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Hunter Biden’s Defence Attorney Compares Criminal Case To Work Of Magician


Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to felony charges

Washington:

Prosecutors failed to prove President Joe Biden’s son was lying when he bought a gun and stated on a background check form that he was not a user of illegal drugs, a defense attorney said on Monday in a closing argument at Hunter Biden’s trial.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell compared the government’s case to the work of a magician who focuses attention on drug use from months or years before the gun purchase to create the illusion Hunter Biden was a user of crack cocaine when he bought the gun.

“They blurred all those years before he walked into StarQuest Shooters and all those years after,” Lowell told jurors, referring to the gun store where he made the purchase in 2018.

Hunter Biden, 54, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that include lying about his addiction when he filled out a government screening document for the Colt Cobra revolver and illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

The case was expected to go to the jury as early as Monday.

Lowell told jurors during his opening statement that his client did not intend to deceive because he had been clean when he bought the gun and did not consider himself a drug user at the time.

The federal government case, the first criminal trial of a U.S. president’s child, last week offered an intimate view of the younger Biden’s years of struggle with alcohol and crack cocaine abuse, which prosecutors say legally precluded him from buying a gun.

In the prosecution’s closing arguments, a government attorney said commonsense understanding of the grim testimony of Hunter Biden’s constant drug use filled in any gaps in evidence about his behavior around the time of the gun purchase.

“It was personal and it was ugly and it was overwhelming,” federal prosecutor Leo Wise told the 12-member jury about the testimony of Hunter Biden’s drug use. “But it was also necessary.”

The trial in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, follows another historic first – the May 30 criminal conviction of Donald Trump, the first U.S. president to be found guilty of a felony. Trump is the Republican challenger to Joe Biden, a Democrat, in a Nov. 5 presidential election.

Trump and some of his Republican allies in Congress have alleged the case and three other criminal prosecutions are politically motivated attempts to prevent him from regaining power.

Congressional Democrats cite the Hunter Biden prosecution as evidence that Joe Biden is not using the justice system for political or personal ends.

Wise said it did not matter if well-known people appeared in court or how they reacted to the evidence, a possible reference to first lady Jill Biden’s attendance. “None of that matters. What matters came from the witness stand,” he said.

Last week, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, former girlfriend and sister-in-law testified for the prosecution about his drug use, telling jurors that they often found drugs and paraphernalia in his possession and were concerned at times about his spiraling addiction.

Wise read passages of Hunter Biden’s memoir about a failed attempt to get clean and relapsing into drug use, just before he bought the gun. “Take the defendant’s word for it. That’s his truth,” Wise said.

Hunter Biden told the judge overseeing the case at a 2023 hearing that he has been sober since 2019.

The sentencing guidelines for the charges against Biden are 15 to 21 months, but legal experts say defendants in cases similar to his often get shorter sentences and are less likely to be incarcerated if they abide by the terms of their pretrial release.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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