendants rarely take the risky move of testifying, and Lowell said the defense may call two to three witnesses.

The trial follows another historic first - last week's criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first U.S. president to be found guilty of a felony. Trump is the Republican challenger to Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 election.

Hunter Biden told the judge in the case at a 2023 hearing that he had been sober since 2019.

Trump and some of his Republican allies in Congress have alleged that case and three other ongoing criminal prosecutions are politically motivated attempts to prevent him from regaining power.

Congressional Democrats have pointed to cases including the Hunter Biden prosecution as evidence that Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political or personal ends.

Joe Biden told ABC News on Thursday that he would not pardon his son if he was convicted. Asked if he would accept the trial outcome and rule out a pardon, Biden responded, "yes."

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



(Reporting by Jack Queen and Tom Hals; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)

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