The Latest: Hunter Biden’s gun trial has gone to the jury for deliberation

Jurors in Hunter Biden’s gun trial have begun deliberating to decide whether the president’s son is guilty of federal firearms charges over a revolver he bought when prosecutors say he was addicted to crack cocaine

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Latest on Hunter Biden's federal gun trial (all times local):

Jurors in Hunter Biden’s gun trial began deliberating Monday to decide whether the president’s son is guilty of federal firearms charges over a revolver he bought when prosecutors say he was addicted to crack cocaine.

Hunter Biden is facing three felony charges stemming from the purchase of the gun in 2018. Prosecutors say he lied on a federal form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs.

The case has put a spotlight on a turbulent time in Hunter Biden’s life after his brother, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015.

Currently:

— 'No one is above the law,' prosecutor says as he urges jurors to convict Hunter Biden on gun charges

— Hunter Biden's family weathers a public and expansive airing in federal court of his drug addiction

Here's the latest:

In rebuttal, prosecution says several things in defense closings were unfair

Prosecutor Derek Hines began his rebuttal statement by saying that several things defense attorney Abbe Lowell said in his closing arguments were “completely unfair.”

That includes suggesting that the jury has Hunter Biden’s life in its hands.

Hines said that if Hunter Biden had simply been an addict struggling with personal problems “we would not be here in this courtroom.” Hunter instead is on trial for buying a gun and lying about being a drug addict when he did so, Hines said.

Hines also took exception with Lowell’s assertion that the prosecution’s questioning of Naomi Biden was “extraordinarily cruel.”

“Who called the defendant’s daughter as a witness in this case?” Hines asked. “Not us.”

Hines told the jury the evidence clearly shows Hunter Biden had a pattern of illegal drug use at the time he bought the gun. Prosecutors don’t have to prove Hunter used drugs on the day he bought the gun or was under the influence while in the gun store, he said.

Defense says Hunter’s famous last name doesn’t mean he’s less entitled to his rights

In his closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s trial, defense attorney Abbe Lowell also reminded jurors that their duty to determine a person’s guilt or innocence comes with “tremendous responsibility.”

“The burden of proof … is always on the prosecution,” he said, telling jurors Hunter is presumed innocent unless and until they find him guilty. The fact that he has a famous last name doesn’t mean he is less entitled to his rights than any other defendant, Lowell said.

Lowell also told jurors they should consider testimony by Hallie Biden and Zoe Kestan under grants of immunity “with great care and caution.”

“With my last breath in this case, I ask for the only verdict that will hold the prosecutors to what the law requires of them,” Lowell concluded, asking jurors to find Hunter not guilty.

Defense rejects prosecution claim that cash withdrawals could only have been for drugs

In closing arguments, defense attorney Abbe Lowell also rejected the prosecution’s assertion that large cash withdrawals made by Hunter Biden could have been only for drug transactions.

Prosecution witnesses were unable to back up that assertion with detailed financial records, he said.

Earlier in Hunter Biden’s trial, the defense had suggested the money could have been used to pay for rehab, though the prosecutor had countered that financial records suggested otherwise.

Defense says there’s no evidence Hunter took gun out of locked box it came in

As far as Hunter Biden illegally possessing the gun, there’s no evidence that he ever took it out of the locked box it came in before Hallie Biden found it and threw it in the trash, defense attorney Abbe Lowell said in closing arguments.

“On October 23rd, Hallie did something incredibly stupid,” Lowell said. “She may have done it for love,” or perhaps out of anger in suspecting that Hunter had been with another woman, he added.

President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Defense says prosecutors can’t show how drug residue got on leather pouch

In closing arguments, defense attorney Abbe Lowell also argued that prosecutors were unable to show when and how drug residue got on a leather pouch Hallie Biden found in Hunter’s truck and inside of which she put his gun before tossing it in the trash. They also couldn’t say who put it there.

Turning to testimony by Kathleen Buhle, Hunter’s ex-wife, about his drug use, Lowell noted that they were no longer together in 2018.

“There was no actual witness to the drug use in this period of time,” he said.

Lowell noted that the federal form Hunter filled out when he bought the gun asks in the present tense whether the purchaser “is” a user of or addicted to illegal drugs. He also suggested that Biden decided on a whim to go to the gun store after visiting a nearby store to buy a new cellphone.

Lowell noted that Hunter bought several other items at the gun store, including a utility knife, flashlight and BB gun.

“It does reflect on whether Hunter had the necessary intent” to buy a gun and lie on the paperwork.

Defense says memoir is irrelevant, Hunter’s state of mind when he bought gun is critical

Giving closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s trial, defense attorney Abbe Lowell began by saying the prosecution hasn’t met its burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lowell focused on the word “knowingly,” saying Hunter’s state of mind at the time of the gun purchase is critical. The defense has suggested that, at the time he bought the gun, Hunter did not consider himself an addict. What he wrote later in his memoir is irrelevant, Lowell suggested.

