Hunter Biden Convicted on Federal Gun Charges

Hunter Biden's legal woes spotlight deep personal struggles.

by Nouman Rasool
Hunter Biden Convicted on Federal Gun Charges
© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was convicted of three felony charges in 2018 for the purchase of a gun. This act, the president said, was undoubtedly a "seismic jolt" to the ongoing 2024 presidential race. Wilmington, DE—the venue for the deliberations that took just about three hours—could still see the defendant sent away for as much as 25 years, with the possibility of having to pay a $750,000 fine.

While the sentences for a first-time offender are usually lighter, the severe charges underline the deepening legal battles now ensnaring political figures at the very top of power. This trial opens another chapter in a tumultuous period marked by significant legal proceedings, including former President Donald Trump's recent conviction on multiple felony counts.

Unlike Trump, who vehemently criticized his conviction as politically motivated, President Biden has maintained a more reserved stance regarding his son's legal issues. Despite Republican efforts to leverage Hunter Biden's troubles against the president, Joe Biden affirmed in a recent interview his respect for the judicial outcome and dismissed the possibility of a pardon.

Biden's Addiction Revelations

The charges against Hunter Biden included falsifying federal documents to conceal his drug addiction—a detail he has publicly acknowledged in his struggles with substance abuse, notably detailed in his memoir "Beautiful Things." Prosecutors used his writings to highlight his addiction battles, emphasizing his possession of the firearm for a mere 11 days before it was discarded by Hallie Biden, his brother's widow and former partner.

Adding to the complexity, Biden faces additional tax-related charges in Los Angeles, with a trial set for later this year. Notably, he opted not to testify in his defence. His legal strategy has been under scrutiny, particularly after a plea deal fell through last year, leading to Republican accusations of leniency from the Justice Department.

The presence of First Lady Jill Biden and other family members at the courthouse underlines the personal toll of the trial. The White House has avoided direct commentary on the case, focusing instead on broader issues like gun violence prevention—a topic President Biden will address later today at Everytown Gun Sense University.

The case's media coverage quickly pivoted to its potential political repercussions. Analysts like Kate Bedingfield, former White House communications director, highlighted the universal challenge of addiction many American families face—a sentiment President Biden echoed in the 2020 debates.

This narrative counters accusations from Trump about the alleged misuse of the justice system, suggesting a broader social understanding of addiction's impact on families. As the legal and political narratives continue to unfold, the implications of Hunter Biden's conviction are expected to ripple through the upcoming presidential election, setting the stage for a profoundly polarized battle over justice and political integrity in America.