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Hunter Biden gun trial updates: Ex testifies he smoked crack weeks before gun purchase


(WILMINGTON, Del.) — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is on trial in Delaware on three felony charges related to his efforts to obtain a firearm in 2018 while allegedly addicted to drugs.

The son of a sitting president has never before faced a criminal trial.

The frequency of updates may be limited due to federal court restrictions:

Jun 05, 3:40 PM
Jury sees gun at center of case

With gun store employee Gordon Cleveland on the witness stand, members of the jury saw the Colt Cobra .38 Special that Hunter Biden purchased from Cleveland on Oct. 12, 2018, at StarQuest Shooters in Wilmington, Delaware.

Prosecutor Derek Hines said the encased gun was rendered safe by marshals and asked the judge to allow him to approach with the weapon.

He first brought the gun to the witness stand where Cleveland read aloud the serial number, and then took it to the jury box, where jurors saw the gun that prosecutors argue Hunter Biden obtained illegally by lying on a federal form.

Prosecutors then moved on to question Cleveland about Form 4473, the form that Hunter Biden filled out when he purchased the gun.

Jun 05, 3:09 PM
Ex-girlfriend says they weren’t in touch at time of gun purchase

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell, cross-examining Hunter Biden’s former girlfriend Zoe Kestan, sought to renew his argument that Hunter Biden was not actively using drugs in October 2018 by emphasizing that Kestan wasn’t in contact with him at that time and would not know.

Kestan testified that she wasn’t in touch with Hunter Biden from Sept. 23, when they were in Malibu together, until November, when he summoned her to Massachusetts while he was trying out a new ketamine therapy program.

As such, Kestan testified she had “no idea” that he had gone back to Delaware, or what he was doing at that time.

“So you didn’t see him between those two dates?” Lowell asked.

“No,” she said.

Lowell also sought to cast Kestan as an enabler of Hunter’s addiction.

“You helped him get drugs?” Lowell asked.

“Yes,” Kestan responded.

Prosecutors pushed back on that argument by highlighting their significant age gap: Kestan was 24 at the time of the relationship, while Hunter Biden was 48.

“Twice my age,” she testified.

Kestan subsequently concluded her testimony and stepped down from the witness stand. Prosecutors then prepared to called to the stand Gordon Cleveland, the gun shop employee who sold Hunter Biden the firearm in 2018.

Jun 05, 2:40 PM
Ex says Hunter Biden smoked crack weeks before gun purchase

Hunter Biden’s former girlfriend Zoe Kestan testified that she saw him smoking crack as late as Sept. 20, 2018 — a timeline that could undercut the defense’s argument that he was abusing alcohol and not drugs when he purchased a gun on Oct. 12.

The defense has argued that Hunter Biden was not abusing drugs at the time of the gun purchase, after he had undergone a 12-day rehab stint in California that spanned from late August to early September. They argued repeatedly that when Hunter said in his audiobook that he “relapsed” following that rehab stay, it was only an alcohol relapse.

Kestan, however, testified that in mid-September he used crack “in the bedroom, in the bathroom.”

Jurors have been laser-focused on Kestan as she testifies, some sitting up straight in their seats — in contrast to the earlier testimony from the FBI agent who entered hundreds of text messages and audio book portions into the record, during which some jurors appeared to struggle to remain attentive.

Jun 05, 2:18 PM
Jury hears ex-girlfriend’s recollections of trips, drug dealers

Jurors listened attentively to the testimony of Hunter Biden’s ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan, turning their chairs to face her as she recounted their monthslong relationship in 2017-2018 during his addiction.

Under questioning, she spoke of multiple-night hotel stays, trips to Atlantic City, and memories of night clubs, dinners, and drug dealers.

Evidence displayed by prosecutors during her testimony included highly personal photos she had taken during their relationship, including a photo of her and Hunter Biden in a bathtub together in California, with a crack pipe in his hand.

As Kestan testified, Hunter’s current wife Melissa sat in the front row of the gallery, barely moving or reacting.

Sitting at the defense table, Hunter Biden at times rubbed his face or covered his mouth as Kestan recounted their time together and photos flashed across the screen in the courtroom.

“I felt a connection with him,” Kestan told the jury.

Jun 05, 12:57 PM
Ex-girlfriend says he was ‘same charming person’ on crack

Prosecutors called Hunter Biden’s ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan to the stand, where she testified that she first met him at a Manhattan strip club in late 2017 and dated him for several months afterward.

Kestan bore witness to Hunter Biden’s use of crack “every 20 minutes or so.”

