Prosecutors in Hunter Biden gun trial expected to wrap case today

June 7, 2024
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Prosecutors in Hunter Biden’s gun trial are expected to call their last two witnesses Friday, following testimony a day ago from key witness Hallie Biden, who was romantically involved with Hunter Biden and found and disposed of the gun at the center of the case. 

Next, Hunter Biden’s attorneys will present their case, which could include putting him on the witness stand. 

The prosecution’s last two witnesses Friday morning are expected to be a chemist for the FBI and a DEA agent. 

Hunter Biden’s attorneys said Thursday they hadn’t yet decided if they’ll call him to the stand. He is charged with three felonies stemming from his alleged purchase of a revolver in October 2018. Two of the charges are related to accusations that he made false statements on a federal gun form about his drug use, certifying he was not a user of or addicted to any controlled substance during a period when prosecutors allege he was addicted to crack cocaine. 

The other charge is for allegedly owning the gun unlawfully, possessing the gun for 11 days before Hallie Biden found and discarded the weapon. 

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Hallie Biden, who is also the widow of Beau Biden, Hunter Biden’s late brother, testified Thursday that she “panicked” when she found the gun, saying it was “stupid” but she was worried one of the children would find it. 

She told the court she discovered it when she was clearing out his car, which she often searched for drugs and alcohol. Prosecutors introduced parking lot surveillance footage that showed her driving into a grocery store parking lot and tossing the gun into a dumpster, followed by another clip showing her returning to the store to search for the gun.

Hunter Biden attorney Abbe Lowell has given a few clues about how the defense may try to counter the prosecution’s case.

While Hunter Biden’s issues with drugs are well known — including in his own memoir, “Beautiful Things” — Lowell has sought to raise questions about whether Hunter Biden knowingly omitted the information from the disclosure form. In his opening statement, Lowell said that many addicts are in “denial” about their drug use. 

Potential jurors were asked during jury selection if they had any experience with drug addiction, and many said they had immediate connection with someone struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. 

Prosecutors showed texts Thursday between Hunter Biden and Hallie Biden from Oct. 2018 — when he allegedly bought the gun — where Hunter Biden said he was “buying,” as well as another in which she said her son was sitting near a “stern,” or crack pipe, in her house. 

Hallie Biden also told the court that Hunter Biden introduced her to crack cocaine during the time they were romantically involved. 

“It was a terrible experience that I went through and I’m embarrassed and ashamed, and I regret that period of my life,” she said. 

Lowell also questioned Gordon Cleveland, who testified that he had sold Hunter Biden the firearm, about the condition of the form at the center of the case and the rules required for any changes made after submission. Cleveland testified that Hunter Biden did not seem confused by the form.

And Lowell sought Wednesday to cast doubt on the authenticity of text messages allegedly taken from Hunter Biden’s personal devices, which have so far been introduced as evidence. Under questioning from Lowell, FBI special agent Erika Jensen said Wednesday that she could not verify the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop admitted into evidence had not been tampered with before law enforcement collected it from a repair shop.

In addition to Hallie Biden, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, who was married to Hunter for over 20 years, and his former girlfriend Zoe Kestan have both testified about his alleged drug use.  

Several Biden family members have attended his trial, including his half-sister, Ashley Biden, and first lady Jill Biden before she left to join President Biden in Europe. ABC News’ David Muir asked President Biden in an interview on Thursday if he would rule out pardoning his son if he is convicted. Mr. Biden responded, “Yes.” 

The president’s son faces up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines if convicted on all counts.

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