Hunter Biden’s Laptop Makes a Brief Appearance at His Trial

As the prosecutor waved the silver Apple MacBook Pro, the jury gazed at it as if expecting sparks to fly from it.

On a day dominated by lurid tales of Hunter Biden’s years as a crack addict, told by the defendant’s former wife as well as an ex-girlfriend, a brief sighting in the courtroom of a major headliner passed with almost no comment.

At about 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a federal prosecutor, Derek Hines, brandished the headliner in question — Mr. Biden’s notorious laptop, a silver Apple MacBook Pro encased in a plastic cover. He waggled it about with his left hand while reminding a government witness, Erika Jensen, an F.B.I. special agent, of all the data that had been seized during the Department of Justice’s investigation of Mr. Biden.

The jurors and courtroom spectators gazed at government Exhibit 16 as if expecting sparks to fly from it.

Three seconds later, Mr. Hines returned the laptop to the prosecutors’ table, soon to be buried under a heap of other government evidence. It received no further mention.

The laptop’s cameo appearance, after making a similarly brief appearance the day before, underscored how anticlimactic its role has been in the various investigations relating to the conduct of what right-wing critics term “the Biden crime family.” House Republicans failed to glean from its contents anything warranting impeachment of President Biden, the defendant’s father. Nothing has yet emerged from it that ties the son to criminal activity other than drug-related misadventures to which the younger Mr. Biden has already confessed.

The government’s case against Mr. Biden, who has been charged with illegally purchasing a gun, centers on whether he lied on a federal firearms application when he said he was not abusing drugs.

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