Hunter Biden gun trial updates: Prosecutors rest rebuttal case

Hunter Biden gun trial updates: Prosecutors rest rebuttal case
Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse on July 26, 2023 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark M

(WILMINGTON, Del.) — President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is on trial in Delaware on three felony charges related to his efforts to obtain a firearm in 2018 while allegedly addicted to drugs.

The younger Biden, who pleaded not guilty last October after being indicted by special counsel David Weiss, has denied the charges. The son of a sitting president has never before faced a criminal trial.

The trial comes on the heels of former President Donald Trump’s conviction on felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment made to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

The frequency of updates may be limited due to federal court restrictions.

Jun 10, 11:05 AM
Prosecutors rest rebuttal case

The government rested its rebuttal case after a brief cross-examination of FBI special agent Erika Jensen, who testified about location and text message data relevant to the case.

Attorneys then gathered for another sidebar conference.

Jun 10, 10:54 AM
FBI witness returns to witness stand

After a lengthy sidebar, overflow room cameras suddenly turned on to show prosecutors questioning a previous witness, FBI agent Erika Jensen, suggesting that the defense has rested its case and prosecutors are introducing a rebuttal case before the trial moves on to closing arguments.

If so, that would indicate that Hunter Biden did not testify in his own defense.

Jun 10, 8:40 AM
Judge reviews motions regarding jury instructions

This morning’s proceedings are underway.

Judge Maryellen Noreika began by reviewing with both parties motions by the defense to change proposed jury instructions.

The jury is expected to be brought back into court at 9 a.m. ET.

Jun 10, 8:14 AM
Hunter Biden arrives at courthouse

Hunter Biden has arrived at the courthouse for Day 6 of his federal gun trial, accompanied by his wife Melissa Cohen Biden.

First lady Jill Biden arrived shortly afterward.

President Joe Biden’s brother James Biden and sister Valerie Biden also arrived.

The two waited outside until the court opened at 8 a.m. ET.

Jun 10, 7:17 AM
The big question: Will Hunter Biden take the stand this morning?

As the second week of Hunter Biden’s gun trial gets underway this morning, defense attorneys will confront their most consequential decision: whether to put their client on the witness stand.

To allow Hunter Biden to testify in his own defense would carry myriad risks, as the president’s son would likely face a grueling cross-examination from a prosecution team that has shows itself adept at eliciting testimony supporting their central contention in the case — that Hunter Biden was addicted to drugs at the time he purchased the handgun at heart of the case.

Jurors witnessed that on Friday, when Naomi Biden, the 30-year-old daughter of Hunter Biden, struggled to explain text messages she sent her father in October 2018 after he had purchased the gun — in which she seemed to express concern about his addiction, despite testifying moments earlier about how “great” her father seemed at the time.

If Hunter Biden decides not to take the stand, jurors could possibly have the case by the end of the day, after closing arguments and jury instructions.

Court is scheduled to get underway earlier than usual today, at 8:15 a.m. E.T.

Jun 07, 2:07 PM
Defense to decide if Hunter takes stand as court breaks for weekend

In an unexpected move, court recessed for the day following the lunch break, with the defense telling the judge they are “down to that last decision” — suggesting that they will determine over the weekend if Hunter Biden takes the stand Monday in his own defense.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the court the defense decided not to call one of its expert witnesses.

It also appears defense attorneys reversed course on testimony from Hunter Biden’s uncle James Biden, who was already at the courthouse and who Lowell had earlier indicated would be testifying. James Biden was subsequently seen leaving the building.

Prosecutors said they are “still considering” whether they will put on a rebuttal case after the defense rests.

Judge Maryellen Noreika dismissed the jury, telling them to “enjoy a long weekend.”

“We are starting to wrap the evidence in this case,” she said.

The parties are scheduled to be back in court Monday at 8:15 a.m. ET.

Jun 07, 1:19 PM
Naomi Biden says her dad ‘seemed great’ after gun buy

Naomi Biden, the 30-year-old daughter of Hunter Biden, testified that her father “seemed great, he seemed hopeful” when she saw him on Oct. 18 or 19, 2018, in New York, where she was returning his vehicle to him — several days after he purchased the gun at the center of the case and just days before his then-girlfriend Hallie Biden discovered and discarded it.

Earlier, in August, Naomi Biden described visiting him in Los Angeles, where he was in a drug rehab program. “He seemed the clearest I’d seen him since my uncle died,” she said, referring to Hunter Biden’s brother Beau Biden.

It was important testimony for the defense in their attempt to show that Hunter Biden was not using drugs around the time of the gun purchase.

Defense counsel Abbe Lowell asked Naomi Biden about the car trip she and her then-boyfriend took from Washington, D.C., to New York in mid-October 2018 to return her father’s truck — a Ford Raptor — to him.

On cross-examination, prosecutor Leo Wise asked Naomi Biden if she ever witnessed her father using drugs — she said she had not — or whether she would know if he was using drugs based on his behavior.

“I guess not,” she said.

Wise also established that Naomi Biden did not leave any drugs or drug residue in the vehicle before returning it to her father — suggesting that the drug residue and paraphernalia Hallie Biden observed in the car days later arrived there after Hunter Biden retrieved the truck.

Jurors also saw some emotional text messages between Naomi Biden and her father during that mid-October timeframe.

“I’m really sad, I can’t take this,” she wrote her father, adding that “I really want to hang out with you.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been so unreachable,” Hunter Biden replied. “It’s not fair to you.”

On the stand, Naomi Biden spoke quietly, at one point saying, “Sorry, I’m nervous.” Her husband, Peter Neal, sat in the gallery next to first lady Jill Biden, and had his hand over his mouth for much of the testimony.

Hunter Biden appeared emotional and was seen at times touching his face during her testimony.

When her testimony concluded, she embraced her father before leaving the courtroom, and court recessed for lunch.

Jun 07, 12:22 PM
Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi takes the stand

Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi took the stand as the defense’s third witness.

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