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Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden trial replay: Jury begins deliberating in Hunter Biden's felony gun case

WILMINGTON, Del. – Hunter Biden’s trial on federal gun charges is now in the hands of the jury of 12 Delaware residents who will decide whether the president's son illegally bought and owned a revolver while he was an unlawful drug user or addict.

Biden, 54, faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted of all three felony charges: lying on a federal screening form, lying to a gun dealer and possessing the gun. But first-time offenders on non-violent charges are typically given shorter sentences. The trial is historic because Biden is the first child of a sitting president to be tried for a crime.

Biden has acknowledged a four-year addiction to crack cocaine in his book “Beautiful Things.” But his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, argued he didn’t “knowingly” lie because he had recently completed a rehabilitation program and wasn’t using drugs at the time he bought the gun in October 2018.

Evidence in the trial from Biden’s electronic devices showed pictures of drugs in 2018 and texts about using drugs in the days after buying the gun.

Emotional testimony from his former romantic partners described their concerns about his addiction and their searches for contraband, to prevent his children from finding drugs or paraphernalia. His sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, testified she tossed the gun in a grocery store trash can after finding it in his truck 11 days after he bought it. A forensic chemist found cocaine residue on the leather pouch that held the gun.

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A contrast came from his daughter, Naomi Biden, who testified for the defense that he seemed fine and in good spirits about the time he bought the gun.

Catch up with live updates from the ӣƵ Network:

Jury leaves courthouse

The jury in Hunter Biden's felony gun trial has left the courthouse for the night. Proceedings will continue on Tuesday.

– Esteban Parra

Hunter Biden embraces his lawyer

After Abbe Lowell finished his closing argument, and as the jury was being leaving for a break, Hunter Biden stood and walked over to Lowell and gave him a long embrace.

– Esteban Parra

Jury begins deliberation

After hearing the remainder of their instructions and taking an oath, the jury is heading back to the jury room to begin deliberating the case.

– Xerxes Wilson

Jurors receive final instructions

Jurors will now receive their final instructions before deliberations begin.

It is possible a verdict could come today, however the court typically adjourns at 4:30 p.m. ET.

– Xerxes Wilson

Evidence against Hunter Biden ‘overwhelming,’ prosecutor argues

Prosecutor Derek Hines concluded his rebuttal in Hunter Biden’s trial on gun charges by arguing the evidence for conviction was “overwhelming.”

"If this evidence did not establish that Hunter Biden is a crack addict or an unlawful user, then nobody is a crack addict or unlawful user," Hines told the jury.

– Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor counters claim of cruelty toward Naomi Biden

After the defense said prosecutors were “incredibly cruel” in questioning Hunter Biden’s daughter, Naomi, prosecutor Derek Hines countered by arguing the defense called her as a witness.

"Who called the defendant's daughter as a witness in this case?" Hines asked the jury.

He told the jurors to recollect how uncomfortable she was on the stand and the "anguish" present when she testified.

"You know that she was up there completely uncomfortable," Hines said. "She couldn’t vouch for the defendant’s sobriety through the month of October."

–Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor tells jury that 'choices have consequences'

Prosecutor Derek Hines rebutted defense lawyer Abbe Lowell’s assertion that prosecutors were attacking Hunter Biden for his addiction.

Had Biden continued to use drugs but not decided to buy a gun, “we wouldn’t be here,” Hines said. “Choices have consequences and that is why we were here.”

–Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutors begin rebuttal statement before case heads to jury

Derek Hines will deliver the final word for the government. He started by rebutting Lowell's assert to the jury that Hunter's life is in their hands.

"You don't have his life in your hands. You are asked to make a determination of facts and apply the judge's law. That is it, nothing more, nothing less," Hines said.

–Xerxes Wilson

Defense ends closing statement

There will be a restroom break, and prosecutors will issue the final statements before the jury begins deliberation.

–Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutors ‘cruel’ to Hunter Biden’s daughter: Lowell

Prosecutors questioned by Hunter Biden was trying to contact his daughter, Naomi, at 2 a.m. when they were both in New York in October 2018.

Prosecutors raised the possibility that Hunter Biden was meeting a dealer and asked Naomi Biden if she used cocaine. But defense lawyer Abbe Lowell said prosecutors made no effort to call the drug dealer as a witness.

“That is reasonable doubt and extraordinarily cruel to his daughter,” Lowell said.

– Xerxes Wilson

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, arrives with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden at the federal court for his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 10, 2024.

