Hunter Biden trial: Key takeaways as jury begins deliberations after defense rests without calling him to testify in felony gun case

President Biden’s 54-year-old son is facing three felony charges over whether he lied about his drug addiction on a federal firearm application.

Jury deliberations in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial began Monday in Wilmington, Del., following closing arguments after the defense rested without calling the president’s 54-year-old son to testify.

The 12-member panel was dismissed for the day about an hour after being handed the case. Deliberations are expected to resume Tuesday morning.

Hunter Biden is facing three felony charges over whether he lied about his addiction to crack cocaine while applying to purchase the firearm six years ago. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege that Biden falsely claimed he was not a drug user on the application and illegally possessed the handgun for 11 days. He faces up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines if found guilty of all three charges.

Here’s what happened in court on Monday.

Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, arrive at federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Hunter Biden arrives at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Del., with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, on Monday. (Hannah Beier/Reuters)

After spending the weekend weighing whether to put Hunter Biden on the witness stand, lawyers for his defense opted not to do so and rested their case Monday.

According to the New York Times, Hunter Biden was “angered” by the prosecution’s cross-examination of his daughter Naomi Biden Neal on Friday and “told people in his orbit that he would consider testifying.”

But his defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, indicated in court Monday that Hunter Biden would not take the stand in his own defense, and Judge Maryellen Noreika later instructed the jury not to hold it against him that he “did not testify” in this case.

Hunter Biden departs federal court in Wilmington.
Hunter Biden departs federal court in Wilmington, Del., Monday. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Prosecutor Leo Wise began his closing statement by arguing that the government did not have to prove Biden used drugs on any specific day to prove its case but only that President Biden’s son was aware of his drug addiction at the time he filled out the federal application to purchase a firearm.

“The defendant knew he used crack and was addicted to crack at the relevant time period,” Wise told the jury.

Wise pointed to testimony from Biden’s former romantic partners who had described his drug use in varying degrees of detail. He also pointed to text messages Biden had with drug dealers around the time he bought the handgun.

"The evidence was personal,” Wise told jurors. “It was ugly and overwhelming."

Hunter Biden hugs James Biden after arriving at the courthouse.
Hunter Biden hugs James Biden, his uncle, after arriving at the courthouse on Monday. (Matt Slocum/AP)

The defense, though, argued that the evidence presented by prosecutors was underwhelming, comparing the prosecution's case to a “magician’s trick.”

Hunter Biden’s lead defense attorney, Lowell, argued that the prosecution had to prove that the president’s son knew he was violating the law at the time of his gun purchase to meet its burden of proof and that it had failed to do so.

“With this very high burden, it’s time to end this case,” Lowell said.

Following closing arguments, the judge instructed the 12-member jury to begin deliberations.

First lady Jill Biden arrives at federal court on Monday.
First lady Jill Biden arrives at federal court in Wilmington, Del., on Monday. (Matt Slocum/AP)

First lady Jill Biden, who attended every day of Hunter Biden’s trial except for one, was back in court on Monday. The first lady missed Thursday’s proceedings when she traveled to Paris to attend D-Day ceremonies with President Biden.

The Bidens also invited a pastor and family friend, the Rev. Christopher Alan Bullock of the Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, Del., to attend the trial and lead a prayer with Hunter inside the courthouse before Monday's proceedings got under way.

The president did not attend the trial but did release a rare statement about the case before jury selection, saying: “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.”

Hunter Biden’s trial comes just days after former President Donald Trump was found guilty on 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star whose alleged affair with him threatened to torpedo his 2016 election campaign.