What to expect as Hunter Biden’s gun trial enters its second week

As the second week of the federal gun trial against Hunter Biden begins Monday, the main question looming over the day’s proceedings is whether the defense will call the president’s son to testify, a gamble in almost any trial.

“We are down to that last decision,” defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the judge Friday.

Biden has been charged with three counts related to his purchase of a snubnosed revolver in 2018, which prosecutors say violated federal law because he was addicted to crack cocaine at the time. He has pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorneys have focused on the month Biden purchased the weapon, arguing that there is no direct evidence he was using drugs then. Prosecutors, citing witness testimony, text messages, images and Biden’s own memoir, say the addiction at the time was well documented and that Biden knew he was an addict.

One woman, who said she met Biden at the gentlemen’s club where she worked, testified she saw him using drugs in September 2018, the month before the gun purchase. Hallie Biden, the widow of Beau Biden who later dated his brother Hunter, told the jury she saw what she believed was drug residue in Hunter Biden’s truck, where she says she found the pistol days after others testified he bought the gun in October.

Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi Biden testified on Friday, saying he looked well in August 2018 and she was “hopeful” about her father’s recovery in October 2018. But on cross examination, prosecutors introduced texts between the two in late October where Naomi wrote her father: “I’m really sorry, dad, I can’t take this.”

“I don’t know what to say, I just miss you so much,” the texts said.

What’s next

Before breaking early Friday afternoon, Lowell told Judge Maryellen Noreika that the defense had yet to decide whether Hunter Biden would testify — a decision they are set to announce Monday.

Lowell has previously said that whether Biden saw himself as an addict when he purchased the firearm is crucial to the prosecution’s case.

If Biden does testify, prosecutors say they may put on a rebuttal case with more witnesses, which could extend the trial further into the week.

Both sides will then present closing statements, summarizing their view of the case while highlighting supporting evidence.

After the judge decides how the members of the jury will be instructed as to the law in the case — and what they must find to render a verdict — she will read those instructions and the 12 Delaware citizens will begin deliberations.

There’s no set time for how long a jury can deliberate, and any decision must be unanimous. If the jury is unable to reach a decision over each of the charges, a mistrial could be declared by the judge.

If the jurors reach a verdict, the foreperson they selected will read the verdict aloud in the courtroom.

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