Prosecution Rests, Defense Makes Case in Hunter Biden Gun Trial

Prosecution Rests, Defense Makes Case in Hunter Biden Gun Trial

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Del., on June 7, 2024. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Jacob Burg

Jacob Burg

6/7/2024

Updated: 6/7/2024

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WILMINGTON, Del.—The prosecution rested its case on the fifth day of the federal gun trial into Hunter Biden after calling two expert witnesses to the stand.
Mr. Biden is facing three felony charges related to a 2018 firearm purchase.
Defense attorneys called Naomi Biden, Hunter Biden’s daughter, to the stand testify on her father’s mindset when she saw him in August 2018, around the time he was in rehab for drug addiction.
Ms. Biden said her father’s mind seemed the clearest it had been since her uncle’s death in 2015.
She asked to borrow her father’s truck—where the gun was eventually found—on Oct. 15, 2018, two days after the firearm purchase.
Ms. Biden testified that she saw no traces of drugs or drug paraphernalia but that the lockbox where the gun was eventually found was closed and locked while she had the truck.
She returned the truck to her father sometime before Oct. 23, 2018, after which the gun was found.
Prosecutors cross-examined Ms. Biden and referenced text messages right before she returned the truck, where her father refused to meet with her and asked her boyfriend to return the vehicle.
She admitted to not knowing for sure whenever her father was under the influence of crack cocaine or other substances.
Authorities accuse Mr. Biden of lying to the federally licensed gun store by illegally claiming on his application that he was not a drug user at the time and then unlawfully possessed the gun for 11 days.
Mr. Biden has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his defense attorneys argue that if he was addicted to crack cocaine when he purchased the gun, he was in “denial” and, therefore, could not have lied on the form.
His attorneys also argued that a crack addict cannot “function” enough to apply for and purchase a gun. However, multiple ex-romantic partners of Mr. Biden have testified that he was often “high functioning” while using the drug.
Earlier in the trial, prosecutors first called FBI forensic chemist Jason Brewer to testify, who was tasked with testing the leather pouch that Mr. Biden’s gun was found in when police retrieved it in October 2018.
A man had found it while rummaging through the garbage can where Mr. Biden’s then-romantic partner, Hallie Biden, disposed of it after finding it in Mr. Biden’s car.
Mr. Brewer testified that the trace amounts of an off-white substance on the pouch tested positive for cocaine but could not definitively say if it was crack cocaine or powder cocaine because the sample size was too small.
He conducted spectrometer and gas chromatography tests on the substance.
Mr. Brewer did not conduct any DNA or fingerprint analysis on the leather pouch, which was outside the scope of his duties.
Defense attorney David Kolansky cross-examined Mr. Brewer, scrutinizing that the testing was conducted in 2023, five years after the pouch was introduced as evidence into the chain of custody.
Mr. Kolansky also suggested that it is unclear how the residue got into the pouch or who put it there.
Prosecutors then called Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Joshua Romig to the stand, who was asked to interpret text messages Mr. Biden allegedly sent in 2018 with coded references to drugs.
In one text message, Mr. Biden allegedly asked for “1.4,” which Mr. Romig interpreted as asking for 1.4 grams of cocaine.
In another, Mr. Biden asks for “party favors” and, in a different message, “baby powder, the really soft stuff.”
Mr. Romig said the first message was a reference to drugs and the second a reference to powder cocaine.
He was cross-examined by defense attorney Abbe Lowell, who claimed there weren’t any drug-related texts between August 2018 and November 2018.
Mr. Romig pointed out one in October 2018 where Mr. Biden said he was smoking crack on a car and another where he said he was “waiting for a dealer named Mookie.”
Mr. Lowell also suggested that “party favors” could refer to a “little hat or candle,” but Mr. Romig disagreed.
Mr. Biden is facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted in the federal gun case, although first-time offenders typically receive less than the maximum sentence.
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Jacob Burg

Jacob Burg

Author

Jacob Burg reports on the state of Florida for The Epoch Times. He covers a variety of topics including crime, politics, science, education, wildlife, family issues, and features. He previously wrote about sports, politics, and breaking news for the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

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