Lowell also tried to discredit former girlfriend Zoe Kestan’s testimony about witnessing Hunter’s drug use. He notes there were “No pipe, no scales, no drugs. Not even alcohol” in photos she took while visiting him in California.

Lowell also noted that Hallie Biden did not see Hunter using drugs in the days surrounding the gun purchase. As far as text exchanges with Hallie Biden suggesting drug use and drug deals in the days following the gun purchase, Lowell suggested, perhaps Hunter was “just putting somebody off.”

“At any given time, he would lie to her about where he was,” Lowell said.

Prosecutor tells jury not to leave common sense behind

In closing arguments, prosecutor Leo Wise pointed to text messages he said show Hunter Biden trying to make drug deals on the days before and after the gun purchase and on Oct. 16, noting that Hunter told Hallie on Oct. 14 that he was smoking crack, writing, “That’s my truth.”

“Take the defendant’s word for it. That’s his truth,” Wise said, urging them to reject defense suggestions that Hunter was simply trying to avoid being with Hallie.

“You don’t leave your common sense behind when you come into that jury box,” Wise told jurors.

Wise also said there’s nothing to support the defense’s suggestion that Hunter was withdrawing large sums of money from the bank to pay for rehab. Financial statements show the rehab payments weren’t made with cash, Wise said, arguing that the withdrawals were made to buy drugs.

Wise also recalled text messages between Hunter and his daughter, Naomi, in October 2018 during a trip to New York, including one in which Hunter asks if Naomi’s boyfriend could meet him in the early hours of the morning to exchange cars.

“I’m really sorry Dad, I can’t take this,” Naomi responded.

Prosecutor says Hunter Biden calls himself an addict in texts and memoir

Text messages from 2018 and 2019 point to Hunter Biden’s drug use and efforts to obtain crack cocaine from drug dealers, prosecutor Leo Wise said in closing arguments.

One day after buying the gun, Hunter texted Hallie Biden that he was waiting for a dealer named Mookie. The following day, Hunter told Hallie in a text message that he was smoking crack. In other text messages, Hunter described himself as both “a drunk” and “an addict.”

In addition to the text messages, Hunter in his memoir described buying and using drugs during four years of “active addiction,” Wise said.

“In his prologue, he referred to himself as a drug addict,” Wise said.

Hunter’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, testified to his drug use and addiction, Wise noted. His former girlfriend Zoe Kestan said she saw Hunter using drugs from December 2017 through November 2018, even after he had gone to rehab.

Prosecutor says Hunter Biden made a false statement in gun purchase ‘knowingly’

In the prosecution’s closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s trial, Leo Wise said prosecutors have shown Hunter Biden, as a drug user, knowingly and illegally possessed the handgun, regardless of how it was acquired.

“You saw messages from the defendant to Hallie Biden where he admits that the gun was his,” Wise said, noting that there’s no evidence that anyone else possessed it from Oct. 12 to Oct. 23.

Wise said the evidence shows Hunter “knowingly” made a false statement in buying the gun and “knowingly” possessed it. The evidence shows Hunter Biden knew he was using drugs and was addicted to drugs, Wise said.

Wise noted that prosecutors don’t have to prove Hunter used drugs on the day he bought the gun, or during the time he possessed it, just that he used drugs around the time of the gun purchase. He noted that Hunter’s former girlfriend testified that he used drugs in California less than three weeks before he bought the gun.

“You can consider the defendant’s pattern of use,” Wise said, adding that the evidence shows Hunter also used drugs in the days after he bought the gun.

Prosecutor calls trial evidence personal, ugly and ‘absolutely necessary’

In the prosecution’s closing arguments, Leo Wise acknowledged the personal nature of the evidence presented during the trial.

“The evidence was personal. It was ugly, and it was overwhelming,” Wise said. “It was also absolutely necessary.”

Wise said the false statement Hunter Biden is charged with making is the ‘no’ answer on an ATF form. Wise was referring to Biden checking a box asking whether he was a user of or addicted to illegal drugs.

“In fact, he was,” Wise said.

Court resumes with prosecution’s closing arguments

Prosecutors are giving their closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial in Delaware.

Prosecutor Leo Wise began by telling jurors the only evidence in the case is what came from the witness stand and the physical and documentary evidence that has been admitted.

“No one is above the law,” he said, echoing what prosecutors said in their opening statement.

Wise told jurors he’ll summarize the evidence for them and show the prosecution has proven each element of each of the felonies with which Hunter Biden is charged.

