Hunter Biden ‘Crossed Line’ When He Bought Gun, Trial Hears

Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson
5 Min Read

Hunter Biden was a habitual user of crack cocaine when he drove his father’s Cadillac and illegally bought a gun, his criminal trial has heard as US First Lady Jill Biden looked on in court. The US president’s son is accused of knowingly lying on a form to buy a revolver and ammunition from a Wilmington, Delaware, gun shop on 12 October 2018.

The defense argued that Mr. Biden, 54, was in recovery at the time, so he was truthful when he wrote on the application that he was not a user of illicit drugs. This marks the first time a sitting US president‘s son has gone on trial. Mr. Biden could face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of all three federal counts in the case. He is charged with lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user, and illegally possessing the gun for 11 days.

The Case Details

Prosecutor Derek Hines, in his opening statement, told jurors that Mr. Biden had “crossed the line” when he chose to buy the gun and allegedly lied on the federal background check. Hines emphasized that “no one is above the law,” regardless of their name or status. He also noted that while Mr. Biden is not accused of any violence, the jury would hear about his dangerous encounters during drug deals where guns were involved.

The defense countered by asserting that the claim of drug-related violence had nothing to do with the period when Mr. Biden bought the gun in Delaware. Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell argued that the gun purchase was an impulsive decision made under the pressure of a pushy gun store owner. Lowell highlighted that the federal application form asks if the buyer is a current drug user, not whether they have ever been one. He maintained that Mr. Biden was in recovery at the time, having attended a rehab clinic in California, and did not view himself as an addict.

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Personal Tragedies and Support

Hunter Biden sat with his defense team, often looking at the jury and following the proceedings closely. First Lady Jill Biden sat directly behind him, showing support along with Hunter’s half-sister, Ashley Biden, who appeared emotional during the trial. The court heard recordings from Hunter’s 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things,” where he described his descent into addiction. Ashley Biden was visibly moved, at one point leaning her head against the first lady and later leaving the courtroom.

The defense noted that Mr. Biden did not deny his previous drug abuse, attributing it to repeated personal tragedies, including the deaths of his mother and baby sister in a car accident in 1972 and his older brother, Beau, from brain cancer in 2015.

Hunter Biden
R. Hunter Biden at Center for Strategic & International Studies” by Center for Strategic & International Studies is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Courtroom Drama

Mr. Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, was also present in court and had a confrontation with a former Trump aide, Garrett Ziegler, in the hallway. Mrs. Cohen Biden reportedly directed a profanity-laced tirade at Ziegler, who has circulated embarrassing messages and images from a laptop that once belonged to Hunter Biden. She allegedly called Ziegler “a Nazi,” as reported by other US media. Hunter Biden is currently suing Ziegler for disseminating data from the laptop.

Hunter Biden also faces a trial in California in September on charges of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes. The current trial’s outcome, along with the upcoming legal battles, will likely continue to draw significant public and media attention.

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I'm Emily Johnson, a passionate writer exploring the realms of literature and culture. Join me on a journey of creativity and discovery!
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