Hunter Biden jury deliberations resuming on Tuesday


By Tom Hals and Jack Queen

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The jury will resume deliberations on Tuesday in the case of Hunter Biden, the U.S. president’s son accused of lying about his drug addiction to illegally buy a gun in 2018.

Jurors deliberated for an hour on Monday and were due to resume their discussions at 9 a.m. ET (1300 GMT).

Prosecutors made their closing pitch to the 12-member jury on Monday, reminding them no one was above the law that forbids false statements on a background check for a firearm purchase.

“When he chose to lie and buy a gun he violated the law. We ask you return the only verdict supported by the evidence – guilty,” government prosecutor Derek Hines said.

Hunter Biden, 54, the son of President Joe Biden, is the first child of a sitting president to face a criminal trial.

He has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include (1) lying about his addiction when he filled out a government screening document for a Colt Cobra revolver and (2) illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell in Monday’s closing arguments compared the government’s case to the work of a magician who focuses attention on drug use from months or years earlier to create the illusion of drug use when the gun was purchased.

“They blurred all those years before he walked into StarQuest Shooters and all those years after,” Lowell told jurors, referring to the store where his client bought the gun.

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

The trial in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, follows another historic first – the May 30 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 a Nov. 5 presidential election.

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

Congressional Democrats cite the Hunter Biden prosecution as evidence that Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political or personal ends.

The sentencing guidelines for the charges against Biden are 15 to 21 months, but legal experts say defendants in cases similar to his often get shorter sentences and are less likely to be incarcerated if they abide by the terms of their pretrial release.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Howard Goller)



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