“That is a burden we embrace, and a burden, I submit, that we have met,” he said.

Judge reads instructions to the jury and closings are expected after lunch break

The judge in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial has instructed jurors that if they’re convinced the government “proved each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt,” then they should return a guilty verdict. But the judge said that if jurors have reasonable doubt about one or more elements of the offense, they must return a verdict of not guilty.

Closing arguments in the case are expected after a lunch break.

President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

FBI agent says she had no location for texts from days before Hunter Biden bought gun

An FBI agent his testified that she had no location for Hunter Biden’s texts from the days before he bought a handgun.

The FBI agent was being questioned about Hunter Biden’s text messages from October 2018, the same month he bought a handgun that’s at the center of his federal criminal trial.

Prosecutor Derek Hines recalled agent Erika Jensen to go over certain text messages in the days preceding the gun purchase. Under cross-examination by defense attorney Abbe Lowell, Jensen said she didn’t have location data connected to the texts to determine where Hunter was.

But authorities did recover location data from Oct. 16, 2018, four days after the gun purchase, when Hunter was texting around 4 a.m.

The location data indicates Hunter was at a local convenience store about an hour later. Prosecutors have suggested Hunter hung out at the store while waiting for a drug dealer. Lowell suggested maybe he was just getting a doughnut or coffee.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers rest their case in his federal gun trial, reports say

According to news reports, Hunter Biden’s lawyers rested their case Monday in the federal criminal trial of the president’s son, who’s accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a gun in 2018.

Prosecutors have argued the evidence is clear that Hunter Biden was in the throes of addiction when he checked “no” on the form at the gun shop that asked whether he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to” drugs.

Hunter Biden’s addiction struggles before getting sober more than five years ago are well documented. But defense lawyers argued that prosecutors failed to prove he was using drugs in the 11 days that he possessed the gun.

Jury to be brought to courtroom after extended sidebar conversation

After a lengthy sidebar conversation with attorneys, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika has ordered a break before the jury is brought into the courtroom.

The discussion out of the earshot of the news media and the public lasted nearly an hour. It is unclear what they talked about. Hunter Biden joined attorneys at the sidebar for the last five minutes.

President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden back in court as judge and lawyers talk in sidebar

Hunter Biden has returned to the courtroom as the lawyers in his federal gun trial continued talking with the judge in sidebar.

The sidebar discussion came after attorneys finished discussing the final jury instructions.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden leaves courtroom and judge orders short break

After attorneys finished discussing the final jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s gun trial, defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the judge “we do have another issue.”

The judge then huddled with lawyers in a sidebar conversation.

After that conversation ended, Hunter Biden left the courtroom and the judge ordered a short break.

Hunter Biden been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Jury instruction discussion includes definition of reasonable doubt and immunity

Among the issues discussed regarding jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s gun trial were the definitions of reasonable doubt and firearms dealer.

They also discussed the immunity granted by prosecutors to Hunter’s sister-in-law and former lover, Hallie Biden, and former girlfriend Zoe Kestan, in exchange for their testimony.

The judge and attorneys also talked about how jurors can request to see certain physical exhibits, including the gun, in the jury room.

Defense attorneys argued in their proposed jury instructions that the “the overly expansive and amorphous” definitions of what it means to be a drug “user” and to “possess” a firearm will deny Hunter Biden a fair trial. They also contend that any conviction obtained using those instructions cannot be sustained on appeal.

Hunter Biden been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden trial resumes in federal court

Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial has resumed in Delaware, with the judge discussing final jury instructions with attorneys.

The judge began Monday’s proceedings by overruling many of the defense team’s objections to her proposed instructions.

Hunter Biden is charged with three felonies stemming from a handgun purchase in October 2018. Prosecutors say he lied when buying the gun by stating that he was not a drug user or addict.

Hunter Biden and family arrive at the courthouse

Hunter Biden and his family have arrived at the courthouse for another day in his federal gun trial in Delaware.

First lady Jill Biden was among them Monday morning along with Hunter Biden’s uncle, James Biden; his aunt, Valerie Biden Owens; and his sister, Ashley Biden. The family has come to court a lot over the past week to support Hunter Biden.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden's trial enters its final stretch

The criminal trial of President Joe Biden's son heads into its final stretch Monday as the defense tries to chip away at prosecutors' case laying bare some of the darkest moments of Hunter Biden's drug-fueled past.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers could call at least one more witness when the case resumes in Delaware’s federal court. It’s the first of two trials he’s facing in the midst of his father’s reelection campaign. It’s unclear whether prosecutors will call any rebuttal witnesses before the case goes to closing arguments, and then to the jury.

Hunter Biden is charged with three felonies stemming from the October 2018 purchase of a gun he had for about 11 days. Prosecutors say he lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP