On Air Now

DuBois Weather

First lady Jill Biden in front row to support Hunter Biden during closing arguments


(WASHINGTON) — First lady Jill Biden’s support for Hunter Biden during his trial in Delaware continued on Monday, as she appeared at the courthouse for closing arguments before jury deliberations.

The first lady sat with her daughter Ashley Biden, Hunter’s half-sister, and Melissa Cohen, Hunter Biden’s wife. The three women were dressed in all-black.

The entire first three rows and some of the fourth row were full on Monday of Hunter Biden’s friends and family, approximately 25 people in total.

Prosecutor Leo Wise began his closing argument by referencing the many Biden family members packed into the courtroom gallery.

“All of this is not evidence,” Wise said to the jury as he gestured toward the gallery where Jill Biden and other members of the Biden family were jammed together.

“You may recognize them from the news, from the community,” Wise told them. “None of that matters.”

After one of the breaks, Hunter Biden and Jill Biden entered the courtroom hand-in-hand.

Almost every day during the trial, Jill Biden’s been in court watching the proceedings as details of Hunter Biden’s drug addictions, fraught relationships and other dark aspects of his past were brought up by prosecutors.

The first lady’s commitment to attending the trial was evident as she flew back late last Thursday from France, where she accompanied President Joe Biden to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, to attend Friday’s court hearings before flying back overseas to attend a state dinner hosted by the French prime minister on Saturday.

President Joe Biden has not appeared at his son’s trial. In a statement on the first day of proceedings, as jury selection was underway, Biden said he wouldn’t comment on the case but expressed “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,” the president said in the statement. “Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us.”

Hunter Biden was indicted in September by special counsel David Weiss on two counts related to false statements in purchasing the firearm and a third count of illegally obtaining a firearm while addicted to drugs. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty and has denied the charges.

The indictment came after a plea deal with the federal government fell apart at the elventh hour last summer. It marked the first time a child of a sitting president was criminally indicted.

Hunter Biden’s legal issues have put the first family in the spotlight by their critics, particularly among Republicans on the Hill and former President Donald Trump.

The jeers did not appear to deter Jill Biden from showing up in court nearly every day since proceedings began.

The first lady has entered the courtroom with her security detail, sometimes affecting foot traffic in the federal courthouse as the first family has protection needs.

During the first week of the trial, the first lady was attentive and craned her next toward the screen showing exhibits of video, photos or text message data collected by the government.

She was visibly emotional last Tuesday as some of those exhibits included audio excerpts from Hunter’s book — him reading in lurid detail tales of his addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol.

Hunter Biden has been open about his addictions and the effect it had on his entire family, including his parents. In his 2018 memoir, he spoke about how then-Vice President Biden saved his life when he was on a binge and pushed him to get into rehab.

Jill and 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 her daughter’s shoulders.

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

On Friday, Jill and Hunter Biden entered the courtroom arm-in-arm as Naomi Biden, Hunter Biden’s daughter, took the stand for the defense. While she testified, her husband, Peter Neal, sat in the gallery next to the first lady.

Naomi Biden’s testimony included emotional text messages between her and her father from October 2018, around the time he had purchased the gun.

Hunter Biden did not take the stand to testify in his own defense.

The two counts of making false statements carry sentences of up to 10 years and five years, respectively, while the possession charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

President Biden told “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir on Thursday that he would accept the outcome of his son’s trial and would not consider pardoning him.

ABC News’ Olivia Rubin and Lucien Bruggeman contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.