President Biden Releases a Statement: Hunter Biden’s Guilty Verdict Live

Hunter Biden was convicted of all charges in his federal firearm case on Tuesday, June 11, following a tense trial that saw his exes and oldest daughter take the witness stand to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the difficulties he faced in overcoming a crack cocaine addiction years ago

Published Time: 11.06.2024 - 19:31:10 Modified Time: 11.06.2024 - 19:31:10

Hunter Biden was convicted of all charges in his federal firearm case on Tuesday, June 11, following a tense trial that saw his exes and oldest daughter take the witness stand to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the difficulties he faced in overcoming a crack cocaine addiction years ago.

The 54-year-old son of President Joe Biden was indicted in September on three felony counts that accused him of lying about his drug use to obtain a revolver in 2018, then possessing the gun while addicted to a controlled substance. Eleven days after he purchased the gun, Hunter’s girlfriend found it and threw it away in a panic, citing concerns for his mental health.

President Biden was not implicated in the crimes.

Joe Biden Responds to the Verdict: 'We Are So Proud'

President Biden wasted little time acknowledging the guilty verdict on Tuesday, expressing admiration for Hunter's journey to recovery since the 2018 gun crimes.

"As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad," he wrote. "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."

Read the full statement

President Biden Will Not Pardon Hunter

Despite President Biden’s close relationship with his only surviving son, he has committed to letting Hunter’s sentence stand. In addition to telling ABC News’ David Muir on June 6 that he will respect the jury’s verdict, the president said that he will not exercise his presidential powers to pardon his son.

President Biden’s pledge to respect the rule of law is in stark contrast with how his Republican rival handled recent legal challenges. Former President Donald Trump, who was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsified business records on May 30, has baselessly attributed his four criminal indictments to a Biden-fueled “witch hunt” with “rigged” results.

Hunter Nodded, Kissed His Wife After Learning the Verdict

Reporters inside the courtroom offered context about Hunter's reaction to learning about his conviction.

According to NBC News, he drank some water and took notes in his chair while he waited for the jury foreman to reveal their decision. The outlet says he made eye contact with jurors and nodded gently as they convicted him on all charges.

Before leaving the courtroom, he smiled and hugged his lawyers, Abbe Lowell and David Kolansky. He then kissed his wife, Melissa, who was by his side each day during the trial.

Hunter Will Go on Trial Again in September

The federal gun trial was the first of two criminal trials Hunter faces this year.

In December 2023, the first son was also indicted on nine federal tax charges, including three felonies and six misdemeanors that allege he evaded taxes and filed a false return. Hunter pleaded not guilty to all counts and is scheduled to stand trial in Los Angeles in September. He could be imprisoned for up to 17 years if convicted on all nine of those charges.

Loved Ones Who Showed Up to Support Hunter

On day one of the trial, it was clear that the Biden family planned to be by Hunter’s side. Though President Biden did not attend any proceedings, several others in his immediate family were seen in the front rows of the Wilmington, Del., courtroom day after day.

Spotted at the courthouse since June 3 were Hunter’s stepmother, Jill Biden; Hunter's wife, Melissa Cohen Biden; Hunter’s younger half-sister, Ashley Biden; Hunter’s eldest daughter, Naomi Biden; Hunter's son-in-law, Peter Neal; Hunter’s uncle, James Biden; James’ wife, Sara Jones Biden; Hunter’s aunt, Valerie Biden Owens; and the first lady’s sister, Bonny Jacobs.

Ahead of closing arguments, Rev. Christopher Alan Bullock — a family friend who serves as the senior pastor at the Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, Del. — paid a visit as well to pray with Hunter inside the courthouse.

Joe Biden Expressed 'Boundless Love' for His Son Ahead of the Trial

President Biden has stayed relatively quiet on his son’s ongoing legal proceedings, which stem from his own administration’s Department of Justice. But on -

the day that Hunter’s trial began, he released a rare statement about the complicated position he’s in.

"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," President Biden said on Monday, June 3. "Hunter's resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us. A lot of families have loved ones who have overcome addiction and know what we mean."

"As the President, I don't and won't comment on pending federal cases, but as a Dad, I have boundless love for my son, confidence in him, and respect for his strength. Our family has been through a lot together, and Jill and I are going to continue to be there for Hunter and our family with our love and support," he continued.

What to Know About the Judge

District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who oversaw Hunter’s federal gun trial, has been tasked with the difficult responsibility to determine the first-ever sentence for a sitting president’s child.

Noreika was elevated to the U.S. District Court of Delaware in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump. In a rare act of bipartisanship, Trump made his nomination with the support of both of Delaware’s Democratic senators.

Prior to becoming a judge, Noreika was a private attorney who specialized in patent law. She has previously donated to political candidates of both major parties.

No Date Is Set for Hunter's Sentencing

Court adjourned on Tuesday without a clear sentencing date, though the judge said hearings are usually scheduled for about 120 days after the conviction. That lands in mid-October — right before Hunter's father faces one of the toughest reelection battles on Nov. 5.

At sentencing, he faces up to 25 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines. As a first-time offender, he is highly unlikely to receive the maximum sentence, though experts believe jail time is certainly a possibility.

Jill Biden Missed the Verdict Reading

Dr. Jill Biden, who was present for most of Hunter's trial, was not in the courtroom during jury deliberations on Tuesday. She reportedly traveled over to the courthouse when a verdict was reached, but missed the verdict reading by a matter of minutes.

The first lady is Hunter's stepmom. Hunter lost his mother, Neilia Hunter Biden, and his younger sister, Naomi, to a car accident when he was 2 years old. Jill married into the family five years later and helped raise Joe's sons.

The Jurors Hail from Hunter’s Home State

Hunter was born in Wilmington, Del., and has deep family ties to the state. The court summoned about 250 Delaware residents for jury duty in Hunter’s case, and impaneled 12 jurors and four alternates that same day.

There are six women and six men on the jury, and all four alternates are women. One juror is a former Secret Service employee and several jurors have watched loved ones battle addiction. Multiple jurors either own guns or have relatives that do.

13 Witnesses Took the Stand, Including His Exes and Daughter

The question at the center of the case was whether Hunter was an active drug user at the time that he purchased a gun in 2018. Though neither side could prove his actions on the exact days that he owned the gun, prosecutors aimed to establish that he was still battling addiction around the time that he claimed to be clean on firearm application forms.

Several witnesses took the stand to discuss Hunter’s addiction, rehashing a painful chapter for the Biden family. His ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, ex-partner Hallie Biden and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan were called as witnesses for the prosecution. His eldest daughter, Naomi Biden, was called by the defense, causing her father to tear up during her emotional testimony about his attempts to get sober.

Others who testified included the man who sold Hunter a gun, the man who found Hunter’s gun in a dumpster and multiple law enforcement officials.

Hunter Biden’s Crimes

Hunter Biden was convicted of three felony charges related to his illegal obtainment and possession of a weapon in 2018. Here are the counts:

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