Kestan, who testified under subpoena and with an immunity agreement with prosecutors, recalled that Hunter Biden’s demeanor didn’t change after he used crack.

She described him as “cognizant and coherent.”

“I remember thinking to myself that there was no change in his behavior,” she said. “Nothing had changed, he was the same charming person.”

Prosecutors showed jurors photos from Kestan’s phone that showed crack pipes strewn about hotel rooms where they stayed.

Jun 05, 12:24 PM
Ex-wife says she never personally saw Hunter Biden use drugs

On cross-examination by defense attorney Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle testified that she never personally saw Hunter Biden using drugs.

“Did you ever see Hunter using drugs?” Lowell asked.

“No,” Buhle replied.

Buhle’s answer prompted prosecutors to ask Buhle what she saw “if [she] didn’t’ see him using drugs?”

“He told me when I found the pipe what it was … and because he was acting not himself,” Buhle said.

Lowell also asked Buhle about Hunter Biden’s alcohol use, to which Buhle testified that he abused alcohol for many years.

“He went to rehab the first time in 2003,” Buhle said.

Jun 05, 12:03 PM
Hunter Biden’s ex-wife says he could function while on drugs

Taking the stand as a prosecution witness, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle described how, after 25 years, their marriage deteriorated under the weight of his drug and alcohol addiction.

Buhle said she first learned of Hunter Biden’s crack addiction when she discovered an empty crack pipe in an ash tray on their side porch the day after their anniversary in 2015. Hunter Biden was kicked out of the Navy in 2014 for testing positive for cocaine, and Buhle said ever since then she was “worried, scared” he would abuse drugs again.

When he was on crack, Buhle testified, “He was not himself … angry, short-tempered, acting in ways he wouldn’t when he was sober.”

She said she would find drug “remnants in little bags” and drug paraphernalia like “a broken crack pipe” — often enough that she would search his car before allowing her daughters to use it.

In what could be a blow to one of Abbe Lowell’s lines of defense, Buhle said Hunter Biden frequently interacted with friends and family, worked, and socialized while under the influence of crack cocaine — and would often try to hide it from those close to him.

“Did you see him, for lack of a better word, function?” prosecutor Leo Wise asked.

“Yes,” Buhle confirmed.

Jun 05, 11:22 AM
Prosecutors argue that cash withdrawals were for drugs

On redirect examination of FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, prosecutor David Hines heavily pushed back on the defense’s suggestion that no text messages showed Hunter Biden buying drugs during the time he purchased a gun, and their contention that his large cash withdrawals could have been for other purposes.

Hines returned to the key text message Hunter sent while he owned the gun, telling his then-partner Hallie Biden that he was “sleeping on a car” smoking crack.

“You understand what that means, right?” Hines asked the FBI agent.

“Yes,” she responded.

“Crack is crack,” Hines said.

Hines then returned the issue of Hunter Biden’s large cash withdrawals — over $150,000 in three months — pushing back on the suggestion from the defense that he used the cash to pay for other things, such as Airbnb rentals.

Hines displayed bank records that showed Hunter paid for Airbnb rentals with a Visa check card.

Hines also pointed out that when Hunter Biden bought alcohol, he did so with a credit card instead of cash — making the point that drug dealers generally favor cash transactions.

Jun 05, 11:00 AM
Defense shows only 2 October texts referenced drugs

Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, questioned FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen about Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, which prosecutors entered into evidence yesterday, asking her on cross-examination if she had done an “analysis” of whether “data” or “content” of the laptop was “tampered with, added to, or subtracted” during the months that passed between when Hunter Biden dropped off the device for service in April of 2019 and when the FBI obtained it in December 2019.

Jensen said she had not.

Lowell also took aim at the numerous text messages prosecutors have presented as evidence of Hunter Biden’s drug addiction in 2018 and 2019.

Lowell showed that only two messages among the several alluding to drug use, drug paraphernalia, and drug purchases occurred during October of 2018 — the period during which Hunter Bidden procured the firearm. The rest were either other months before the incident or months afterward, Lowell showed.

“You don’t see any references … to baby powder?” Lowell asked Jensen, before ticking through other drug terms that appeared in the messages earlier in 2018 or later in 2019, including “chore boy” and “party favors.”

Each time, Jensen replied “No.”

Lowell also questioned Jensen about two messages Hunter Biden sent around the time of his gun purchase that did allude to drug use, one of them referring to an alleged drug dealer named “Mookie” and other referencing “smoking crack on a car” in Wilmington. Lowell sought to establish that Jensen had no firsthand knowledge about the contents of the messages.

“Do you know if there is a person named Mookie?” Lowell asked.

