Hunter Biden Hugs His Family After Jury Convicts Him in Just 3 Hours

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Hunter Biden was found guilty on Tuesday of lying about his drug addiction on a gun application form five years ago.

First lady Jill Biden was not present in the packed courtroom as the verdict was read, but she reportedly arrived minutes after. President Joe Biden’s brother James and sister-in-law were in the room alongside Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen Biden.

As the verdict was read, AP reported that Hunter Biden, 54, showed little emotion and stared straight ahead. He reportedly hugged and kissed family members in the courtroom, and some supporters looked stunned and upset as they exited the building.

A sentencing date will be set at a later date, and Biden now faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the three counts he was convicted on.

The verdict, which was delivered after about three hours of deliberations, marks the end of the first criminal trial against a sitting president’s son. It’s not the last federal trial for Biden, however, as he still faces another in September for allegedly avoiding taxes.

Rev. Christopher Bullock, a long-time Biden family friend who attended the trial, told The Daily Beast that Hunter was “upbeat” on Tuesday morning ahead of the verdict.

“He said, ‘Keep your fingers crossed and thank you for all the support,’ that kind of thing,” Bullock said. “He seemed so focused and upbeat and ready for everything.”

When The Daily Beast told Bullock of the verdict, he sighed and said, “The jury made their decision.”

“I think he will be with family today,” he added. “This is a big day.”

The jury that convicted Biden consisted of six women and six men, and included a retired Secret Service employee and a juror whose sister was a recovering drug addict. Another woman on the panel believed weed smokers should be allowed to own firearms and multiple jurors were gun owners, according to CNN. One juror also said during the selection process that her best friend died of a heroin overdose and she came from a family of hunters.

The week-long trial, which focused on Biden’s love life and drug habits over the last decade, also brought so many Biden supporters to the packed federal courtroom each day—including Jill Biden and James Biden—that prosecutors were forced to address the fan club in their closing arguments.

“People sitting in the gallery are not evidence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said in his closing arguments on Monday. “Your decision can only be made based on the evidence and the law.”

“No one is above the law,” he added.

To prove their case, prosecutors called 13 witnesses to the stand, including three of Biden’s exes, to provide intimate testimony about their relationships and his self-destructive behavior. Biden’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, testified about first discovering he was doing drugs in July 2015 when she found a crack pipe in an ashtray on the porch of their D.C. home.

The two divorced in 2017. Months later, Biden met a dancer, Zoe Kestan, at a Manhattan gentlemen’s club and the two began dating.

Kestan testified that, at one point, she watched Biden smoke crack “every 20 minutes or so” and buy drugs. “I remember thinking to myself [that] I didn’t notice a change in his behavior,” Kestan testified. “Nothing had changed, he was the same charming person.”

Biden’s sister-in-law and former paramour, Hallie Biden, also testified about her relationship with the president’s son—including how the two smoked crack together in the summer of 2018. She testified about finding Biden’s gun in his truck months later and throwing it away at a grocery store in a panic. Later, he told her to file a police report because it was registered under Biden’s name.

“I didn’t want him to hurt himself or my kids to find it and hurt themselves. I was afraid to, kind of, touch it,” Hallie said. “I was just so flustered from the whole thing.”

The defense, however, insisted that Biden did not knowingly lie on the federal form—and that it was the gun owner’s responsibility to safely sell firearms. They called three witnesses, including Biden’s eldest daughter Naomi, who testified about her father’s attempts to get sober. Biden did not testify on his own behalf, though he reportedly wanted to out of anger for the prosecution’s cross-examination of his daughter.

“I knew that he was struggling with addiction,” Naomi Biden said, later noting that “things got bad” after Hunter’s brother, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer.

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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