Takeaways from Day 5 of Hunter Biden’s gun trial

Special counsel prosecutors rested their case against Hunter Biden on Friday, and his lawyers said they’ll decide over the weekend whether he testifies in his own defense.

That would be a bold and risky move for President Joe Biden’s son, who could face prison time if he is convicted of the felony gun charges that he’s currently facing. He has pleaded not guilty to lying on federal background check forms about his drug use and to possessing a gun while addicted to drugs.

The defense began presenting its case as well on Friday, calling Biden’s daughter Naomi Biden.

She said she was “nervous” and appeared uncomfortable at times, including when confronted by prosecutors about some difficult texts with her father – texts which could lead to questions about Hunter Biden’s state of mind that October.

Here’s what to know about Day 5 of the trial:

Daughter ‘was hopeful’ about Hunter’s recovery

Hunter Biden’s attorneys said earlier on that his daughter Naomi and his uncle James could tell the jury about how the defendant was moving away from drugs and toward recovery around when he bought the gun.

Naomi Biden described visiting her father in summer 2018, while he was in rehab in Los Angeles and working with a sober companion.

“He seemed like the clearest that I had seen him since my uncle died,” she said, referring to her uncle Beau Biden, who died from brain cancer in 2015, later adding, “I told him that I was so proud of him.”

Moving forward to October 2018 – the month Hunter Biden bought the gun – he was in New York and Naomi saw him briefly to give him back his truck.

“We exchanged the car with my dad and he still seemed good, and I was hopeful,” she said.

Naomi didn’t see drug remnants in Hunter’s car

During cross-examination by the prosecutors, Naomi Biden testified that she never used drugs and did not bring any drugs or paraphernalia into the truck before returning the vehicle to her father on October 19.

Within the week, Hunter went back down to Delaware. Earlier this week Beau’s widow Hallie Biden, who later dated Hunter, testified that she found remnants of crack cocaine in the car when she searched it on October 23, the same day she discovered the gun.

Naomi Biden later, however, seemed a little confused and reticent when confronted with texts appearing to show her father to be somewhat erratic and non-communicative while they tried to arrange the car handoff.

As she left the stand, Naomi Biden gave her dad an embrace, a kiss on the cheek, and was seen trembling and wiping away tears as she exited the courtroom.

‘Down to that last decision’

After the lunch break. Hunter’s lawyer Abbe Lowell announced that the defense would not ask James Biden to testify and court adjourned early.

Biden’s team said they want to take the weekend to decide whether the defendant takes the stand in his own defense.

At least one witnesses previously described him as “extremely charming,” and he is known to share some of the same folksy affability as his father. He is from Delaware, and his family is a fixture in this state, where all of the jurors are from.

“We are down to that last decision,” Lowell told the judge.

It would be a risky move. In pretrial filings, prosecutors said there was a host of thorny and potentially damaging matters that they’d want to bring up if he took the stand.

Prosecutors rest their case

As is true in all criminal trials, the burden is on the prosecutors to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury.

Nobody is contesting that Hunter Biden was a longtime drug abuser. His own memoir is filled with tales of his many crack cocaine binges and relapses. And the jury heard Hunter’s story from his own perspective early on, when prosecutors played portions of his audiobook, where he described trolling homeless encampments for dealers and smoking crack nearly nonstop at the peak of his addiction.

Prosecutors hope the jury will connect the dots between that vast evidence of his addiction and the gun that he bought on October 12, 2018, and possessed for less than two weeks.

His ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan testified Wednesday that she watched Biden smoke crack in September, and Hallie Biden, said he appeared to be “under the influence” when occasionally she saw him in October 2018.

During opening statements, prosecutors promised to present “overwhelming evidence that he knew he was a drug addict and a drug user.” That gets to one of the most difficult elements they’ll need to prove, because it’s about Hunter’s state of mind. And that burden might be his best shot at an acquittal.

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz, Macayla Cook, Kit Maher, Casey Gannon and Paula Reid contributed to this report.

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