Hunter Biden found guilty in federal gun trial

Posted at 12:05 PM, June 11, 2024

A jury found Hunter Biden guilty of all three felony charges related to lying on a seven-page gun purchase form.

The verdict is a culmination of years of investigations that prosecutors said were bolstered by Biden’s book, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir,” in which the president’s son admits to using drugs around the time he bought the gun. Prosecutors argued that Hunter Biden knowingly lied about his drug use on federal gun-purchase form in 2018.

Trial testimony

Hunter Biden speaks to guests during the White House Easter Egg Roll

FILE – Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, speaks to guests during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 18, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Several people who were closest to Hunter Biden while he was heavily using drugs testified during the trial. Kathleen Buhle, who was married to Biden from 1993 to 2017, testified that she confronted her then-husband in 2015 after finding a crack pipe at their D.C. home. She also noted that she never saw him using drugs. Zoe Kestan, who was briefly involved with Biden in 2017 and 2018, took the stand after Buhle. She described meeting Hunter Biden at a strip club, but going their separate ways after their initial meeting. Kestan said she reconnected with Biden several months later, noting that he was smoking crack frequently at the time. However, she stated under oath that she did not see Biden around the time of the gun purchase.

Hallie Biden, the widow of the president’s other son Beau Biden, also testified during the trial. She and Hunter were romantically involved after Beau passed away from brain cancer in 2015. Hallie stated that Hunter introduced her to crack.

“I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed, and I regret that period of my life,” she said on the witness stand. Hallie told the court that she stopped smoking crack in August 2018 and tried to get Hunter sober in October. She testified that she went to clean out Hunter’s truck and found drug paraphernalia and a gun.

The jury was shown surveillance footage of Hallie disposing of the gun, which was inside a leather pouch that was found to have drug residue on it. The defense team argued that the pouch had passed through many hands since Hunter Biden last had it.

The man who found the gun was tracked down by authorities, and he turned over the firearm. Naomi Biden, Hunter’s daughter, also testified about her father’s drug use. But she noted that she saw him in October 2018 to borrow his truck to help with moving. She said the truck was clean and there was no drug paraphernalia inside it.

FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2020, file photo, President-elect Joe Biden, right, embraces his son Hunter Biden, left, in Wilmington, Del. Biden’s son Hunter says he has learned from federal prosecutors that his tax affairs are under investigation. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Hunter Biden did not testify – allowing his defense team to try to convince the jury that he was not actively using drugs at the time he made the gun purchase.

Hunter Biden’s family support

President Biden did not attend the trial, but he issued a statement in support of his son as the trial got started. “I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us,” the president said. Unlike the president, first lady Jill Biden, along with Hunter’s current wife, Melissa, were fixtures in the courtroom.

This story was originally published by Scripps News, an E.W. Scripps Company.