Breaking: Hunter Biden Convicted on All Charges

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

It didn't take long for a jury of Hunter Biden's peers to find him guilty of lying about his drug use when purchasing a gun in 2018. The jurors began their deliberations late on Monday afternoon, and by mid-morning on Tuesday they had informed U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika that they had reached a verdict. It only took jurors about three hours to conclude that, despite defense attorney Abbe Lowell's argument that prosecutors had not provided conclusive evidence that Hunter Biden was abusing drugs at the time he bought the revolver in question, the DOJ had demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that Biden was guilty as charged. 

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While Lowell tried to persuade the jury that there was no direct evidence of Hunter Biden's drug use around the time he purchased the firearm, prosecutors were able to use Hunter's text messages and even his own audiobook of his 2021 memoir Beautiful Things to show that Biden himself said he was only clean for about two weeks after leaving a California rehab center in mid-September. Biden also described traveling back to the East Coast in early October in the hopes of "getting clean". The prosecution also produced text messages sent by Biden in the days after he purchased the revolver in which he told then-girlfriend Hallie Biden he was waiting on a drug dealer and sleeping on a car smoking crack. Lowell had suggested that Biden was lying to Hallie Biden about his whereabouts because he didn't want to see her, but if so, it was a lie he thought would be believable to her, which didn't exactly help his case. 

Noreika did not sentence Biden from the bench after the verdict was announced, and he'll remain free until his sentencing hearing takes place. While Biden theoretically faces up to 25 years in federal prison if the maximum sentences were handed down and he was ordered to serve them consecutively, he could also end up with probation in lieu of incarceration. 

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Either extreme is unlikely, but there's a good chance that Biden will receive some prison time when he's formally sentenced. Patrick Darnell Daniels, for instance, a Mississippi man convicted of being an unlawful user of marijuana in possession of a firearm, received a 46-month sentence, and Biden's sentence could (and arguably should) be in line with what Daniels received. 

Daniels's conviction was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the federal statute in question was unconstitutional, at least as it applied to him, because there was no national tradition prohibiting gun ownership for those using intoxicating substances (lawful or otherwise) when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. The DOJ has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, and by the time Biden's sentencing takes place it's quite possible that the Court will have weighed in on the Daniels case; perhaps to Biden's benefit. 

Biden is now free to raise a Second Amendment argument of his own on appeal, though that will be problematic for his dad, who's been fully supportive of the DOJ's position that the right to keep and bear arms only applies to "law abiding citizens". 

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Hunter Biden's conviction is already awkward enough for Joe Biden, who is actually scheduled to address Everytown for Gun Safety activists at 1:30 ET this afternoon. Will Biden address the elephant in the room, downplay the significance of his son's conviction, or ignore it altogether? Either way, we'll be covering his address here at Bearing Arms this afternoon, so check back for more updates.  


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