Hunter Biden Trial Continues With Prosecutors Citing Drug Abuse

by Vern Evans
Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden, Shutterstock image

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With the jury in place, Hunter Biden’s trial for allegedly violating federal firearms laws kicked off Tuesday with opening statements in a federal courtroom in Delaware.

In 2018, Hunter Biden, now 54, purchased a firearm from a licensed dealer, and, when filling in Form 4473, responded “no” to the question of whether he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” However, per Hunter’s own account of his addiction—as chronicled in his 2021 book, Beautiful Things—it is almost certain that he was an addict at the time he purchased the gun.

Under the terms of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993—a law that then-Sen. Joe Biden shepherded through the U.S. Senate—lying on Form 4473 is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison, thus the current trial.

In the courtroom on Tuesday, prosecutors focused on the younger Biden’s history of drug abuse.

“Addiction may not be a choice, but lying to buy a gun is,” Prosecutor Derek Hines said during the proceedings. “No one is allowed to lie on a form like that.”

During the trial, prosecutors played for jurors excerpts from the audiobook of Biden’s memoir, narrated by Hunter himself. Jurors heard Biden describe his 2017 “crack-filled cross-country odyssey” in 2017 and how, at one point, he was using crack “every hour, every day.” Prosecutors also entered into evidence Biden’s infamous laptop filled with damning information and photographs.

Prosecutors also called their first witness on Tuesday, FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, who verified that the laptop was, indeed, owned by the president’s son.

For the defense’s part, attorneys argued that the younger Biden had been in rehab and trying to get sober. Thus, they argued, there is a difference on a form between the question “are you a drug user” and “have you been a drug user?”

“He did not knowingly violate these laws,” said Abby Lowell, Biden’s defense attorney, adding that there was, “nothing on the form about the definition of a user.”

Biden’s attorneys are expected to make a defense based on what they call the “unconstitutionality” of the law restricting addicts from purchasing firearms. Late last month they used that argument in trying to have the case thrown out, but were rebuffed by a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The defendant’s Second Amendment defense does not implicate a right not to be tried that can be collaterally appealed,” the court ruled. “Constitutional defenses, like the defendant’s Second Amendment defense, can be effectively reviewed on appeal after final judgment.”

During that trial, Hunter Biden’s legal team had argued, “The chilling effect on Second Amendment rights caused by both this prosecution and the district court order may persist long after this case is resolved on the merits.”

Interestingly, a close look at the 2022 Bruen decision indicates that Biden’s attorneys might have a good point, as it’s questionable whether the government can prove a “historical precedent from before, during and even after the founding [that] evidences a comparable tradition of regulation.”

Wednesday’s proceedings will start with the defense’s cross examination of the prosecution’s first witness. The trial is expected to last one to two weeks, and the total charges Biden faces carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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