BSS
  12 Jun 2024, 12:04

Biden's son convicted on all charges in gun case

WILMINGTON, United States, June 12, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - A jury found Hunter
Biden guilty on Tuesday of federal gun charges in a historic first criminal
prosecution of the child of a sitting US president.

The 54-year-old son of President Joe Biden was convicted on all three of the
felony counts stemming from his 2018 purchase of a handgun while addicted to
crack cocaine.

The verdict comes as his father is seeking reelection, and the Democratic
president changed his schedule to fly to Wilmington, Delaware, the family
hometown where the trial was held.

Hunter Biden was waiting on the tarmac when Marine One landed at Delaware Air
National Guard Base and he was given a warm hug by his 81-year-old father
before they left in a motorcade.

The president expressed his "love and support" for his son in a statement
released immediately after the conviction.

"I am the President, but I am also a Dad," Biden said.

"So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the
feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so
strong and resilient in recovery.


"I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the
judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal."

The 12-member jury deliberated for about three hours over two days before
reaching a verdict.

Hunter Biden did not take the stand during the one-week trial, which First
Lady Jill Biden attended several days.
He could face up to 25 years in prison, although as a first-time offender
jail time is unlikely. A date was not set for sentencing but it is expected
to take place in the next few months.

Special counsel David Weiss, who brought the case against Hunter Biden,
addressed reporters following the verdict.

"No one in this country is above the law," Weiss said. "Everyone must be
accountable for their actions, even this defendant."

Weiss said the case was "not just about addiction."

"This case was about the illegal choices the defendant made while in the
throes of addiction, his choice to lie on a government form when he bought a
gun, and the choice to then possess that gun," Weiss said.

- Drug addiction -

The trial outcome comes less than two weeks after the conviction on business
fraud charges of Donald Trump, Joe Biden's likely Republican opponent in the
November presidential election.

The proceedings, along with another case in which Hunter Biden faces tax
evasion charges in California, have complicated Democrats' efforts to keep
the election focus on Trump, the first former president convicted of a crime.

In addition to being a political distraction, Hunter Biden's legal woes have
reopened painful emotional wounds for the family from his time as a drug
addict.

His brother Beau died from cancer in 2015, and his sister Naomi died as an
infant in a 1972 car crash that also killed their mother, Neilia, Joe Biden's
first wife.

The Yale-trained lawyer and lobbyist-turned-artist was charged with falsely
stating when buying a .38 caliber revolver in 2018 that he was not using
drugs illegally.

He was also charged with illegal possession of the firearm, which he had for
just 11 days in October of that year.

The president's son, who has written unsparingly about his addiction, claimed
that at the time he bought the revolver he did not consider himself to be an
addict.

He has long been the target of hard-right Republicans, and Trump allies have
investigated him at length in Congress on allegations of corruption and
influence-peddling. No charges have ever been brought.

Hunter Biden's business dealings in China and Ukraine have also formed the
basis for attempts by Republican lawmakers to initiate impeachment
proceedings against his father. Those efforts too have gone nowhere.

The Trump campaign referenced the unsubstantiated allegations against the
Biden family in a reaction to Hunter Biden's conviction.

"This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of
the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from
China, Russia and Ukraine," Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said.

The White House has said there would be no presidential pardon for Hunter
Biden.

 

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