“No,” Jensen replied.

“Do you know if he was on a car smoking crack?” Lowell asked later, referring to Hunter Biden.

“No,” Jensen said.

Lowell subsequently ended his cross-examination of Jensen, and prosecutors undertook their redirect examination.

Jun 05, 10:08 AM
Defense argues Hunter Biden was abusing alcohol, not drugs

On cross-examination, defense attorney Abbe Lowell asked FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen about the timeline of the text messages, photos, and chapters of Hunter Biden’s memoir to argue that his client was not using drugs during the time of the gun purchase.

Lowell showed the jury bank statements that chronicled a series of alcohol purchases made by Hunter Biden in the days leading up to the gun purchase and after, suggesting that he was consuming alcohol and not recreational drugs.

Jensen also testified that several of the photos prosecutors showed the jury of drug substances and what appeared to be a crack pipe were taken months after the gun purchase.

Jun 05, 9:18 AM
FBI agent returns to stand for cross-examination

FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, the trial’s first witness, resumed her testimony after proceedings got underway this morning.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell resumed his cross-examination.

Hallie Biden, Hunter Biden’s one-time romantic partner, could take the stand after Jensen.

Prosecutors also said they also intend to call Hunter Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, as well as Zoe Kestan, another woman with whom Hunter Biden had a romantic relationship.

Jun 05, 8:58 AM
Hunter Biden arrives at courthouse

Hunter Biden has arrived at the Wilmington courthouse for Day 3 of his federal gun trial.

As on previous days, he was accompanied by his wife Melissa Cohen Biden.

Jun 05, 7:09 AM
First Biden family member could take the stand today

The first member of the Biden family to testify at the trial could take the stand today, as prosecutors are expected to call Hallie Biden as their next witness.

Hallie Biden, who was married to Hunter Biden’s brother Beau Biden until his death from cancer in 2015, was Hunter Biden’s romantic partner at the time he purchased the firearm at the center of the case in 2018.

Prosecutors suggested yesterday that she could take the stand after FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, the trial’s first witness, completes her testimony.

Jensen will be back on the stand this morning to continue her cross-examination by Hunter Biden’s attorneys.

Jun 04, 9:01 PM
Hunter Biden’s lawyer says his daughter could testify ‘if need be’; leaves door open for defendant to take the stand

During a sidebar conversation out of earshot of reporters, Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, told the judge that he might decide to call Naomi Biden — aka the president’s oldest granddaughter — to testify at trial “if need be.”

The revelation emerged in a transcript of the proceedings released hours after court concluded. During what at times appeared to be a tense exchange between Lowell, the judge and two government prosecutors, Lowell divulged his expectations for witnesses.

When prosecutors suggested Lowell was hiding the ball on how he planned to present certain evidence, Lowell first introduced the idea of calling one of Hunter Biden’s daughters as a witness:

MR. HINES: Exactly, we have asked Mr. Lowell and he won’t tell us.
MR. LOWELL: That’s not what I said.
MR. HINES: He couldn’t tell us which witness.
MR. LOWELL: I said I’m making a proffer and the court — I understand the rules, each one of these will be submitted with a witness, I don’t have to tell them in advance which witness it is, but I am making a statement to the Court, there is three or four witnesses, including his uncle and his daughter, if need be.

Lowell later clarified that Naomi Biden, Hunter Biden’s daughter with ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, and the president’s eldest granddaughter, was on his witness list.

Lowell also left the door open for Hunter Biden to testify “if it gets to that,” a gamble that would put his client in the position of facing live cross-examination from federal prosecutors. It came during a discussion about how Lowell planned to demonstrate that Hunter Biden read the ATF Form 4473 “carefully.”

THE COURT: Wait. Just so I’m clear, are you going to suggest that he did in fact read these things or just that if he had chosen to and didn’t tell them.
THE COURT: What is your evidence going to be that he did in fact read all of these things carefully?
MR. LOWELL: If it gets to that judge, then it will be Mr. Biden’s job to say that.

During a debate at the same bench conference about an argument Lowell intended to make in his opening statement, Judge Maryellen Noreika called the defense attorney for interrupting her.

MR. LOWELL: That’s not the argument judge.
THE COURT: That is what it sounds like you’re telling me, you’re saying he doesn’t know what it was.
THE COURT: You keep cutting me off, and you want to make your argument, and I know you want to make your argument, but you need to understand it, so you need to understand where I am.

The judge later told Lowell, “Don’t put words in my mouth,” she said.

“I know you’re just trying to zealously represent your client,” she said, “but don’t assume my ruling before you give me a chance to make it.”

