Hunter Biden is first sitting US president’s son to be convicted of crime


Joe Biden’s son has been found guilty of illegally buying a gun after hiding his drug use.

Hunter Biden, 54, was convicted of three firearm charges in the first criminal prosecution of a sitting US president’s offspring.

Prosecutors had said he lied on a form when buying a Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018 by stating he was not a drug user or addict, despite a problem with crack cocaine.

Mr Biden pleaded not guilty to felony charges that included lying about his addiction when he filled out a government screening document for the revolver and illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

The verdicts came after the jury deliberated for about three hours.

The trial included testimony from Hunter Biden’s ex-wife and sister-in-law, who gave accounts of his spiralling addiction in the weeks before and after buying the gun.

Prosecutors also showed text messages, photos and bank records that they said showed Biden was deep in the throes of addiction when he bought the gun.

Hunter Biden arriving at court with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden. Pic : Reuters
Hunter Biden arriving at court with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden. Pic : Reuters

Hunter Biden’s lawyers sought to show he was not using drugs when he bought the gun and didn’t intend to deceive as he didn’t consider himself a drug user at the time.

The defence called Hunter Biden’s daughter, Naomi Biden, who testified her father seemed to be doing well when she saw him shortly before and after he bought the gun.

Mr Biden did not testify at the trial, which was held in the Bidens’ hometown of Wilmington in Delaware.

The sentencing guidelines for the gun-related charges are 15 to 21 months, but legal experts say defendants in similar cases often get shorter sentences.

They are also less likely to see jailtime if they abide by the terms of pretrial release.

The case followed another historic first after last month’s criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first former US president to be found guilty of a crime.

Democrats have pointed to this case as evidence Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political ends, having said last week he would not pardon his son if convicted.

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