Takeaways from Day 5 of Hunter Biden’s firearms trial

June 8, 2024
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WILMINGTON, Del. — Hunter Biden’s eldest daughter, Naomi, took the stand in her father’s defense on Friday, telling the court how her father appeared to have taken control of his drug use in the months before prosecutors say he lied on a government background check form.

“He seemed like the clearest that I had seen him since my uncle died, and he just seemed really great,” she said of visiting him during a stint in rehab in Los Angeles with her then-boyfriend Peter Neal.

Hunter Biden wiped away tears as she testified to being proud of him.

Naomi Biden told the court she saw her father again just a couple of months later in New York when he came to pick up his truck after she and Neal had borrowed it.

“He seemed great. He seemed hopeful,” the younger Biden said of the visit, which came during a stretch of time after her father purchased the gun that is at the center of the case against him.

Her recollections grew more complicated for her father’s defense as she came under cross-examination.Biden is accused of illegally purchasing a Colt Cobra handgun and lying about his use of drugs on a federal form. His brother’s widow, with whom he was in a romantic relationship after Beau Biden’s death, testified to finding the gun inside a truck — the defendant’s — strewn with drug “remnants,” before throwing it away. Biden has pleaded not guilty to three charges.

President Joe Biden said in an interview that he would not pardon his son, who faces a sentence that could carry up to 25 years in jail if he’s found guilty.

Sitting behind the defendant was first lady Jill Biden, who flew in from France and is set to return to Europe on Saturday. Hunter held her hand as he left court after his daughter’s testimony, with his wife, Melissa Cohen-Biden, walking behind him.

Before the government rested its case on Friday morning, a drug enforcement agent testified to the court that texts from Hunter Biden presented by prosecutors were connected to drug use and deals, and a forensic chemist testified about the small amount of white powder found in the pouch in which Biden kept his firearm.

Court adjourned early on Friday after the judge sent home the jury.

Here’s what you missed on Day 5 of Hunter Biden’s trial:

Naomi’s testimony

Hunter Biden visited his daughter in New York in mid-October after she had used his truck to help move her boyfriend into her apartment. Naomi Biden told the court she probably saw her father just once over the three days he was there and acknowledged some difficulty coordinating with him, which she attributed in part to her commute for work in Brooklyn.

At one point, prosecutor Leo Wise asked about a late-night exchange with her father, who texted her at 2 a.m. to ask “where are the keys to the truck?” and “can Peter bring to 57th and 5th, and I’ll trade cars with him?” Hunter Biden had used Joe Biden’s Cadillac to make the trip to New York and they were due to swap, Naomi explained to the court, referring to her grandfather as “Pop.”

“Right now?” She had texted her father at the time, to no response. She said she never saw him use drugs.

Later, Wise asked Naomi about other texts from her father during his time in New York and how she seemed dismayed at being unable to reach him.

“I’m really sorry, dad, I can’t take this,” her text read after sending him a sad face emoji. “I don’t know what to say. I just want to hang out with you.”

She also said she saw no drug remnants in the car and no drug paraphernalia when she picked it up and returned it to him.

In what appeared to be a particularly bruising moment, Wise asked Naomi whether her father had told her he was meeting “someone named Franky” or that that person would be coming to his hotel room.

“I don’t remember,” she said.

A former girlfriend of Biden’s told the court in earlier testimony how, early in their relationship, she was introduced to someone by the same name who sold him drugs in New York.

As Naomi Biden left the courtroom, she wiped away a tear.

The defense chose not to put Hunter Biden’s uncle, James Biden, on the stand after breaking for lunch.

Prosecution rested its case

The government rested its case on Friday after presenting evidence from several witnesses who testified to Biden’s drug use, including an ex-girlfriend and his brother Beau’s widow.

Thursday saw Hallie Biden, the prosecution’s star witness, testify about Biden’s drug use and about the day she recalled finding, throwing away, and then going to look for his gun in the trash can where she dropped it.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys said Friday that they would weigh the decision over the weekend about whether to put him on the stand when court resumes on Monday. The defense also said it would submit a written motion on Friday afternoon calling for an acquittal, arguing that the case is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.



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