‘Hunter deserves those rights’: Abbe Lowell

Hunter Biden’s status as son of the president has cut both ways while he faced criminal charges over a gun and taxes.

House Republicans blasted a plea agreement that collapsed last July as a sweetheart deal. But defense lawyer Abbe Lowell has argued Biden is being prosecuted more harshly since then.

Prosecutor Derek Hines opened the trial by telling the jury: “No one is above the law, doesn’t matter what your name is.”

Lowell turned the phrase around in his closing argument.

“He missed the point: it means Hunter deserves those rights and protections,” Lowell said.

–Xerxes Wilson

Hallie Biden ‘incredibly stupid’ trashing gun: Lowell

Hunter Biden told his sister-in-law Hallie Biden to call police to report his missing gun after she threw it in a grocery store trash can in 2018, which defense lawyer Abbe Lowell said he wasn’t a danger to public safety.

“On October 23, Hallie Biden did something incredibly stupid,” Lowell said.

Lowell quoted one of Hunter Biden’s texts to remedy the situation.

“He said, ‘go inside and get the police,’” Lowell said.

–Xerxes Wilson

Hunter Biden’s unfamiliarity with guns shows lack of intent to lie, defense lawyer argues

Hunter Biden was “killing time” when he bought a revolver in October 2018, spending 16 minutes buying bullets, a speed loader and a BB gun after store employees ran his background check, according to defense lawyer Abbe Lowell.

Biden didn’t know anything about guns or bullets, which employees explained to him, Lowell told jurors.

Biden’s behavior showed that he didn’t go into the store “with the intent” to lie on a federal screening form or that he knew he would be prohibited from owning a gun, Lowell said.

– Xerxes Wilson

Hunter Biden was using alcohol at ‘critical time’

Defense lawyer AbbeLowell told jurors that Hunter Biden was using alcohol after his August time in rehab, but "that is not against the law."

Biden is charged with lying on a federal screening form when he bought a gun in October 2018 about not using unlawful drugs. But Lowell said drinking isn’t against the law.

"Kicking crack cocaine is hard. Kicking alcohol much harder," Lowell said. "Even after rehab, he ended up drinking."

–Xerxes Wilson

Defense calls leather gun pouch another prosecutorial trick

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell argued that nobody could say when cocaine residue was put on a leather gun pouch that held Hunter Biden’s revolver when his sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, threw it in a grocery store trash can, where it was retrieved by a scavenger.

A chemist for the prosecution found residue of cocaine on the pouch. But Lowell said the “big piece of evidence” represented “suspicion and conjecture” because nobody could say when the residue was put on the pouch.

“You don’t know when the residue was put there,” Lowell said. “You don’t know by whom. You don’t know where it was at the time.”

–Xerxes Wilson

James Biden and Valerie Biden Owens arrive at the federal court for Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 10, 2024.

Zoe Kestan’s photos show sobriety, Hunter Biden's lawyers say

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell walked the jury though examples of damning photos of drugs and paraphernalia implicating Hunter Biden’s drug addiction in the months leading up to September 2018.

He then drew their attention to photos from her visit with him that month, which include “no bongs, no other paraphernalia.”

He noted she was more than willing to spend Hunter Biden's money, introduce him to drug dealers while he was trying to recover in November 2018, was willing to use drugs with him and spent six hours "rehearsing" her testimony with prosecutors ahead of trial.

“Once again, the lack of photos can speak more loudly than what was spoken by her under a grant of immunity,” Lowell said.

–Xerxes Wilson

Hunter Biden defense accused prosecutors of sleight of hand

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell compared the prosecution’s case against Hunter Biden to a magician’s sleight of hand obscuring what happened in late 2018.

Lowell noted that Biden hadn’t written about drug use in his memoir after drug rehab in August 2018 or when he bought the gun in October 2018. But Lowell argued prosecutors sought to “squeeze” evidence from 2016, 2017 and early 2018 into the same time frame as the gun purchase.

“Remember what the texts say about (rehab) to the time he bought the gun: nothing,” Lowell said.

–Xerxes Wilson

Hunter Biden's lawyers argue that case is built on speculation

Hunter Biden’s defense lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told jurors that they needed to find he “knowingly” lied about his drug use to convict him but that “suspicion and conjecture” about his actions aren’t enough to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The word knowingly cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” Lowell said.

– Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor urges conviction despite ‘sympathy’ over drug usage

Prosecutor Leo Wise said evidence in trial against Hunter Biden, which included testimony of unlawful drug use, may “provoke sympathy or disgust” but that he was “not charged with being an addict.”

