Hunter Biden gun case goes to jury as prosecutors wrap up closing arguments

Hunter Biden, accompanied by his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, arrives at the courthouse in Wilmington, Del., on Monday morning, June 10, 2024. Biden’s defense team rested on Monday in his federal firearms trial in Delaware, setting the stage for closing arguments and for the jury to begin deliberating, barring any dramatic moves. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times)

WILMINGTON, Del. — Jurors in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial began deliberations late Monday after prosecutors concluded their case with an exhaustive inventory of evidence they presented over the past week in hopes of proving that Biden knowingly falsified a firearms application in 2018.

During an hourlong closing argument, Leo J. Wise, the lead prosecutor in the case, connected dozens of evidentiary dots seeking to show that Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s deeply troubled son, lied when he filled out the gun form by claiming to be drug-free when he was addicted to crack cocaine, tearing his family apart in the process.


Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, countered with a 90-minute closing argument that attacked the credibility of the government’s main witnesses. He accused prosecutors of peddling “suspicion” and “conjecture,” and suggested that the trial had less to do with justice than punishing a remorseful and sober man for the crime of drug addiction.

It was an intense coda for an extraordinary weeklong trial that made painfully public the private struggles of the Biden family. The trial was also an enervating experience for Joe Biden in the midst of a bitter reelection campaign against former President Donald Trump, whose own federal trials remain on hold.

The personal stakes of the proceedings were evident on the strained faces of the defendant’s family.

Hunter Biden’s half sister, Ashley Biden, was so moved during Lowell’s closing argument that she could be seen weeping and wiping away her tears with a tissue at one point.

Hunter Biden, for his part, gazed at the jurors, sometimes resting his face on his clasped hands.

The jurors began deliberations in the afternoon, after Maryellen Noreika, the judge in the case, delivered a second round of instructions to them.

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