US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter convicted of all three felony charges in gun trial

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NEW DELHI: Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to his 2018 purchase of a revolver. Prosecutors argued that the president’s son lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by claiming he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs. The jury found him guilty of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application, and illegally possessing the firearm for 11 days.
Facing up to 25 years in prison, Biden will be sentenced by Judge Maryellen Noreika.However, first-time offenders typically do not receive the maximum sentence, and it is uncertain if he will serve any prison time.
The Hunter Biden case, brought by US Department of Justice Special Counsel David Weiss—a Trump appointee—includes charges of three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses in California. Weiss also alleges that Hunter Biden failed to pay $1.4 million in taxes between 2016 and 2019, while spending millions on drugs, escorts, exotic cars, and other high-ticket items.
The trial followed the May 30 criminal conviction of Trump, marking the first time a former US president was found guilty of a felony. Trump, the Republican challenger, is set to face Democrat Joe Biden in the November 5 election.
President Joe Biden has avoided the Delaware courtroom where his son was tried and has commented little on the case, conscious of not appearing to interfere in a matter prosecuted by his own Justice Department. Democratic allies are concerned about the emotional toll on the 81-year-old president, who has long worried about his son’s health and sobriety.
Hunter Biden and Trump both claim they are victims of politically motivated prosecutions. While Trump insists the verdict against him was rigged, President Biden has stated he will accept the verdict and will not seek to pardon his son.
Hunter Biden’s legal troubles are not over. He faces a September trial in California for failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes, and congressional Republicans plan to continue their impeachment efforts against President Biden. The president has not been accused of any wrongdoing in these investigations.
During the trial, the prosecution emphasized the severity of Hunter Biden’s drug addiction, presenting personal testimonies and embarrassing evidence. Jurors heard from his ex-wife and a former girlfriend about his habitual crack cocaine use and saw images and videos depicting his addiction. Although Hunter Biden did not testify, prosecutors played excerpts from his 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things,” where he describes his struggle with addiction.
The prosecution argued that this evidence was crucial to show Hunter Biden was addicted when he purchased the gun, making his denial on the form a lie. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell contended that Hunter’s state of mind was different at the time of the purchase and that he did not consider himself addicted then. Lowell suggested that Hunter might have acknowledged a drinking problem but not a drug problem, and alcohol abuse does not disqualify one from purchasing a firearm.
Hunter Biden had hoped to resolve the federal investigation with a plea deal last year, avoiding a trial close to the 2024 election. The deal, which included pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax offenses and avoiding prosecution for the gun charge if he remained out of trouble for two years, fell apart after Judge Noreika raised concerns about its unusual terms. Subsequently, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Delaware’s US Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel, leading to Hunter Biden’s indictment in August.
Hunter Biden claims that the charges were a result of the Justice Department yielding to Republican pressure, alleging he received special treatment. The investigation into the revolver began when Hallie Biden, Beau’s widow, found it unloaded in Hunter’s truck and disposed of it in a garbage can, where it was later discovered by a man who retrieved it inadvertently. Hallie, who had a romantic relationship with Hunter after Beau’s death, eventually called the police. The case was initially closed due to Hunter’s lack of cooperation, where he was considered the victim.
(With inputs from agencies)

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