“Lying to buy that gun is a choice and that is why we are here,” Wise said. “He did that knowing exactly what he was doing is beyond a reasonable doubt.”

– Xerxes Wilson

‘Don’t leave common sense behind’: Prosecutor

Prosecutor Leo Wise told jurors that it didn’t make sense for Hunter Biden’s defense to argue that his texts to Hallie Biden about waiting for a dealer and smoking crack were a smokescreen for avoiding her.

“He didn’t have to make up this elaborate story about two drug deals,” Wise said. “You don’t leave your common sense behind when you come into the jury box.”

–Xerxes Wilson

'Can't use a credit card to buy drugs'

Prosecutor Leo Wise emphasized what he described as a pattern of cash withdrawals in which Hunter Biden withdrew some $150,000 between October and November.

“You can’t use a credit card to buy drugs, that goes without saying,” Wise said.

Defense attorneys have sought to say Biden was paying for his drug rehab and other things. Wise rebutted this by showing credit card receipts for rehab services.

Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor pokes holes in Hunter Biden rehab claim

Prosecutor Leo Wise argued that a witness contradicted Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, opened the trial telling jurors that he went to a rehab program in August 2018 and thus didn’t view himself as a drug user.

Wise noted the rehab stay was only about a week and then Biden supposedly lived with a sober coach. But Wise emphasized testimony from Zoe Kestan, a former girlfriend of Biden, who said he was smoking crack and had drug paraphernalia in different parts of the house.

“She said it was all over,” Wise told the jury. “There was no sober companion there.”

– Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutors emphasize Hunter Biden texts

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell has argued that Hunter Biden was not using drugs when he bought a gun in October 2018, but prosecutors contend his texts tell another story.

Prosecutors highlighted how Biden sent to messages in the days after buying the gun, with one saying he was waiting for a dealer and another saying he was smoking crack.

Prosecutor Leo Wise noted that a Hallie Biden text the same month he bought the gun said she wanted to help him get sober and her testimony stating that included by drug and alcohol abuse.

– Xerxes Wilson

Testimony about Hunter Biden’s drug use enough to convict, prosecutor argues

Prosecutor Leo Wise told the jury in Hunter Biden’s gun trial that the testimony from his former girlfriend, Zoe Kestan, would be enough to convict him on its own.

Kestan testified that Hunter Biden smoked crack in Los Angeles in September 2018, weeks before he bought the gun at issue in the trial.

"You could convict on those facts alone," Wise said.

– Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor outlines ‘central issue’ in Hunter Biden trial

Prosecutor Leo Wise said the “central issue” in the charges against Hunter Biden was whether he knowingly lied on a federal screening form and to a gun dealer about whether he used unlawful drugs when he bought a revolve in 2018.

“He knew he was using drugs and he knew he was addicted to drugs, that is what the evidence showed,” Wise said.

Wise added that maybe if he had not been in rehab or had not used drugs weeks before, he could argued that he didn’t know he was an addict.

– Xerxes Wilson

Federal firearm form shows what Hunter Biden signed

The federal screening form that Hunter Biden filled out when he bought a gun in 2018 asked: "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?" Biden replied “no.”

"This is the statement that the evidence proves is false," Wise told the jury.

– Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor says evidence is 'ugly' and 'overwhelming'

Prosecutor Leo Wise is now reminding the jury of the charges what the law requires for conviction.

"The central issue in this case was whether the defendant was an unlawful user of or addicted to controlled substances and whether he knew that fact," Wise told the jury.

Wise said the evidence proves Hunter Biden fit into both of those categories.

"It was personal and it was ugly and it was overwhelming," Wise said.

– Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutor appears to refer to first lady, Biden family members

In an apparent reference to first lady Jill Biden and other Biden family members' presence in the courtroom, Wise pointed to the gallery and referenced people jurors might know from the news, saying they don't matter.

“The only evidence in this case is what came from the witness stand and the physical and documentary evidence that has been admitted by Judge Noreika,” Wise said, beginning his closing arguments.

– Xerxes Wilson

Jury gets instructions

As U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika read instructions to the jury, Hunter Biden and his lawyers read along with their copies.

When she got to the instruction that Biden didn’t have to testify, the president’s son looked up and surveyed the jurors. He returned to looking at copies when the judge moved to another topic.

– Esteban Para

Closing statements begin in Hunter Biden's gun trial

Prosecutor Leo Wise will deliver closing statements for the government.

–Xerxes Wilson

How many children does Hunter Biden have?

