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Hunter Biden found guilty on all counts

A jury of Hunter Biden’s peers found him guilty on all three felony charges on Tuesday after a six-day trial which demonstrated that the first son lied on a federal gun-purchase background-check form when he claimed not to be a drug addict.

The verdict was reached after the jury deliberated for three hours, beginning Monday afternoon with the conclusion of closing arguments. Hunter was surrounded by family members, including first lady Jill Biden and his uncle James Biden, as the verdict was read.

Hunter was found guilty on two charges for lying about his crack-cocaine addiction on federal gun paperwork when he bought a Colt Cobra revolver at a sporting-goods store in Wilmington in October 2018. He was also found guilty on a third charge for possessing the firearm while he was using crack cocaine.

The first son faces up to 25 years in prison, though he’ll likely receive a lighter sentence as a first-time, non-violent offender. Judge Noreika, who presided over the trial, said that a sentencing hearing will be held in September.

The criminal trial placed Hunter’s chaotic, destructive history under a spotlight and tore apart the Biden family, with Hunter’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle and deceased brother Beau Biden’s widow Hallie Biden testifying for the prosecution. Naomi Biden, the eldest daughter of Buhle and Biden, testified for the defense, pitting mother against daughter in an emotional scene for the entire family.

Federal prosecutors Derek Hines and Leo Wise pursued the case against Hunter Biden as members of special counsel David Weiss’s legal team. For most of the trial, Weiss sat in the right corner of the first row, occasionally eating chocolates and flashing grins during side conversations. Wise declined to comment on the outcome of the trial, but his grin as the jury read its verdict spoke volumes.

The prosecutors presented what they called “overwhelming evidence” — witness testimony, texts, videos, images, bank records, and memoir excerpts — that Hunter was actively addicted to drugs when he claimed otherwise on the background-check form.

Hallie Biden, gun salesman Gordon Cleveland, and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan delivered key testimony for the prosecution to help establish Biden’s pattern of crack-cocaine usage and conscious decision to lie about his addiction during the gun sale. The testimony appeared to corroborate vivid excerpts from the memoir and incriminating texts, photos, and videos.

Abbe Lowell, Biden’s defense attorney, attempted to show that his client’s behavior had improved around the time of the gun sale, meaning Hunter did not “knowingly” lie on the gun paperwork when he said he was not a drug addict. Kestan and Cleveland’s testimony presented major difficulties for Lowell, who also had to contend with Hunter’s own admissions of drug addiction in the many texts and memoir excerpts read out to the jury.

Over the course of the trial, Lowell delivered lengthy cross examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses and disputed the context surrounding key pieces of evidence as he tried to cast doubt on the facts presented by Hines and Wise.

But, Wise carried out the trial’s most decisive cross examination, when he went through texts between Hunter and Naomi Biden in October 2018 to undermine her testimony about her father showing signs of recovery from his addiction.

Ahead of the verdict, President Biden said he would respect the outcome of the decision and not pardon his son if convicted. At the start of the trial, Joe Biden issued a statement saying he was “proud” of his son for overcoming his drug addiction.

In September, Hunter Biden is set to stand trial again on nine federal tax charges related to his alleged failure to pay over $1.4 million of taxes over a four year period. Weiss and Lowell’s legal teams will face off for a second time in California for the tax trial.

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