X Close

The Hunter Biden gun trial is more than a legal battle

The outcome could ripple through the political landscape. Credit: Getty

June 4, 2024 - 9:00pm

In what can only be described as a spectacle befitting the son of a sitting president, Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial commenced this week in Delaware. The trial, a legal first for a presidential offspring, has Biden facing three felony charges related to a firearm purchase back in 2018.

The charges? Lying on a federal form and possessing a firearm while being an alleged illegal substance user. The stakes are high, with a potential 25-year prison sentence looming over Biden’s head, although experts speculate that he might skate by with a shorter sentence due to his lack of prior convictions and current sobriety​​.

Prosecutor David Weiss is not pulling any punches. His case hinges on proving that Hunter Biden knowingly lied about his addiction when purchasing a Colt Cobra .38 revolver. The evidence is as colourful as it is damning: direct excerpts from Biden’s own memoir “Beautiful Things” and an assortment of incriminating text messages. One particular gem from October 2018 has Biden detailing a crack-smoking session in a car — hardly the picture of sobriety.

Biden’s defence, orchestrated by attorney Abbe Lowell — the super-attorney who’s represented everyone from John Edwards to Jared Kushner — is weaving a narrative of addiction, trauma and manipulation, all tracing back to the tragic death of Hunter Biden’s mother and young sister in a 1972 car crash.

Against this backdrop, the defence is seeking to paint Hunter as haunted by demons that left him catastrophically vulnerable. In Lowell’s narrative, Biden’s then-recent stint in rehab had left him in a state of delusional sobriety, genuinely believing he wasn’t an addict when he bought the gun — or one was virtually forced on him. The salesman (this line of argument goes), sensing an easy target, exploited Biden’s fragile state for profit.

That is a lot of hoops for a jury to jump through. And already the jury is down a member, who abruptly informed the court (by email) she lived too far away. But in a small town located in one of the country’s smallest states, the remaining jurors may be most aware of the presence of the man not in the room: Joe Biden. When the father of the accused is the most powerful man in the world — a man who, by the way, decided questionably to put out a statement ahead of the trial — you might think hard about casting your vote for guilty.

This trial is more than just a legal battle. Hunter Biden’s escapades have been a recurring thorn in the side of his father’s administration, often cited by critics as emblematic of larger ethical issues. The outcome of this trial could ripple through the political landscape, potentially impacting public opinion and the 2024 election dynamics, particularly after another conviction, that of Donald Trump, only days before the beginning of this latest presidential courtroom drama.

At the end of the day, the sheer outrageousness of Biden’s behaviour — crack, prostitutes, guns, cars, and Hollywood lawyers — will mostly be the story. It’s one that may serve his lawyers as it deflects attention away from the deft legal manoeuvring whose success will ultimately decide the case in his favour, or against it.

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

23 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
20 days ago

The Biden administration has promised to crack (no pun intended) down hard on background checks for people who want to own a gun.

Only stringent background checks on application for guns can reduce America’s gun violence problem. Any irregularity in your application and the President will be ‘coming for you’.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago

Lawfare! Unequal application of the law! The end of the world!
What else were you people saying last week as your fat felon god-king was humiliated in New York?

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
20 days ago

Calm yourself, CS.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

How can I can be calm amongst this grotesque miscarriage of justice?!?!? It is literally the end of the world, or something like that! Lawfare! Weaponization of the justice system! Civil war has begun!

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
20 days ago

OH SHUT UP

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago

How long before the laptop comes up? That’s my very most favourite conspiracy theory!

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
20 days ago

Come on lads, I know you are just itching to tell us about the horrors on Hunter’s laptop that you read about, erm, well Tucker said it so it must be so! Laptop from hell!!!!

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
19 days ago

No, no, no! You will have no such pleasure. We all memorised those pictures. Absolutely no need to repeat the horrors and give you pleasure you are begging for. The problem with socialist: they keep begging.

Mark Knight
Mark Knight
20 days ago

Tell it like it is, the American legal system is on trial. Do those born into the elite exploitative class face the same consequences as those born into the exploited classes. Strange that is even a story, we all know that the answer is NO.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

Well, if you break the law you should expect prosecution – no matter how close you are to the presidency. But, just for balance, you understand, it would be interesting to know whether David Weiss (or someone in his family) is a donor to the Republicans or has come out in favour of Trump. Who elected or appointed him? Did he promise beforehand to go after Hunter Biden?

Does anyone know?

PS: What is the general Unherd opinion about making a false statement on a federal form or possessing a firearm when the rules say you should not? Is this kind of behaviour rare? Heinous? Should everyone who does it get 25 years in jail?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

April 11 , 2024
FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Action to Implement Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Expanding Firearm Background Checks to Fight Gun Crime’“Every year, thousands of unlicensed gun dealers sell tens of thousands of guns without a background check, including to buyers who would have failed one – domestic abusers, violent felons, and even children. This single gap in our federal background check system has caused unimaginable pain and suffering.’
Do you really think false statements on background checks for guns is a minor thing?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

No, but then I am European and in favour of gun control. I just wanted to check what the pro-Trumpers on the site felt about it.

