Verdict Reached in Hunter Biden Trial

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Hunter Biden was found guilty on three federal felony charges for illegally buying and possessing a gun while addicted to crack cocaine. Federal law expressly makes it illegal for individuals using illicit drugs to possess firearms. He could face 25 years in prison and fines for the conviction. As a first offender, it's unlikely that he will face jail time. 


The quickness of the jury's return had most experts predicting a guilty verdict.

Our Townhall colleague Mia Cathell, who was in the courtroom, reported

11:15 a.m. — The verdict is being read.

Hunter is found GUILTY on all three federal firearm felonies. A sentencing date is not yet set — to be decided at a later time, Judge Maryellen Noreika announces.

Hunter is hunched over, staring down.

The jury is excused. Judge Noreika says she'll come back in a minute to thank the jurors personally.

11:20 a.m. First Lady Jill Biden enters the courthouse after missing the verdict's reading.

The outcome of this trial was hard to predict. Unlike the New York case against Trump, the evidence against Hunter Biden was substantial and incontrovertible. However, like the Trump case, the jury pool, based out of Wilmington, Delaware, was mostly likely biased, only this time in favor of the defendant, not against him. First lady Jill Biden was present most days of the trial, likely serving as a reminder that if they found him guilty, they'd be convicting the son of Joe Biden, who most of these jurors supported for president and U.S. senator for years. 

The defense rested on Monday after a rather brutal week of damaging evidence and testimony. From the beginning, it was clear to most people this was an open-and-shut case, and the defense struggled to counter the evidence presented to the jury

At issue was the fact that Hunter Biden answered "no" on a federal background check form affirming that he was not an "unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance," when he bought a Colt Cobra .38 Special revolver when it was clear that he was, in fact, an active drug user at the time.


The defense's main argument in Hunter's defense was rather weak, essentially arguing that Hunter experienced small periods of sobriety during his addiction and that at the time he bought the gun, he was in such a period.

The testimony against him was also quite damning. Hallie Biden, Hunter's ex-girlfriend and the widow of his late brother, Beau, testified that she found the gun in his unlocked truck along with "remnants of crack cocaine" and drug paraphernalia.

Of course, one of the key things from the case against Hunter was the admission of his "laptop from hell" into evidence and the Department of Justice confirming that the laptop was, in fact, Hunter's and that there was no evidence of tampering with the data. Evidence found on the laptop included not only videos of him smoking crack but also incriminating text messages with drug dealers and texts with others referencing or suggesting drug use.

Hunter Biden's memoir "Beautiful Things" was also used against him, and portions of the audiobook were played for the jury talking about his drug use. Bank statements showing large withdrawals of cash were also introduced as evidence, and Hunter Biden's ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan testified that "a good amount" of that cash was used to buy drugs.

Even the defense struggled to provide a witness to help their case. Hunter's daughter testified to help out her dad, but it backfired dramatically. Hunter's legal team was reportedly so caught off guard that they "scrambled in the aftermath of Naomi's testimony and unexpectedly withdrew a witness — likely the president's brother Jimmy, who was at the courthouse and was on the defense's list of possible witnesses."


Hunter still has an upcoming trial for tax evasion in California.

Update — President Biden issued the following statement: “As I said last week, 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. 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."


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