Jury Deliberates in Hunter Biden Gun Case: Prosecution and Defense Present Final Arguments

Wise read passages from Hunter Biden's memoir about his failed attempts to get clean and relapsing into drug use just before buying the gun.

The jury began deliberations Monday in the case of Hunter Biden, the U.S. president’s son accused of lying about his use of illegal drugs when purchasing a handgun in 2018.

“We ask you find the law applies equally to this defendant as it would to anyone else,” government prosecutor Derek Hines told the jury as the first criminal trial of a child of a sitting president reached its final phase.

“When he chose to lie and buy a gun he violated the law.

“We ask you return the only verdict supported by the evidence – guilty,” Hines said.

Biden, 54, the son of President Joe Biden, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include lying about his addiction when he filled out a government screening document for a Colt Cobra revolver and illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell compared the government’s case to the work of a magician, claiming they focused on drug use from months or years before the gun purchase to create the illusion Hunter Biden was a user of crack cocaine when he bought the gun. “

They blurred all those years before he walked into StarQuest Shooters and all those years after,” Lowell told jurors, referring to the gun store where the purchase was made.

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika instructed jurors to be impartial, stating, “You have to decide the case based on the evidence.”

Over four days of testimony last week, prosecutors provided an intimate view of the younger Biden’s struggle with alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, which they argue legally precluded him from buying a gun.

In their closing arguments, a government attorney emphasized the commonsense understanding of Hunter Biden’s constant drug use filled in any gaps in evidence about his behavior around the time of the gun purchase.

“It was personal and it was ugly and it was overwhelming,” federal prosecutor Leo Wise told the jury about the testimony. “But it was also necessary.”

The trial in Wilmington, Delaware, follows the May 30 criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first U.S. president found guilty of a felony.

Trump and some Republican allies allege the case and other prosecutions are politically motivated attempts to prevent him from regaining power, while Congressional Democrats argue the Hunter Biden prosecution shows Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political ends.

Wise noted it did not matter if well-known people appeared in court or how they reacted to the evidence. “None of that matters. What matters came from the witness stand,” he said.

Last week, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, former girlfriend, and sister-in-law testified about his drug use, recounting instances where they found drugs and paraphernalia in his possession.

Wise read passages from Hunter Biden’s memoir about his failed attempts to get clean and relapsing into drug use just before buying the gun.

“Take the defendant’s word for it. That’s his truth,” Wise said.

Hunter Biden claimed at a 2023 hearing that he has been sober since 2019.

Sentencing guidelines for the charges against Biden range from 15 to 21 months, but experts note similar cases often result in shorter sentences and defendants are less likely to be incarcerated if they comply with pretrial release terms.