When it was Trump in the dock no one talked about how accounting fraud was bad, and everybody talked about biased Democratic prosecutors and politicised justice, and (in another process) how everybody lied about their assets, and no one got hurt, … I thought it was worth going through the same checklist. What are the politics of David Weiss? Why does no one ask? If they do not matter, why do those things matter when it is Trump being accused? How much of this is about respect for the law, and how much is about using the law to get your enemies down?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

‘When it was Trump in the dock no one talked about how accounting fraud was bad,….’
Who was defrauded by these accounts? Not one person.

When did NDA arrangements become illegal?
When did payments to prostitutes become ‘campaign expenses’ that have to be declared as campaign expenses?
The Hunter Biden case is only being prosecuted because Biden rejected a deal that would have seen the charges dropped, and him given 2 years probation. Hunter Biden wanted more immunity from prosecution than even the Biden regime thought reasonable.
The idea that Hunter Biden did not lie about being a drug-addict when he bought a gun, is absurd , especially when you can listen to him read his memoirs about his drug addiction.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

‘….everybody lied about their assets,’
Do you have a house? How much is it worth? Remember you will be fined hundreds of millions of dollars if you are inaccurate.
Although, of course, if you decide to take out a loan backed by your house , the people doing the loan will do their own valuation and lend on that basis.
It was exactly the same with Trump. The people who dealt with ignored Trump’s valuation, did their own, and did business on that basis, and testified that they were perfectly happy. Absolutely normal run of the mill business.

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden is declaring that the famous silver laptop does not belong to him, although some of the data on the laptop is also in Hunter Biden’s iCloud backup data, that Apple have released after being subpoenad…

Saul D
Saul D
19 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If you’d been following, you’ve have found chatter about Weiss bubbling away for quite a while. https://apnews.com/article/hunter-biden-david-weiss-congress-republicans-aed25541b709a57371cdfe1582be0c5a
Weiss is Republican and was appointed acting assistant DA in Delaware by Trump, but then retained by Biden. Weiss briefly worked with Beau Biden when Beau was the Delaware attorney general in 2010. He was appointed by Garland and was and caused general complaints on fairness from the GOP congressmen/pro-Trump crowd when he cut a sweetheart plea deal for Hunter Biden on the gun charges due to apparently overbroad immunity elements and lack of clarity and issues of slow-walking the case. The plea deal was eventually thrown out by the judge in July 2023 and hence this case.
Hunter Biden appears to be a serial mess-up and this case is at the milder end of the things he’s been accused of, but has an element of schadenfreude since gun control is a policy advocated by his father, and the ‘Russian interference’ laptop has been verified as Hunter’s and included in evidence to show Hunter in possession of a gun.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
18 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

Ah, Information! It would seem that Weiss cannot reasonably be dismissed as a Republican attack dog (unlike at least the Stormzy Daniels case against Trump). Good to know. No disagreement to the fact that Hunter is a serial mess-up, BTW.

Sorry for being ill-informed, but there is a limit to how much you get from Unherd and European MSM. Thanks for the info.

Saul D
Saul D
18 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The ‘quality’ end of European MSM (not so much the UK) has a habit of publishing rehashed and translated opinion pieces ‘inspired by’ the NY Times, or occasionally the Washington Post.
The underlying quality is equivalent to reading an opinion piece about Europe in the NYTimes and getting shudders when you see how they warp facts and background you know in detail to fit a narrative for an America reader.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
19 days ago

The last paragraph talking about Biden’s behaviour in general
Where is the comment on corruption and foreign states? It wasn’t all crack and prostitutes
. It was much bigger than that.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
19 days ago

That evidence will not be heard by the jury. It’s not admissible. The other stuff mentioned is.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
18 days ago

Not in the eyes of the corporate media. All that is down the memory hole.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
19 days ago

The most powerful man in the world is senile and has a memory of a clam. Arkancide is a far more serious worry. After the Trump show trials nobody in his right mind can think that in this case justice will be done. It is detraction from a far worse corruption racket. Hunter will sentenced to 100 hours of community service, which undoubtedly he will be able to mess up, and daddy;s goons will give him a presidential pardon. It is called democracy and the USA exports it all around the world. Like European values. Another great invention since sliced bread.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
18 days ago

The Bidens are the most disgusting political family in American history; no other is even close, not even Bill and Hillary. Joe molested his daughter, she wrote in a diary left behind in a rental, adding that it has screwed up her life. The hypocritical piety on display in his rare and heavily scripted political appearances is nauseating.

William Brand
William Brand
16 days ago

The real question is the president’s guilt on charges of bribery while Vice president. His son and brother acted as bagmen collecting bribe money for the big guy. Foreign governments and companies bribed the American vice president and Obama allowed it to occur and allowed the American government to deliver on the bribes.