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Hunter Biden found guilty on three felony gun charges

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-12 00:38
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Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden and US First Lady Jill Biden leave the federal court after the jury finds him guilty on all three counts in his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, US on June 11. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- A jury of 12 members in the US state of Delaware on Tuesday found Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, guilty of three federal gun charges, marking the first time a sitting president's child has been criminally convicted.

The felony charges accused the 54-year-old Hunter Biden of lying about his drug use when acquiring a firearm in 2018 and subsequently unlawfully possessing the weapon for 11 days. He checked "no" on a federal firearm purchase form regarding his illegal drug use or addiction to narcotics.

In their closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors argued that the president's son had been using drugs for years prior to purchasing the gun and that this drug use continued "for months afterward," according to a report by CNN.

Hunter Biden's legal team, meanwhile, stressed that there were no witnesses to actual drug usage during the month when he purchased the firearm.

Hunter Biden could potentially receive up to 25 years in prison and be fined up to $750,000, although it's uncommon for first-time offenders to receive the maximum punishment.

President Biden said in a recent interview that he would not pardon his son Hunter if he's found guilty of criminal gun charges.

The conviction and potential imprisonment of Hunter Biden further heighten the political risks for the president in the months leading up to the elections in November. Hunter Biden's broader legal challenges have provided Republicans with an opportunity to depict the Biden family as corrupt, despite their inability to establish any wrongdoing on the part of the president.

Adding insult to injury, Hunter Biden is set to confront another trial regarding tax allegations in Los Angeles, California, in September, which could further expose uncomfortable details about the president's family.

Hunter Biden's trial unfolded only weeks prior to President Biden's first debate against former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, which is scheduled for June 27.

In May, a Manhattan jury convicted Trump of 34 felonies related to falsifying records to conceal payments made to a porn star, making him the first former president in US history to be criminally convicted.

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