Joe Biden says he will not pardon son Hunter if convicted in gun trial


Joe Biden has indicated that he will not pardon his son Hunter if he is convicted at his federal gun trial, where the prosecution rested its case on Friday in Delaware and Naomi Biden took the stand in defense of her father.

When the US president was asked in an interview with ABC News on Thursday if he is prepared to accept whatever outcome arises from Hunter Biden’s trial, he replied: “Yes.”

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The president is still in France to make a speech on democracy in Normandy on Friday, as part of the events to mark the 80th anniversary of D-day, the allies’ turning point in the war against Nazi Germany in 1944.

The first lady, Jill Biden, returned to the US on Thursday after having accompanied her husband in France and arrived in court to support her stepson, as federal prosecutors began wrapping up their gun case against him.

Two more witnesses testified on Friday as prosecutors continued their effort to prove to jurors that Hunter Biden lied on a mandatory gun purchase form when he said he wasn’t “an unlawful user of, or addicted to” drugs.

Prosecutors called an FBI forensic chemist, Jason Brewer, who tested a residue found on the leather pouch that contained Hunter Biden’s gun. It came back positive for cocaine, though the amount was minimal, he told jurors.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent testified about text messages Hunter Biden sent to alleged dealers.

It came towards the end of a week that has been largely dedicated to highlighting the seriousness of his drug problem, which escalated out of control after his elder brother, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46.

But on Friday afternoon, Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi testified in her father’s defense that he seemed to respond well to drug treatment in the weeks before he bought a gun. Prosecutors say he obtained it illegally by failing to disclose his addiction on forms applying for a Colt Cobra revolver in 2018 and illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days.

Naomi Biden, 30, told the jury she saw her father in California around that time and “he seemed really great”.

On cross-examination, she was shown that she had been messaging and calling Hunter Biden and unable to reach him.

“I can’t take this,” she texted her father several days after he purchased the gun. “I miss you so much and I just want to hang out.”

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. It would be more usual for such an offense to be settled with a plea deal if the defendant admits it occurred, but an earlier deal for Hunter was unexpectedly thrown out last summer.

He was subsequently indicted on the three felony gun charges, which he denies. He also faces a trial scheduled for September on felony charges alleging he failed to pay at least $1.4m in taxes over four years.

The court finished its work on Friday afternoon and will resume on Monday when the defense will announce whether Hunter Biden, 54, will testify.

The Associated Press contributed reporting



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