Jun 04, 5:49 PM
Witness acknowledges Hunter Biden’s drug use was not continuous

Attorneys for Hunter Biden, in their cross-examination of FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, attempted to push back on prosecutors’ contention that Hunter Biden was abusing drugs at the time he said on a gun-purchase form that he was drug-free.

A key piece of evidence comes from Hunter Biden’s 2021 memoir, in which he described his “relapse” just weeks after leaving rehab in August — just six weeks before purchasing the firearm.

“I stayed clean for two weeks then relapsed,” Hunter Biden wrote in his book.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell, on cross-examination, questioned the assumption that Hunter Biden’s relapse implied that he was referring to his drug use — suggesting instead that he was referring to his alcohol addiction.

“When he was referring to that in his book, was he talking about relapsing to drugs and alcohol, or do you know what he meant?” Lowell asked.

“I can only state what was stated,” Jensen said.

“Which is, ‘Then I relapsed?"” Lowell asked.

“Just what it says, ‘I relapsed,"” Jensen replied.

Jensen also acknowledged that she could not verify that Hunter Biden was continuously using drugs from 2015 to 2019, saying, “My recollection is that there are excerpts where he was principally occupied with smoking crack cocaine. I didn’t get the sense that it was the entire history.”

“Meaning that there were periods of time that he was not?” Lowell asked.

“I think there — including the period in August where we have some invoices for rehab, that there were periods where there was not,” Jensen said.

It was an important moment for the defense, as Lowell managed to establish that Hunter Biden’s use of drugs was not consistent — cuing up his argument that the president’s son was not on drugs at the time of his firearm purchase.

Prosecutors also entered into evidence records related to enormous cash withdrawals Hunter Biden made — more than $150,000 from September through November of 2018, including a $5,000 withdrawal on the day he purchased the gun. Prosecutors suggested this cash was used to procure drugs; Lowell, on cross-examination, established that Hunter Biden paid $900 in cash for the weapon and accessories.

Court was subsequently recessed for the day, with Lowell’s cross-examination of Jensen scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors suggested that Hallie Biden would be the next witness after Jensen, making it likely that the first Biden family member to testify will take the stand at some point tomorrow.

Jun 04, 4:35 PM
Prosecutors present angry text messages about gun

Testifying for the prosecution, FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen presented evidence involving a 2018 text message exchange between Hunter Biden and Hallie Biden, his brother Beau’s widow who was Hunter Biden’s romantic partner at the time.

An angry Hunter Biden texted Hallie Biden on the day she discovered his gun.

“Did you take that from me? … You’re being totally irresponsible and unhinged,” the text said.

“I just want you to be safe. That was not safe,” she replied, referring to his handling of the gun.

Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell objected to Jensen’s testimony regarding the text messages — which had been obtained by a court-issued subpoena — arguing that Hallie Biden would be questioned when the government calls her as a witness.

Prosecutors concluded their questioning of Jensen, after which the defense began its cross-examination.

Jun 04, 3:24 PM
Prosecutors introduce infamous laptop as evidence

Prosecutors have introduced Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop as evidence while questioning FBI agent Erika Jensen, their first witness.

Prosecutors asked Jensen about email messages found on the laptop and in Hunter Biden’s iCloud account that appear to be about his drug use in 2018.

The government had said in pretrial court filings that it was planning to introduce materials on the laptop as evidence in the case.

The laptop has become a symbol of the legal and political controversy surrounding the president’s son in recent years. Attorneys for Hunter Biden had previously attempted to preclude the laptop as evidence in the trial, arguing that they have “numerous reasons to believe the data had been altered and compromised before investigators obtained the electronic material.”

But special counsel David Weiss argued in court filings that attorneys for Hunter Biden had not “provided any evidence or information that shows that his laptop contains false information,” and the judge agreed to admit it as evidence.

Data from the laptop was purportedly obtained and later disseminated in 2019 by a Wilmington, Delaware, computer repairman after the laptop had been dropped off at his shop for repair.

With that context in mind, prosecutors did not rely on the laptop on its own; investigators said they cross-referenced every email, WhatsApp message, iMessage, and text message with Apple Inc. to establish the credibility of the data.

“Ultimately, in examining that laptop, were investigators able to confirm that it was Hunter Biden’s laptop?” prosecutor Derek Hines asked Jensen.

“Yes,” Jensen said.

“How?” Hines asked.

“Among other things, there was a serial number that’s on the back of this laptop that matches the Apple subpoena records that they obtained in 2019, so it matches the registration of this particular device to the iCloud account at a particular date,” Jensen said.