Hunter Biden has five children. He has three daughters with his ex-wifeKathleen Buhlenamed Naomi Biden, Finnegan Biden, and Maisy Biden. In 2019, he welcomed a son with his second wife Melissa Cohen, Beau Biden IV., named after his.

It was alsothat he had secretly fathered another daughter with an Arkansas woman named Lunden Roberts in 2018. Her name is Navy Roberts. President Joe Bidenfirst publicly acknowledgedhis granddaughter in 2023.

– Rachel Barber

Jill Biden, Ashley Biden attend Hunter Biden gun trial

First lady Jill Biden and Ashley Biden, Hunter Biden's sister, were in attendance Monday at his felony gun trial. Several Biden family members have attended the proceedings in Delaware, including President Joe Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens, and his brother, James Biden.

– Marina Pitofsky

Hunter Biden closing arguments set to begin after lunch break

The court is breaking for lunch. Proceedings will resume shortly after noon, when closing arguments − each side's last chance to make an impression on the jury − will begin.

−Xerxes Wilson

Judge reading portions of final jury instructions

Judge Maryellen Noreika is currently reading jurors portions of their final instructions.

The instructions offer an outline of legal definitions, the jury's role and its process for deliberating the charges. She will read the rest of the instructions after a lunch break and closing statements.

The most recent version of the jury instructions that have been made available to the public can be read below. The parties debated small changes to the instructions Monday morning and the final product has not yet been made available in court documents.

−Xerxes Wilson

Prosecution rests its rebuttal case, closing statements next

After brief testimony from an FBI agent, prosecutor Derek Hines said prosecutors have no more rebuttal witnesses.

This means the case will shortly move to closing statments before jurors receive their final instructions and begin deliberation.

−Xerxes Wilson

Prosecutors focus on Hunter Biden's text messages implying drug use

Ashley Biden arrives at the federal court for her brother Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 10, 2024.

Prosecutor Derek Hines asked FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen about Hunter Biden’s text messages that refer to a 7-Eleven gas station in Wilmington, Delaware.

The location is important because Hunter Biden mentioned the store in an October 2018 text message saying he was waiting to buy drugs. Defense attorneys have sought to discredit that message by saying Biden was lying to Hallie Biden, the recipient, because he did not want to see her.

“There are messages where the defendant is referencing 7-Eleven both before and after (purchasing) the gun?” Hines asked Jensen, prompting her to confirm.

−Xerxes Wilson

More:The president's son in his own words: Hunter Biden's candor becomes prosecutor's weapon

Prosecutors call FBI agent after defense rests

After Hunter Biden’s defense rested in his federal gun trial, prosecutors called FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen to rebut the defense case.

Prosecutor Derek Hines began asking her questions about text messages Biden sent in October 2018, proximate to when he purchased the gun.

−Xerxes Wilson

More:'I am ashamed': Hallie Biden gives emotional testimony on finding Hunter Biden's gun, using drugs

What happened to Hunter Biden’s plea deal?

Justice Department special counsel David Weiss secured two indictments for gun and tax charges against Hunter Biden after U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected aplea agreement in Julythat aimed to resolve the investigation.

Weiss, as a Donald Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Delaware, had investigated Biden for years. Biden agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanors for nonpayment of taxes in 2017 and 2018, and to enter a pretrial program on a gun charge.

Biden potentially could have stayed out of jail under the agreement, which congressional Republicansslammed as a sweetheart deal.But Noreika questioned prosecutors and defense lawyers about whether the deal would protect Biden from future charges and the judge refused to “rubber-stamp” the agreement.

The collapse of the plea deal led to Biden’s indictment on three felony gun charges in Delaware, in a trial that started Monday, and nine tax charges in California, in a trial set for Sept. 5.

– Bart Jansen

More:Who is David Weiss? What to know about Trump-appointed special counsel on Hunter Biden case

James Biden arrives at the federal court for Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 10, 2024, but he was not called as a defense witness.

Court taking a break

After the discussion of the jury and verdict forms, the parties engaged in a long sidebar and then the judge left the bench.

It's expected that the defense will announce whether they will call further witnesses, including potentially Hunter Biden, once the break concludes.

Xerxes Wilson

Fight continues over jury instructions

The fight continued Monday about jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s federal trial over what it meant for him to deny using or being addicted to drugs when he bought a gun in October 2018.

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell continued to argue in a Sunday filing that Biden didn’t “knowingly” lie on a federal screening form, where he checked “no,” because he had recently completed a rehabilitation program. Lowell said the question asked “are you” a user or addict, which the lawyer argued he wasn’t at the time.

