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U.S.: Joe Biden’s Son Gun Trial Begins Amid Election Tension

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Hunter Biden

Jury selection commenced on Monday in the high-profile gun trial of Hunter Biden, marking the first prosecution in U.S. history involving the child of a sitting president.

This unprecedented case unfolded as President Joe Biden accelerates his reelection campaign, adding further political tension.

Hunter Biden, 54, faces three felony charges related to the purchase of a 38-caliber Colt Cobra revolver in 2018. At the time, Biden, a Yale-trained lawyer and lobbyist-turned-artist, was battling severe drug addiction, a fact he has publicly admitted.

He is charged with two counts of making false statements on federal gun purchase paperwork and one count of illegally possessing the firearm for 11 days in October 2018.

The charges stemmed from Biden’s claims on the paperwork that he was not using drugs illegally. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison, though similar offences without accompanying charges rarely result in incarceration.

The trial would take place in Wilmington, Delaware, the Biden family’s hometown. The defence team is pushing for specific definitions of “user” and “addict,” arguing for acquittal if the jury finds that Biden did not perceive himself to meet those criteria.

“Someone, like Mr Biden who had just completed an 11-day rehabilitation program and lived with a sober companion after that, could surely believe he was not a present tense user or addict,” his lawyer Abbe Lowell stated in court documents.

Prosecutors are expected to present their case over three days, detailing Biden’s drug use and the events surrounding the gun purchase. Among the anticipated witnesses is Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter’s brother Beau Biden, who was romantically involved with Hunter at the time.

The trial occurred against the backdrop of a broader political battle. Republicans, facing the legal woes of their front-runner, former President Donald Trump, are keen to divert attention to Hunter Biden’s controversies.

Trump was recently convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records in a Manhattan court, a case involving hush money payments to an adult film star.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress have launched an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, alleging a criminal conspiracy within the Biden family, although no evidence has been presented.

President Biden has publicly expressed his support for his son, praising his efforts to overcome addiction.

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff emphasised the importance of respecting the jury’s verdict. “I think the president himself will respect the verdict – much as it is painful, I’m sure, to see one of your children on trial,” Schiff told CNN.

Hunter Biden is also facing separate tax evasion charges in California, with a trial set for later this year. The gun trial, which will not be televised, is expected to last approximately two weeks.

 

Source: AFP

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