“So from the data from the laptop and the hard drive, did you — what did you do next, or what did the FBI do next when assessing the addiction evidence?” Hines asked.

“So from the data that was extracted from both the iCloud back ups and this — the laptop, investigators were able to go through largely WhatsApp messages, iMessages, and text messages, and found evidence of addiction within the messages,” Jensen said.

Prosecutors also showed jurors an invoice for $85 from the computer repair shop where Hunter Biden dropped off the laptop for repair, which had been sent to an email address belonging to Hunter Biden.

“You said Apple Inc. provided that … from the iCloud?” Hines asked.

“Yes,” Jensen said.

Jun 04, 1:31 PM
Family ‘fighting off tears’ hearing audio from Hunter Biden’s memoir

In the first exhibits presented in the government’s case, prosecutors played excerpts from the audiobook of Hunter Biden’s 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things” — in which jurors heard in his own words about some of the most personal low points of his yearslong addiction to crack cocaine.

FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, the government’s first witness, introduced about a dozen audio excerpts played out over an hour, as Hunter Biden’s voice boomed over the courtroom’s loudspeakers while his stepmother, first lady Jill Biden, and several other members of his family sat in attendance.

“I used my superpower of finding crack cocaine anytime, anywhere,” Hunter Biden said of the year 2018 — the same year he purchased the gun that prosecutors say he lied to get. The audio contained passages in which he spoke about the darkest and most dangerous moments of his addiction — at one point doing cocaine in the bathroom while on a graduation trip with his daughter. .

Jill Biden and her daughter Ashley Biden sat shoulder-to-shoulder as the clips played out, at times leaning their heads against one another. At one point, as Hunter Biden’s voice was heard describing a raucous 12-day bender in Los Angeles, Jill Biden lifted her left arm and draped it around Ashley’s shoulders.

A person sitting with the family told ABC News they were both “fighting off tears.”

Hunter Biden, for the most part, stared intently into the nearby monitor displaying the book’s contents, at one point slightly nodding along as he reheard some of his most painful struggles. The jurors appeared largely engaged, with many taking notes and looking up at the screen to follow along.

Jun 04, 12:04 PM
Defense says Hunter Biden wasn’t addict at time of purchase

Hunter Biden’s attorney sought to cast doubt on the government’s narrative during his opening statement, claiming that Hunter Biden was not actively using drugs at the time of his gun purchase and therefore did not “knowingly” lie on the federal form barring drug users from procuring a firearm.

“He did not knowingly violate these laws,” attorney Abbe Lowell said, since there was “nothing on the form about the definition of a user.”

Lowell told the jury that Hunter Biden was using alcohol at the time of the gun purchase, but that his drug use “did not start until later.”

The attorney said that while Hunter Biden was in Delaware, where he purchased the gun, his behavior was “totally inconsistent” with how he presented it when he was on drugs.

“He spoke with his father, his uncle, his daughters,” Lowell said, suggesting they would have noticed if he was “smoking crack every 15 minutes,” as he described in his 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things.”

“There is no such thing as a high-functioning crack addict,” Lowell said.

Lowell told the jury that Hunter Biden had entered a 12-day rehab program in California before returning to Delaware in the fall of 2018, just a week before the gun purchase, shepherded by his “Uncle Jimmy Biden,” who Lowell suggested will testify at trial.

Lowell also pushed back on one of the government’s key pieces of evidence — a text Hunter sent to his then-romantic partner Halle Biden days after purchasing the gun, in which he claimed to be “on a car” smoking crack. Prosecutors said this was evidence that he was using drugs at the time, but Lowell said that, “in reality, he did not want to see Hallie.”

As part of the defense, Lowell also appeared to shift some blame to the owners and employees at the gun store where Hunter Biden purchased the gun, saying they “wanted to make a sale.”

Lowell claimed that Hunter Biden first purchased a BB gun and a knife at the store, and only purchased the gun after they approached him.

“Hunter wouldn’t have known what a speedloader was,” said Lowell, who also claimed the salesman never “took Hunter through” the form to ensure he understood it.

“How quickly does a person check through those boxes?” Lowell asked jurors.

Lowell also pushed back on allegations involving the gun pouch that was found with the firearm after Hallie Biden threw the gun it in a dumpster. Prosecutors allege that the pouch had cocaine residue on it, but Lowell said it was never checked for fingerprints and called into question its chain of custody.

“Hunter has never asked anyone to excuse his mistakes,” Lowell said, before asking jurors to find him not guilty.