The form Biden filled out asked if he was “an unlawful user of a controlled substance or addicted to a controlled substance.” Evidence at trial showed pictures of drugs in April 2018 and texts about using drugs in the days after buying the gun.

Justice Department special counsel David Weiss’s team argued in a Monday filing that “a defendant is not entitled to a judicial narrative of his version of the facts.” Prosecutor Derek Hines said Biden hadn’t presented any evidence that he considered himself not addicted.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika must still decide how to instruct the jury.

−Bart Jansen

What did Hunter Biden do?

The president's son faces three firearms felonies. In October 2018,Hunter Biden walked into a gun shopnorth of Wilmington, Delaware, and purchased a revolver. People who purchase firearms are required to fill out a standardized form that asks whether they are an unlawful user or are addicted to controlled substances, narcotics and other listed substances. Biden is accused of answering "no" to that question on the form.

But Biden has been open about his longtime struggles with crack cocaine addiction. He's written about it in his 2021 memoir, "Beautiful Things," and discussed it during a court hearing last year, stating he's been sober since 2019.

Biden faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted, although first-time and non-violent offenders are often given shorter terms.

Xerxes Wilson

What kind of gun did Hunter Biden buy?

Thegun Hunter Biden purchasedand held onto for 11 days in 2018 is a .38 caliber Cold Cobra, known as a 38 special. The revolver is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson that can range in price from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars.

The handgun is known for its accuracy and is often used for small-game hunting, recreational target shooting, and personal defense. The president's son told Delaware State Police he bought it for target practice in 2018.

– Rachel Barber

Joe Biden says he wouldn’t pardon his son if he is convicted

President Joe Biden said he would not pardon his son Hunter Biden, who is on trial for federal gun charges, according to awith ABC News.

ABC anchor David Muir, interviewing President Biden in France for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, asked whether he would accept the outcome of his son’s trial.

“Yes,” the president said.

Muir also asked if he would rule out a pardon for his son.

“Yes,” the president said.

– Bart Jansen

Court begins with arguments over final jury instructions

The parties started court early this morning as prosecutors, the defense and the judge discuss minor changes to the jury's final instructions.

The instructions will help guide jurors on important legal definitions and their final role deciding a verdict.

−Xerxes Wilson

More:Judge sends jury home early in Hunter Biden trial; daughter Naomi Biden testifies

Who is James Biden?

James Biden was involved in overseas business deals with Hunter Biden that drew the spotlight of House Republicans investigating whether President Joe Biden benefited.

Joe Biden and the White House have dismissed the accusations as baseless partisan attacks. Justice Department special counsel David Weiss, who is prosecuting Hunter Biden, secured an indictment against an FBI informant, Alexander Smirov, for allegedly lying about Hunter Biden’s involvement in a Ukrainian energy deal.

But the foreign intrigue isn’t at stake in Hunter Biden’s gun trial. He is charged with lying about his drug use on a federal screening form when he bought the gun in October 2018. Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell said James Biden paid for some of his nephew’s rehabilitation.

−Bart Jansen

More:Hunter Biden trial includes a web of family members, spouses and exes: Who's who?

President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and other family members leave St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church on the anniversary of the deaths of the president's first wife, Neilia, and daughter Naomi, in Wilmington, Delaware, on Dec. 18, 2021.

Who was Neilia Biden?

Hunter Biden’s felony gun trial has brought together several members of the Biden family, with first lady Jill Biden seated each day directly behind the defense table.

The president's son refers to Jill Biden as "my mother" in his memoir of drug addiction, but the Biden family's public story really begins with the tragedy of Joe Biden's first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden.

Neilia, Hunter's biological mother, was killed in a car crash in 1972 at age 30 with her 13-month-old daughter Naomi Christina, known as "Amy."

Hunter Biden, who was just three, and his brother Beau, who was four, survived the crash with serious injuries.Joe Biden, who had recently won election to the U.S. Senate, was sworn into office inside the boys' hospital room.

−Sudiksha Kochi

More:Who is Hunter Biden's mom? A quick look at Neilia Biden and her role in the Biden family

Who could be called for the defense?

Besides James Biden, defense lawyer AbbeLowell could call a police officer who became involved in the investigation after Biden's sister-in-law, Hallie Biden, tossed .38-cal. revolver into a grocery store trash can 11 days after he purchased it.

−Xerxes Wilson

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