Monday July 15th, 2024 1:15PM

The Latest: Prosecutor says Hunter Biden calls himself an addict in texts and memoir

By The Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Latest on Hunter Biden's federal gun trial (all times local):

Text messages from 2018 and 2019 point to Hunter Biden’s drug use and efforts to obtain crack cocaine from drug dealers, prosecutor Leo Wise said in closing arguments.

One day after buying the gun, Hunter texted Hallie Biden that he was waiting for a dealer named Mookie. The following day, Hunter told Hallie in a text message that he was smoking crack. In other text messages, Hunter described himself as both “a drunk” and “an addict.”

In addition to the text messages, Hunter in his memoir described buying and using drugs during four years of “active addiction,” Wise said.

“In his prologue, he referred to himself as a drug addict,” Wise said.

Hunter’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, testified to his drug use and addiction, Wise noted. His former girlfriend Zoe Kestan said she saw Hunter using drugs from December 2017 through November 2018, even after he had gone to rehab.

Currently:

— Hunter Biden’s defense rests without calling president’s son as a witness at his federal gun trial

— Hunter Biden’s family weathers a public and expansive airing in federal court of his drug addiction

Here's the latest:

Prosecutor says Hunter Biden made a false statement in gun purchase ‘knowingly’

In the prosecution’s closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s trial, Leo Wise said prosecutors have shown Hunter Biden, as a drug user, knowingly and illegally possessed the handgun, regardless of how it was acquired.

“You saw messages from the defendant to Hallie Biden where he admits that the gun was his,” Wise said, noting that there’s no evidence that anyone else possessed it from Oct. 12 to Oct. 23.

Wise said the evidence shows Hunter “knowingly” made a false statement in buying the gun and “knowingly” possessed it. The evidence shows Hunter Biden knew he was using drugs and was addicted to drugs, Wise said.

Wise noted that prosecutors don’t have to prove Hunter used drugs on the day he bought the gun, or during the time he possessed it, just that he used drugs around the time of the gun purchase. He noted that Hunter’s former girlfriend testified that he used drugs in California less than three weeks before he bought the gun.

“You can consider the defendant’s pattern of use,” Wise said, adding that the evidence shows Hunter also used drugs in the days after he bought the gun.

Prosecutor calls trial evidence personal, ugly and ‘absolutely necessary’

In the prosecution’s closing arguments, Leo Wise acknowledged the personal nature of the evidence presented during the trial.

“The evidence was personal. It was ugly, and it was overwhelming,” Wise said. “It was also absolutely necessary.”

Wise said the false statement Hunter Biden is charged with making is the ‘no’ answer on an ATF form. Wise was referring to Biden checking a box asking whether he was a user of or addicted to illegal drugs.

“In fact, he was,” Wise said.

Court resumes with prosecution’s closing arguments

Prosecutors are giving their closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial in Delaware.

Prosecutor Leo Wise began by telling jurors the only evidence in the case is what came from the witness stand and the physical and documentary evidence that has been admitted.

“No one is above the law,” he said, echoing what prosecutors said in their opening statement.

Wise told jurors he’ll summarize the evidence for them and show the prosecution has proven each element of each of the felonies with which Hunter Biden is charged.

“That is a burden we embrace, and a burden, I submit, that we have met,” he said.

Judge reads instructions to the jury and closings are expected after lunch break

The judge in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial has instructed jurors that if they’re convinced the government “proved each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt,” then they should return a guilty verdict. But the judge said that if jurors have reasonable doubt about one or more elements of the offense, they must return a verdict of not guilty.

Closing arguments in the case are expected after a lunch break.

President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

FBI agent says she had no location for texts from days before Hunter Biden bought gun

An FBI agent his testified that she had no location for Hunter Biden’s texts from the days before he bought a handgun.

The FBI agent was being questioned about Hunter Biden’s text messages from October 2018, the same month he bought a handgun that’s at the center of his federal criminal trial.

