Jury deliberations begin in Hunter Biden gun case

Twelve Delaware residents are now deliberating whether Hunter Biden lied about his use of illicit drugs when obtaining a gun in 2018 and then unlawfully possessed it for more than a week.

President Biden’s son faces three felony counts stemming from the purchase. Prosecutors claim Hunter Biden lied when he checked “no” on a federal gun purchase form questioning whether he unlawfully used or was addicted to narcotics or other drugs, but his attorneys say he — who had just completed a stint in rehab — believed he was telling the truth.

If the federal jury finds Hunter Biden guilty, it would mark the first criminal conviction of a sitting president’s child. The president recently reiterated he would not pardon his son if convicted.

The trial, which lasted just over a week, centered on his addiction to crack cocaine. The president and his son have been open about Hunter Biden’s struggle with addiction that grew worse after the death of his brother Beau Biden of brain cancer in 2015.

The memoir where he detailed those struggles, “Beautiful Things,” was used as key evidence and a narrative vehicle for prosecutors aiming to show Hunter Biden’s addiction never subsided — nor did he think it had.

Hunter Biden did not testify in his defense, though jurors were instructed they cannot hold that decision against him.

During closing arguments Monday, prosecutors contended Hunter Biden “lost control” of his drug use, which they claimed started “years before” the gun purchase and “continued for months after.”

Hunter Biden’s attorneys emphasized during closings that he did not believe he was lying on the gun form because of his recent efforts to get clean, also noting no “actual drug use” by Hunter Biden was witnessed in the month he bought the gun.

He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, though first-time offenders are rarely given the maximum penalty. He is also facing separate charges in California for allegedly failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes and filing false returns, which could go to trial in September.

The jury could return with a verdict at any time.

The Associated Press contributed.

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