Hunter Biden’s Defense Rests in Gun Case Without His Testimony

(Bloomberg) -- Jurors in Hunter Biden’s trial on gun charges in Delaware failed to reach a quick verdict on charges he illegally bought a gun while on drugs. They are expected to resume deliberations Tuesday.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The jury will determine whether Biden is guilty of illegally buying and possessing a gun in mid-October 2018 after he checked “no” to a question on a form about whether he was an active unlawful user of any controlled substance.

“No one is above the law,” Leo Wise, one of the government’s lead prosecutors, told the jury during closing remarks. “The evidence was personal. It was ugly, and it was overwhelming. It was also absolutely necessary.”

The jury started deliberating Monday afternoon and after an hour was excused for the day. They are expected to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The week-long trial against President Joe Biden’s son in Wilmington was punctuated by dramatic, emotional testimony from his family members and ex-lovers, who described his drug-fueled lifestyle when he was in the throes of addiction to crack cocaine from 2015 to 2019.

The trial wrapped up less than two weeks after his father’s chief rival for the presidency, Donald Trump, was found guilty by a New York jury of 34 counts of falsifying business records late last month. It’s unclear what, if any, impact the cases will have on the November presidential election.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three counts of violating federal firearm laws by illegally purchasing the gun on Oct. 12, 2018, and lying on a federal form when asked if he was a user of illegal drugs.

Biden’s defense argued he didn’t knowingly violate the law because he may have thought he was clean at the time he purchased the gun. However, he opted not to testify during the trial, as doing so would have been risky and exposed him to probing questions by federal prosecutors.

Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told the jury during his closing that reasonable doubt is a fair doubt based on common sense.

“It’s time to end this case,” Lowell said.

Two of the gun counts carry a prison term as long as 10 years, and another is punishable by as many as five, though judges rarely impose maximum sentences.

(Updates with jury excused for the day without a verdict.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.