Prosecutor Derek Hines recalled agent Erika Jensen to go over certain text messages in the days preceding the gun purchase. Under cross-examination by defense attorney Abbe Lowell, Jensen said she didn’t have location data connected to the texts to determine where Hunter was.

But authorities did recover location data from Oct. 16, 2018, four days after the gun purchase, when Hunter was texting around 4 a.m.

The location data indicates Hunter was at a local convenience store about an hour later. Prosecutors have suggested Hunter hung out at the store while waiting for a drug dealer. Lowell suggested maybe he was just getting a doughnut or coffee.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers rest their case in his federal gun trial, reports say

According to news reports, Hunter Biden’s lawyers rested their case Monday in the federal criminal trial of the president’s son, who’s accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a gun in 2018.

Prosecutors have argued the evidence is clear that Hunter Biden was in the throes of addiction when he checked “no” on the form at the gun shop that asked whether he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to” drugs.

Hunter Biden’s addiction struggles before getting sober more than five years ago are well documented. But defense lawyers argued that prosecutors failed to prove he was using drugs in the 11 days that he possessed the gun.

Jury to be brought to courtroom after extended sidebar conversation

After a lengthy sidebar conversation with attorneys, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika has ordered a break before the jury is brought into the courtroom.

The discussion out of the earshot of the news media and the public lasted nearly an hour. It is unclear what they talked about. Hunter Biden joined attorneys at the sidebar for the last five minutes.

President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden back in court as judge and lawyers talk in sidebar

Hunter Biden has returned to the courtroom as the lawyers in his federal gun trial continued talking with the judge in sidebar.

The sidebar discussion came after attorneys finished discussing the final jury instructions.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden leaves courtroom and judge orders short break

After attorneys finished discussing the final jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s gun trial, defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the judge “we do have another issue.”

The judge then huddled with lawyers in a sidebar conversation.

After that conversation ended, Hunter Biden left the courtroom and the judge ordered a short break.

Hunter Biden been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Jury instruction discussion includes definition of reasonable doubt and immunity

Among the issues discussed regarding jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s gun trial were the definitions of reasonable doubt and firearms dealer.

They also discussed the immunity granted by prosecutors to Hunter’s sister-in-law and former lover, Hallie Biden, and former girlfriend Zoe Kestan, in exchange for their testimony.

The judge and attorneys also talked about how jurors can request to see certain physical exhibits, including the gun, in the jury room.

Defense attorneys argued in their proposed jury instructions that the “the overly expansive and amorphous” definitions of what it means to be a drug “user” and to “possess” a firearm will deny Hunter Biden a fair trial. They also contend that any conviction obtained using those instructions cannot be sustained on appeal.

Hunter Biden been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden trial resumes in federal court

Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial has resumed in Delaware, with the judge discussing final jury instructions with attorneys.

The judge began Monday’s proceedings by overruling many of the defense team’s objections to her proposed instructions.

Hunter Biden is charged with three felonies stemming from a handgun purchase in October 2018. Prosecutors say he lied when buying the gun by stating that he was not a drug user or addict.

Hunter Biden and family arrive at the courthouse

Hunter Biden and his family have arrived at the courthouse for another day in his federal gun trial in Delaware.

First lady Jill Biden was among them Monday morning along with Hunter Biden’s uncle, James Biden; his aunt, Valerie Biden Owens; and his sister, Ashley Biden. The family has come to court a lot over the past week to support Hunter Biden.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden's trial enters its final stretch

The criminal trial of President Joe Biden’s son heads into its final stretch Monday as the defense tries to chip away at prosecutors’ case laying bare some of the darkest moments of Hunter Biden’s drug-fueled past.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers could call at least one more witness when the case resumes in Delaware’s federal court. It’s the first of two trials he’s facing in the midst of his father’s reelection campaign. It’s unclear whether prosecutors will call any rebuttal witnesses before the case goes to closing arguments, and then to the jury.

Hunter Biden is charged with three felonies stemming from the October 2018 purchase of a gun he had for about 11 days. Prosecutors say he lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News
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