President Biden’s son convicted on all charges in gun case

  • The verdict comes as his father is seeking reelection and on a day when the Democratic president is scheduled to give a speech in Washington about gun violence

A jury found Hunter Biden guilty on Tuesday of federal gun charges in a historic first criminal prosecution of the child of a sitting US president.

The 54-year-old son of President Joe Biden was convicted on all three of the felony counts stemming from his 2018 purchase of a handgun while addicted to drugs.

The verdict comes as his father is seeking reelection and on a day when the Democratic president is scheduled to give a speech in Washington about gun violence.

The president expressed his “love and support” for his son in a statement released by the White House following the conclusion of the trial held in the Biden hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

“I am the President, but I am also a Dad,” Biden said. “Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today.”

“So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery,” he said.

“I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal,” Biden added.

The 12-member jury deliberated for about three hours over two days before reaching a verdict.

Hunter Biden did not take the stand during the one-week trial. First Lady Jill Biden attended several days.

Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison, although as a first-time offender jail time is unlikely.

The verdict comes less than two weeks after the conviction on business fraud charges of Donald Trump, Joe Biden’s likely Republican opponent in the November presidential election.

The proceedings, along with another case in which Hunter Biden faces tax evasion charges in California, have complicated Democrats’ efforts to keep the election focus on Trump, the first former president ever to be convicted of a crime.

In addition to being a political distraction, Hunter Biden’s legal woes have reopened painful emotional wounds for the family from his time as a drug addict.

His brother Beau died from cancer in 2015, and his sister Naomi died as an infant in a 1972 car crash that also killed their mother, Neilia, Joe Biden’s first wife.

The Yale-trained lawyer and lobbyist-turned-artist was charged with falsely stating when buying a .38 caliber revolver in 2018 that he was not using drugs illegally.

He was also charged with illegal possession of the firearm, which he had for just 11 days in October of that year.

The president’s son, who has written unsparingly about his addiction, claimed that at the time he bought the revolver he did not consider himself to be an addict.

He has long been the target of hard-right Republicans, and Trump allies have investigated him at length in Congress on allegations of corruption and influence-peddling. No charges have ever been brought.

Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine have also formed the basis for attempts by Republican lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against his father. Those efforts too have gone nowhere.

The White House has said there would be no presidential pardon for Hunter Biden.

AFP

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