As Lowell delivered his opening statement, first lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden’s wife Melissa Cohen Biden, and his stepsister Ashley Biden sat largely stoic in the gallery. Hunter Biden kept his eyes on Lowell and his hands clasped. Jurors paid close attention, with several taking notes.

Jun 04, 10:51 AM
Hunter Biden ‘chose to lie,’ prosecutor tells jury

Government prosecutors told jurors in the trial’s opening statements that they should make “no distinction for Hunter Biden or anybody else” as they weigh the gun case against the president’s son.

Hunter Biden “chose to lie,” prosecutor Derek Hines said, laying out the case that the defendant purchased a gun while knowing he was an addict and drug user.

Hines said Hunter Biden bought the firearm from a gun seller who will testify as a witness that the younger Biden filled out form 4473 — consenting to a federal background check — and certified that he understood the form. The prosecution said it will show Hunter Biden “bought a gun and lied during a background check.”

The man who sold Hunter Biden the gun will testify that he watched the defendant fill out the form.

The gun was then “taken by someone concerned he had a gun. That person was Halle Biden,” Hines said, referring to Hunter Biden’s romantic partner at the time.

Halle Biden disposed of the gun in a dumpster, where it was retrieved by a man who will also be a witness called by the government.

“The police were called” when Halle Biden went to retrieve the gun, Hines said.

Hines, in his opening, said evidence will show that “Hunter Biden knew he was a drug user and a drug addict” when he filled out the form.

Hines cited Hunter Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” in which he wrote he had a “superpower of buying crack anywhere, anytime.”

In text messages presented by the prosecution, Hunter Biden acknowledged, “I am an addict.”

Jun 04, 10:09 AM
‘No one is above the law,’ prosecutor says in opening

Opening statements got underway in Hunter Biden’s gun trial after nearly an hour-long delay.

The jury was seated just before 10 a.m.

“No one is above the law,” prosecutor Derek Hines said in his opening statement, addressing the jury from the lectern.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what your name is,” Hines told them.

Jun 04, 9:29 AM
Judge says they ‘lost’ a juror overnight

Judge Maryellen Noreika took the bench this morning and announced they had “lost” one juror overnight after she “begged” to be released due to travel difficulties.

“We lost a juror overnight,” Judge Noreika said, noting the juror explained she lives far away and does not have a car. Noreika did not specifically address how they would be moving forward, but there are four alternates who were seated yesterday as part of the jury.

Opening statements had still not gotten underway as of 9 a.m., as the court was still awaiting the arrival of four of the jurors.

Judge Noreika used the time to address a number of motions, including rejecting a motion from Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell seeking to exclude from evidence a number of photos of Hunter Biden.

The government said they needed a photo to prove Biden was in Malibu at a particular time, and the judge agreed to admit it.

First lady Jill Biden was back in her same front-row seat as yesterday, seated between Hunter Biden’s wife Melissa and Jill Biden’s daughter Ashley Biden.

Jun 04, 8:46 AM
Hunter Biden arrives at courthouse

Hunter Biden has arrived at the courthouse for Day 2 of his federal gun trial.

He was accompanied by wife, Melissa Cohen Biden.

Jun 04, 7:26 AM
Arguments to get underway this morning

Hunter Biden returns to court this morning for the start of arguments in his federal gun trial.

Attorneys with special counsel David Weiss’ office and lawyers for Hunter Biden are both scheduled to deliver opening statements in the case.

Judge Maryellen Noreika yesterday swore in a jury of six men and six women, completing the jury selection process in a single day to put the trial two days ahead of schedule.

Jun 03, 6:06 PM
Friends, family look on during Day 1 in court

Hunter Biden spent the first day of his gun trial taking notes, reading documents placed in front of him by his attorneys, and often turning to catch a glimpse of the friends and family who came to court to support him.

At one point, he nodded along as a prospective juror spoke about her friend’s overdose after addiction.

Jill Biden was seated behind Hunter Biden all day, and she watched attentively as some jurors told the court that they had such a skewed view of her family that they could not be impartial. The first lady did not appear to react in those moments, but at times her daughter Ashley Biden placed her hand on the first lady’s back in support.

Hunter Biden’s family members also appeared to be actively involved with his defense strategy — at one point standing up and huddling with Hunter Biden’s attorneys Abbe Lowell and David Kolansky after a sidebar.

When court was dismissed, Jill Biden gave Hunter Biden a hug and a kiss before he walked out hand-in-hand with his wife.

Jun 03, 5:49 PM
After opening statements, FBI agent will be first witness

Hunter Biden and his stepmother, first lady Jill Biden, departed court at the conclusion of the day’s jury selection proceedings.

