Hunter Biden convicted on all 3 charges at federal gun trial | CNN Politics (2024)


A federal jury has convicted Hunter Biden on all three federal felony gun charges he faced, concluding that he violated laws meant to prevent drug addicts from owning firearms.

The conviction marks the first time a president’s immediate family member has been found guilty of a crime during their father’s term in office, though his crimes predate Joe Biden’s tenure as president.

The jury, which deliberated for just under three hours, returned guilty verdicts onall three charges, which stemmed from a revolverHunter Biden bought in October 2018 at a Delaware gun shop. The first two counts were for lying about his drug use on a federal background check form, and the third count was for possessing a gun while addicted to, or using, illegal drugs.

Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 at sentencing, though he likely will receive far less than the maximum as a first-time offender. Before dismissing the parties, the judge told them sentencing is usually set for 120 days following a verdict, which means it is likely to happen before Election Day.

Special counsel David Weiss told reporters that the conviction was about the “illegal choices the defendant made while in the throes of addiction,” as he stressed that “no one in this country is above the law.”

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

“I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome,” Hunter Biden said.“Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time.”

In a statement, President Biden said he will “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 we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride 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 as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

Hunter Biden convicted on all 3 charges at federal gun trial | CNN Politics (1)

CNN reporter describes what happened inside the courtroom after Hunter Biden guilty verdict

01:37 - Source: CNN

Concludes painful chapter for Biden family

The outcome ends a painful chapter for the Biden family, including many members who were directly involved in the courtroom drama. Hunter Biden was in the defendant’s seat; many members of the family, including first lady Jill Biden, were often in the courtroom showing support, and a few were called to testify.

The first lady arrived at the courthouse shortly after the verdict was read. She stared immediately ahead and did not move her gaze away. After court ended, Hunter Biden turned to his legal team and flashed a brief smile, perhaps stunned by the outcome, before hugging all of his attorneys and patting them on the back.

As he exited, Hunter Biden gave kisses and hugs to family members and friends in the courtroom, almost like a receiving line. His friend and financial backer Kevin Morris walked out with his arms crossed. Some of the supporters looked stunned.

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

Leaving the courthouse after the verdict, Hunter Biden shuffled his family members into an elevator as he held hands with his wife. He smiled briefly and left.

The trial has unfolded against the backdrop of President Biden’s reelection campaign against former President Donald Trump, who himself was convicted of a felony last month in his New York hush money trial. Reacting to Hunter Biden’s conviction on Tuesday, the Trump campaign initially wished him “well in his recovery and legal affairs” before striking that sentiment in a later version of a statement. It also called the proceedings a “distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family,” falsely claiming that the president raked in “tens of millions of dollars” in overseas dealings, though there is no evidence Joe Biden has received large sums of money from China or has otherwise gained wealth as a result of his son’s business dealings abroad.

President has ruled out pardon

Hunter Biden’s conviction comes after a long-running Justice Department investigation that began in 2018, and it raises the stakes for his second scheduled trial, slated to begin in September,on federal tax offenses.

Both cases have been overseen by Weiss, who was previously the Trump-appointed US attorney in Delaware. The guilty verdicts in the gun case are a major vindication for Weiss’ team of prosecutors, who have vehemently denied allegations from Hunter Biden’s lawyers that the cases are politically motivated.

The historic trial almost never happened. Both sides went before the judge last July with anegotiated agreementto resolve the gun case and have Hunter Biden plead guilty to two separate tax misdemeanors. But the judge, Maryellen Noreika,refused to approvethe deal after a whirlwind plea hearing in which the finer points of the arrangementcrumbled under scrutiny.

President Biden and the White House have repeatedly ruled out a pardon for his son.

The weeklong gun trial featured intensely personal and gut-wrenching testimony about Hunter Biden’s well-known struggles with alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction. It shed a national 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 drinking and drugging.”

Prosecutors leaned on the testimony of three of Hunter Biden’s ex-partners – including their star witness, Hallie Biden, widow of his brother, Beau Biden – to tell the jury in excruciating detail how his dependency on crack cocaine led to the end of his marriage, strained his relationships with his kids, and put him in danger on several occasions.

Hunter Biden’s defense team argued, unsuccessfully, that he didn’t view himself as a user or addict when he bought and possessed the gun. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell had implored the jury to acquit Hunter Biden on those grounds.

This story has been updated with additional developments and reaction.

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

Hunter Biden convicted on all 3 charges at federal gun trial | CNN Politics (2024)


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