Jill Biden turns up to support Hunter at his gun trial in Delaware

President’s son stands accused of buying firearm in October 2018 while being an active drug user

Gustaf Kilander
Washington DC
Monday 03 June 2024 15:11 BST
How Hunter Biden has come to face jurors on federal gun charges

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Louise Thomas

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First Lady Jill Biden turned up for Hunter Biden’s trial in Delaware on Monday, where he is facing charges that he purchased a firearm while allegedly being an active drug user.

The trial began with jury selection on Monday and is expected to last between three and six days.

The prosecutors will be relying on Biden’s memoir to make the case that he was a drug user when he bought a handgun at StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington on 12 October 2018.

While Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, didn’t mention buying a firearm in his memoir, Beautiful Things, he did outline his drug use. Prosecutors have called the book “incriminating”.

The prosecution has also said that they may call three of Biden’s former partners – Kathleen Buhle, whom he married in 1993 and divorced in 2017, Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother Beau Biden, and a woman named as Zoe Kasten, according to Politico.

In the book, Biden referred to his relationship with his brother’s widow as “an affair built on need, hope, frailty, and doom”.

“Paparazzi tailed us non-stop,” he added. “Our relationship wasn’t just out in the open around Wilmington. It was on 78 front pages around the world, from Thailand to the Czech Republic to Cincinnati.”

The three former partners are all expected to say in testimony that Biden was using crack cocaine around the time that he purchased the gun.

Jill Biden arrives at the federal court on the opening day of the trial of Hunter Biden
Jill Biden arrives at the federal court on the opening day of the trial of Hunter Biden (Reuters)

Hallie Biden may also speak about the actual gun, she allegedly found it and threw it away behind a grocery store amid concerns that Hunter Biden may turn it upon himself.

The prosecution has noted that they possibly plan on attempting to prove that Biden used illegal drugs by pointing to texts he sent at the time.

A number of those text messages came from an iCloud account they got access to via a subpoena and others were sourced from a laptop that Biden is reported to have left at a repair shop and never returned to collect.

Biden and some in his orbit have stated for years that material from the laptop cannot be presumed to be authentic. Operatives backing former president Donald Trump have publicized material from the laptop as part of their attacks on President Biden.

Allies of Hunter Biden have said that some of the material shared from the laptop has been altered or distorted and they have also never confirmed that Hunter Biden ever dropped anything off at a repair shop.

But prosecutors have said that they have confirmed the authenticity of large parts of the laptop’s content by checking texts and emails with the people Hunter Biden sent them to.

On 22 May, a filing by the prosecution stated that Hunter Biden “has not provided any evidence or information that shows that his laptop contains false information, and the government’s evidence shows the opposite – the defendant’s laptop is real (it will be introduced as a trial exhibit), and it contains significant evidence of the defendant’s guilt”.

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