With opening statements set for Tuesday, prosecutors said their first witness would be FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, who will introduce into evidence several of Hunter Biden’s text messages, as well as excerpts from his 2021 memoir, Beautiful Things, and other evidence.

The parties had carved out three days to select a jury, which means the proceedings are currently running ahead of schedule.

Judge Maryellen Noreika told jurors they would likely need to be available for the trial through June 14, with the possibility of deliberations stretching into the week of June 17.

Jun 03, 5:32 PM
Jury of six men, six women will hear openings Tuesday

A jury of six men and six women is scheduled to hear opening statements Tuesday in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

An additional four women were chosen as the alternate jurors.

The jurors include a Secret Service retiree, a man whose father was killed by a gun, and a number of jurors whose family and friends have suffered from addiction — a central theme in the case against Hunter Biden.

Juror No. 1 is a woman who recently heard about Hunter Biden’s case on the evening news. Said said her sister is also an addict, but is “currently clean.”

Juror No. 2 is a woman who worked for the Secret Service for nearly 25 years and is now retired. Her husband was a uniformed officer in Washington, D.C.

Juror No. 3 is woman who gets her news from YouTube. When asked what she has heard about the case, she said that it involves guns and drugs.

Juror No. 4 is a woman who said she feels people who smoke weed “should not be allowed” to own a gun, but said she could set that aside.

Juror No. 5 is a currently unemployed man who previously received a DUI for which he pleaded guilty.

Juror No. 6 is a man who said he previously knew about the case. He currently owns three pistols and said, “I believe the Second Amendment is very important.”

Juror No. 7 is a man whose father owned a firearm. He said he knows “some” gun laws.

Juror No. 8 is a man whose father was killed by a gun in 2004. He has a brother who was arrested for drug possession and was sentenced to prison.

Juror No. 9 is a woman whose home was burglarized years ago. She purchased a gun and has had it for over 20 years.

Juror No. 10 is a man whose brother and brother-in-law both suffered from alcoholism and are now both deceased. His niece and nephew both own guns.

Juror No. 11 is a woman whose family hunts and has hunting rifles. She said her “childhood best friend” passed away from a drug overdose.

Juror No. 12 is a man whose older brother is an addict who has been to rehab multiple times for PCP and heroin. He said the brother had a gun but he was not sure when.

Jun 03, 4:24 PM
Jury is seated

The jury of 12 jurors and four alternates has been seated in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

The panel was picked from 250 prospective jurors who arrived at the courthouse this morning for the voir dire process.

Jun 03, 1:50 PM
Many prospective jurors know of Hunter Biden’s travails

Judge Maryellen Noreika has so far quizzed more than 50 Delaware residents about their fitness to serve as jurors in the first trial of a sitting president’s son. And being Delaware — a small state that Joe Biden represented in the Senate for more than three decades — nearly all of them had some level of familiarity with Hunter Biden’s legal travails.

“I live in Delaware,” one prospective juror said. “You can’t swing a cat without hearing something.”

“Delaware is a small place,” another said. “So you hear stuff.”

Several jurors said they had heard or read about this trial specifically. Most had only a cursory understanding of the case, but others expressed a detailed accounting of the charges. A few jurors mentioned the ill-fated plea deal that Hunter Biden initially struck with prosecutors last summer.

“At one time there was a deal, and then there wasn’t,” one man said.

One woman had even read Hunter Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” which prosecutors plan to use to help prove their case. She was excused by the judge.

President Joe Biden has emerged repeatedly in questioning, with prospective jurors expressing both positive and negative feelings on his presidency. One woman said she believed that Hunter Biden was facing charges largely because his father is the president.

“I think it was a very strong factor,” she said.

Several others have been dismissed for harboring negative views toward the Bidens. Asked for his opinion about the president, one man said, “Not a good one.” Another man said, “Negative toward the defendant.” Both were excused.

The jury questionnaire also includes several questions about drug and alcohol addiction — an affliction that many prospective jurors said has personally affected them.

One woman held back tears as she described how her best friend had died of a heroine overdose. Another man said his daughter is a recovering addict.

“Everybody needs a second chance,” he said.

Judge Noreika has been pressing ahead, intent on getting a jury seated as soon as possible — perhaps even by the end of the day.

In addition first lady Jill Biden and Hunter Biden’s wife Melissa, his sister Ashley Biden attended court during the morning session, and his confidant and financier Kevin Morris is also in attendance.

Jun 03, 10:26 AM
President Biden says he has ‘boundless love’ for his son

President Joe Biden said in a statement issued this morning that he has “boundless love” for his son.

