Hunter Biden's ex-wife and family members appear in court on gun trial

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In order to demonstrate to the jurors that Hunter Biden's drug addiction persisted at the time he purchased a firearm and, according to the prosecution, lied on a form to do so, federal prosecutors have spent hours presenting the jury with proof of his drug problem.

Wednesday's testimony was scheduled to continue. Witnesses are anticipated to include Kathleen Buhle, the ex-wife of Hunter Biden, who wed the son of President Joe Biden for around 20 years.

They had three kids together and ended their marriage in 2016, according to her memoir "If We Break," which detailed their breakup, because of his adultery and drug usage.

As the 2024 presidential election approaches and supporters fear the toll it will take on the president, who is deeply concerned about the health and sustained sobriety of his only surviving son, she is among several Biden family members and friends expected to testify in a trial that has quickly turned into a highly personal and detailed tour of Hunter Biden's mistakes and drug usage.

Hunter Biden's mental condition when he purchased the rifle, according to the prosecution, must be demonstrated by the testimony.

He has been accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application that he was not a drug user, and possessing the gun unlawfully for 11 days. These charges are related to the purchase of a gun in October 2018.

During the jury deliberations on Tuesday, prosecutor Derek Hines stated, "No one is allowed to lie on a federal form like that, even Hunter Biden." "We are here because the defendant chose to purchase a gun, and when he did so, he crossed the line and lied about a federal background check."
Prosecutors do not need to show that the defendant was using drugs on the day he bought the gun since "when the defendant filled out that form, he knew he was a drug addict," according to Hines.

A large portion of Tuesday was spent in the courtroom by first lady Jill Biden and her daughter Ashley. Hunter Biden's lawyer contended that when his client declared in the documentation that he had no drug problem, he did not think he was in the last stages of addiction.

Attorney Abbe Lowell made an opening speech stating that in the brief time he held the pistol, he did nothing with it and it was never even loaded. Lowell stated, "You will see that he is not guilty."

The form asks if you "are" a drug user, according to Lowell. "It does not ask, 'Have you ever been?'" he said, implying that when the president's son bought the pistol, he did not consider himself to be a drug addict.

It is best to evaluate his mental health at the time of purchase rather than later, when he authored a memoir titled "Beautiful Things" detailing some of his worst experiences following sobriety.

Long audio snippets from the book, which chronicles his decline after his brother's cancer death in 2015, were played for the jury.

The gun issue and a second tax matter were supposed to be resolved without a trial, but a plea agreement with the prosecution broke through, leading to the current trial.

Since then, Hunter Biden has entered a not guilty plea and claimed that the Justice Department is unfairly targeting him. This comes after Republicans denounced the now-defunct plea agreement as a romantic arrangement for the Democratic president's son.

Opening statements and testimony from an FBI agent who read aloud some of his personal messages—including some that originated from a laptop he left at a Delaware repair shop and never got back—were heard by the 12-member panel on Tuesday.

The intensely personal messages regarding his work and life were exposed when the contents were leaked to Republicans in 2020. In response to the information disclosure, he filed a lawsuit.

The day after Beau purchased the rifle, Hallie, his widow, wrote to him, "I called you 500 times in past 24 hours."

Shortly after, Hunter responded to let her know that he was "sleeping on a car smoking crack on 4th street and Rodney."
He replied with, "There's my truth," in a text message.

However, the FBI agent testified under cross-examination that Hunter Biden sent fewer messages in October 2018, around the time he bought the pistol, about seeking narcotics than in February 2019, a later period in when Lowell said his client was really battling with addiction.

In addition, Lowell questioned the agent's knowledge of the receipts from the rehab center, posing the question of whether or not he had received drug or alcohol treatment. She claimed she was unable to.

Ashley Biden, his sister, watched from the courtroom, dabbing at her emotions with a tissue before heading out.

The president's brother James Biden, who is close to Hunter and has assisted his nephew with previous drug treatments, is expected to testify before the jury, according to the attorneys. They will also learn about Hallie Biden's brief romance with Hunter that led to her crack addiction.

Fearing for his safety, Hallie grabbed the rifle from Hunter and threw it into the trash at a neighboring market. Later, as someone was gathering cans, they discovered the weapon and gave it to the authorities.

Hunter Biden may spend up to 25 years in jail if found guilty; however, first-time offenders often do not receive sentences anywhere near this high, so it's unlikely that the judge would sentence him to that much time.

The trial is taking place not long after New York City jurors found presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump guilty of thirty-four felony.

Although there is no connection between the two criminal cases, their close proximity highlights how the courts have assumed a central role in the 2024 campaign.

In September, Hunter Biden is scheduled to stand trial in California about allegations that he omitted to pay $1.4 million in taxes. The agreement with the prosecutors last July was supposed to have settled both charges and marked the end of a multi-year inquiry into his commercial activities.

However, Trump's nominee for the bench, Judge Maryellen Noreika, questioned a few peculiar parts of the agreement.

The agreement collapsed because the attorneys were unable to reach a consensus over her inquiries.

Hunter Biden was indicted a month after Attorney General Merrick Garland named David Weiss, a former US attorney for Delaware, as a special counsel in August.

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