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First day of Hunter Biden's federal gun trial highlights his drug use

The president's son faces up to 25 years in prison for allegedly lying about his drug addiction when he bought a handgun back in 2018.
Hunter Biden
Posted at 6:29 AM, Jun 04, 2024

An FBI special agent was the first witness to testify in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial on Tuesday.

Her testimony began after opening statements on the second day of court.

On Tuesday, prosecutors also showed the jury messages from Hunter Biden's laptop, which outlined his visits to a detox facility, his efforts to buy drugs and transaction records.

Prosecutors have alleged that Hunter Biden knowingly lied about his drug use on federal gun-purchase forms in 2018.

Hunter Biden's attorney argued in opening statements that Biden did not believe he had an addiction when he completed the forms. He said the gun was never used or even loaded.

Biden faces up to 25 years in prison for allegedly lying about his drug addiction when he bought a handgun back in 2018.

Before proceedings came underway Tuesday, a juror was dismissed. The juror had emailed the court and said she did not realize she had to be in court every day, according to CNN. She said this created a challenge because she lives an hour away and is currently unemployed.

Because there were four alternate jurors, one took her place.

When the president's son arrived at the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware, he was accompanied by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden; his stepmother, first lady Jill Biden; and his sister Ashley Biden.

During the FBI special agent’s testimony, she entered into evidence excerpts from Biden’s book, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir,” which the president’s son published in 2019. In it, he recounted his drug addiction while also mentioning his purchase of a firearm six years ago. He is being accused of lying on the gun form when he checked a box saying he wasn’t addicted to drugs. Prosecutors are expected to use Biden’s own words against him.

Hunter Biden arrives at federal court

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Other key witnesses expected to testify include Hallie Biden, who is the widow of Beau Biden — the president’s other son and Hunter Biden’s brother.

She is expected to include testimony about finding and discarding a weapon that Biden had purchased.

Biden had previously been romantically involved with Hallie after his brother Beau died of cancer.

Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle is also expected to testify, in addition to his ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan.

The prosecution is expected to call at least 10 witnesses to the stand throughout the trial.

It is unclear whether Biden will himself take the stand.

Once the FBI special agent’s testimony concludes, defense attorneys will be able to question her.

Biden is the first child of a sitting president to stand trial on criminal charges. This trial comes just days after former President Donald Trump's hush money trial ended in a conviction, making him the first president convicted of a crime.

The trial could last as long as two weeks.