Hunter Biden Says He’s ‘Grateful’ After Jury Convicts Him in Just 3 Hours

Anna Moneymaker/Getty
Anna Moneymaker/Getty

Moments after he was convicted Tuesday of lying about his drug addiction on a gun application form five years ago, a defiant Hunter Biden exited a Delaware federal courtroom hand-in-hand with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, and stepmother, first lady Jill Biden.

It was the same show of familial support that dominated Biden’s week-long federal trial, which ended on Tuesday after a jury found him guilty of three charges. Jill Biden was not present in the packed courtroom as the verdict was read, but she reportedly arrived minutes later. President Joe Biden’s brother James and sister-in-law were in the room alongside Cohen Biden.

Hunter Biden, 54, showed little emotion and stared straight ahead as the verdict, which was reached after about three hours of deliberation, was read out, AP reported. He reportedly hugged and kissed family members in the courtroom, and some supporters looked stunned and upset as they exited the building.

In a statement to NBC News on Tuesday afternoon, Hunter said, “I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome. Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time.”

Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell said the defense team was “naturally disappointed.”

“We respect the jury process, and as we have done throughout this case, we will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter,” he said. “Through all he has been through in his recovery, including this trial, Hunter has felt grateful for and blessed by the love and support of his family.”

A sentencing date will be set at a later date, and Biden now faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the three counts he was convicted on.

Rev. Christopher Bullock, a long-time Biden family friend who attended the trial, told The Daily Beast that Hunter was “upbeat” on Tuesday morning ahead of the verdict.

“He said, ‘Keep your fingers crossed and thank you for all the support,’ that kind of thing,” Bullock said. “He seemed so focused and upbeat and ready for everything.”

When The Daily Beast told Bullock of the verdict, he sighed and said, “The jury made their decision.”

“I think he will be with family today,” he added. “This is a big day.”

Hunter Biden Trial: Will the 25-Person ‘Elephant in the Room’ Sway Jurors?

The jury that convicted Biden consisted of six women and six men, and included a retired Secret Service employee and a juror whose sister was a recovering drug addict. Another woman on the panel believed weed smokers should be allowed to own firearms and multiple jurors were gun owners, according to CNN. One juror also said during the selection process that her best friend died of a heroin overdose and she came from a family of hunters.

While the verdict marks the end of the first criminal trial against a sitting president’s son, it’s not Hunter’s only prosecution. He faces another in September for allegedly avoiding taxes.

In a statement on the verdict, Joe Biden, who did not attend the trial, said, “As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

“As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that,” he added.

The week-long trial, which focused on Biden’s love life and drug habits over the last decade, also brought so many Biden supporters to the packed federal courtroom each day—including Jill Biden and James Biden—that prosecutors were forced to address the fan club in their closing arguments.

“People sitting in the gallery are not evidence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said in his closing arguments on Monday. “Your decision can only be made based on the evidence and the law.”

“No one is above the law,” he added.

To prove their case, prosecutors called 13 witnesses to the stand, including three of Biden’s exes, to provide intimate testimony about their relationships and his self-destructive behavior. Biden’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, testified about first discovering he was doing drugs in July 2015 when she found a crack pipe in an ashtray on the porch of their D.C. home.

The two divorced in 2017. Months later, Biden met a dancer, Zoe Kestan, at a Manhattan gentlemen's club and the two began dating.

Kestan testified that, at one point, she watched Biden smoke crack “every 20 minutes or so” and buy drugs. “I remember thinking to myself [that] I didn’t notice a change in his behavior,” Kestan testified. “Nothing had changed, he was the same charming person.”

Hunter’s Women: The Three Exes Tangled Up in Biden’s Trial

Biden’s sister-in-law and former paramour, Hallie Biden, also testified about her relationship with the president’s son—including how the two smoked crack together in the summer of 2018. She testified about finding Biden’s gun in his truck months later and throwing it away at a grocery store in a panic. Later, he told her to file a police report because it was registered under Biden’s name.

“I didn’t want him to hurt himself or my kids to find it and hurt themselves. I was afraid to, kind of, touch it,” Hallie said. “I was just so flustered from the whole thing.”

The defense, however, insisted that Biden did not knowingly lie on the federal form—and that it was the gun owner’s responsibility to safely sell firearms. They called three witnesses, including Biden’s eldest daughter Naomi, who testified about her father’s attempts to get sober. Biden did not testify on his own behalf, though he reportedly wanted to out of anger for the prosecution’s cross-examination of his daughter.

“I knew that he was struggling with addiction,” Naomi Biden said, later noting that “things got bad” after Hunter’s brother, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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