Hunter Won't Testify in His Federal Gun Trial

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

After hinting on Friday that Hunter Biden might take the stand to offer testimony in his own defense, attorney Abbe Lowell indicated to the judge overseeing Biden's trial on federal gun charges that the jury will not hear from Biden himself... at least in person. 


The jury's already heard Biden read from his own memoir over the course of the past week, as prosecutors have played excerpts of the Beautiful Things audiobook detailing Biden's drug abuse and his desire to "get clean" around the time he purchased a revolver in October, 2018. They've also heard several of Biden's text messages to then-girlfriend and sister-in-law Hallie Biden; one sent the day after the gun was purchased where Biden said he was waiting on a drug dealer, and another sent two days after Biden bought the revolver that described him "sleeping on a car" smoking crack. 

I mentioned last week that having Biden take the stand offered a lot of risk, and apparently Biden and Lowell agreed that it was better to keep him away from being directly questioned by prosecutors.

Hunter Biden's attorney Abbe Lowell has asked Judge Noreika to leave in “did not testify” in the jury instructions as it relates to the defendant, indicating Hunter will not testify.

Judge Noreika decided she will not allow the defense to include their requested “theory of the defense” instruction in the final jury instructions. She called it an “argument” and she said she didn’t think it was “appropriate” for her to say.

She ruled on several minor language additions or subtractions, siding with the prosecution in most of her decisions. 

Hunter Biden has a phalanx of supporters in the courtroom today — 15-plus at last count, including first lady Jill Biden; his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden; his sister, Ashley Biden; friend Kevin Morris; his aunt Valerie Biden Owens and her husband, Jack. The women in his family are seated next to one another other directly behind him in a strong show of support.


Joe Biden is in Wilmington today as well, according to NBC News, though he's expected back at the White House this evening for a Juneteenth concert. I doubt we'll see the president at the federal courthouse itself, but it looks like he'll be sticking close by in the case a verdict is reached today. 

Without Hunter Biden's testimony, the trial is expected to move to closing arguments this morning, and the jury could begin deliberating this afternoon. 

If the jury finds him guilty of lying about his drug use and addiction on the Form 4473 he filled out when purchasing the handgun and/or possessing a gun as an unlawful user of drugs, Hunter could theoretically face 25 years in prison. Even if a verdict is reached today and Biden is convicted, sentencing will likely take place several weeks or months from now. 

I would be absolutely shocked if Biden were given a maximum term and ordered to serve his sentences consecutively, but some prison time is definitely a possibility if he's convicted on either or both charges. Patrick Darnell Daniels, a Mississippi man convicted of possessing guns while an unlawful user of marijuana, received a 46-month sentence in federal court a couple of years ago, and that's more in line with what Biden could expect if the jury finds him guilty. 

Lowell's closing argument is likely to stress that, even if Biden was addicted to drugs when he bought the gun, he didn't consider himself an addict, so he didn't knowingly lie on the Form 4473. Lowell will also remind jurors that the prosecution was unable to offer any definitive proof that he was actively abusing crack cocaine when he bought the revolver from a Wilmington gun shop. 


But prosecutors will point to Biden's own words in Beautiful Things, where he described being clean for about two weeks after leaving a California rehab in early September. It was roughly five weeks after he left rehab when the gun was purchased, and Hallie Biden described seeing remnants of crack cocaine in the truck where she found the revolver. A DEA agent also testified that cocaine residue was found on the pouch holding the gun, which further suggests that Biden wasn't clean and sober when he took possession of the revolver. 

We'll have more from Wilmington throughout the day here at Bearing Arms, and be sure to follow Townhall's Mia Cathell as she reports from the federal courthouse in Delaware.

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