“I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us,” Biden said in the statement as jury selection got underway.

“A lot of families have loved ones who have overcome addiction and know what we mean,” the president said.

“As the President, I don’t and won’t comment on pending federal cases, but as a Dad, I have boundless love for my son, confidence in him, and respect for his strength,” he said. “Our family has been through a lot together, and Jill and I are going to continue to be there for Hunter and our family with our love and support.”

Jun 03, 10:10 AM
Jurors face individual questioning as Jill Biden looks on

After filling out the jury questionnaire, the first panel of prospective jurors are being brought into the court room one-by-one to face individual questioning from the judge and both parties. As of about 9:45 a.m. ET, the court had made it through the questioning of just six jurors.

The prospective jurors so far have include a woman who worked with the Secret Service for over two decades and whose husband was a uniformed officer in Washington, D.C., at locations including the White House.

One prospective juror who volunteered for Hilary Clinton’s 2008 campaign prompted the first mention of President Joe Biden — though not by name.

Judge Norieka asked that prospective juror if her work volunteering and donating to Democratic campaigns would prevent her from being fair in a case that involved “the son of the Democratic president of the United States.”

She said it would not.

The exchange occurred as first lady Jill Biden sat in the front row of the gallery, watching intently as each juror answered their questions. The first lady is sitting next to Hunter Biden’s wife, Melissa.

Earlier, a prospective juror was struck for cause because of his firm views on guns, after he told the judge he thought gun ownership was a “God-given right.” He said he would not be able to be impartial in a case where someone was prevented from buying a gun due to federal law.

Jun 03, 9:39 AM
1st batch of 50 jurors sworn in

Hunter Biden’s arrival through the front entrance of the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building this morning means he would have passed an enormous portrait of his father, which hangs in every federal courthouse in the country.

The first batch of 50 jurors were sworn in by Judge Noreika, who instructed them not to discuss the case with anyone, including family, or to conduct any research on the case or to read any news about it.

Reporters monitoring the proceedings from the overflow room could not hear most of Noreika’s statement due to technical difficulties. As technicians tried to fix the issue, they turned on a TV that happened to be playing an attack ad against Joe Biden.

Jun 03, 8:58 AM
Hunter Biden, first lady Jill Biden arrive at courthouse

Hunter Biden has arrived at the courthouse for the start of his federal gun trial this morning.

His mother, first lady Jill Biden, is also attending.

Jun 03, 7:46 AM
Prospective jurors will be asked about president

Two hundred and fifty Delaware residents have been summoned to the courthouse in downtown Wilmington, where they will face typical questions about their fitness to serve as jurors.

But because this is the trial of the son of a sitting president, there will be some novel topics covered during the jury selection process known as “voir dire.”

Among the questions jurors will be asked: “If you were eligible to vote in any election(s) in which Joseph R. Biden was a candidate, would that fact prevent you from maintaining an open, impartial mind until all of the evidence is presented, and the instructions of the Court are given?”

And “Do you believe Robert Hunter Biden is being prosecuted in this case because his father is the President of the United States and a candidate for President?”

Jun 03, 7:20 AM
Judge rules annotated form can’t be used as evidence

On the eve of trial, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika threw a wrench in one of the key arguments attorneys for Hunter Biden were planning to advance, ruling that an annotated copy of the federal form Hunter Biden is accused of lying on would be excluded from evidence.

The original document, called an ATF Form 4473, was created in 2018 when Hunter Biden purchased the firearm. But in 2021, gun store employees made a copy that included some handwritten notes. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell contended that employees had “tampered with” the document, and that it raised questions about “who wrote what on the form, and when.”

Lowell hoped his argument would undermine the credibility of some key government witnesses — the people who sold Biden the gun — and potentially create a reasonable doubt that Hunter Biden was the one who actually checked that box.

Attorneys for special counsel David Weiss’ office have said the gun shop employees merely “annotated” the form and urged Noreika to prevent Lowell from introducing it into evidence.

Late Sunday, Noreika sided with Weiss.

Jun 03, 6:50 AM
Jury selection set to get underway

Jury selection is scheduled to get underway today in the federal gun trial of Hunter Biden, who authorities say broke the law when he purchased a Colt revolver in 2018.

President Joe Biden’s son faces two counts of making false statements while purchasing the firearm and a third count of illegally obtaining it while addicted to drugs.

Although the charges together carry a possible sentence of up to 25 years, legal experts say that, as a first-time and nonviolent offender, Hunter Biden would not likely serve time if convicted.

The trial, in Delaware federal court, is expected to last two to three weeks.

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