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Hunter Biden Felony Gun Trial Begins with Jury Selection

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The legal woes of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, took center stage on Monday as jury selection began in his federal trial on gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware. The case stems from allegations that he lied about his drug use when purchasing a firearm in 2018.

The trial is the first of two prosecutions brought against him by David Weiss, a Justice Department special counsel appointed to oversee investigations into Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

In this case, Hunter Biden stands accused of two counts of making false statements by purportedly lying about his use of illegal drugs on a firearms transaction form when he acquired a Colt revolver. He faces an additional count of unlawful possession of a firearm as an individual using controlled substances. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial is unfolding amidst the backdrop of the 2024 presidential election, with Republicans seizing the opportunity to scrutinize the President’s son and his past struggles with addiction. Although Hunter Biden is not running for public office, his legal troubles have long been a source of political ammunition for his father’s opponents.

President Biden, in a statement released on Monday, expressed his unwavering support for his son, stating,

“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.”

The first lady was present in the courtroom as jury selection kicked off.

Federal authorities became aware of the allegedly unlawful gun purchase after the firearm was abandoned and later found in a dumpster by a stranger. The investigation into Hunter’s conduct ultimately expanded into broader tax-related charges. This is the second trial he is scheduled to face later this year in California.

The prosecutors involved allege that when buying a Colt Cobra revolver from a Wilmington gun store in October 2018, Hunter Biden falsely answered “no” on a form asking if he was an “unlawful user of, or addicted to” drugs like marijuana or other controlled substances. Prosecutors contend his admitted struggles with drug addiction, including crack cocaine, at the time made his denial untruthful.

Hunter Biden’s defense team has argued that the charges are an overly aggressive prosecution based on technical violations of firearm regulations. They claim he did not believe his substance use struggles necessarily disqualified him from legally purchasing the revolver in question.

The prosecution plans to call multiple witnesses, including Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle. Prosecutors also intend to present excerpts from Hunter Biden’s memoir, in which he discusses his addiction to crack cocaine, as well as text messages documenting his drug use.

From the looks of things, the trial will probably delve into deeply personal and painful episodes in Hunter Biden’s life, including his struggles with addiction following the loss of his brother. The President’s son faces the prospect of up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

The trial comes just days after former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 election, was found guilty of falsifying business records in a separate case in New York.

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