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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Hunter Biden convicted of 3 felonies

By Glenn Thrush

A jury in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday found Hunter Biden guilty of three felony counts of lying on a federal firearms application in 2018, a grievous blow to the Biden family as his father enters the final months of his reelection campaign.

Hunter Biden, 54, said in a statement that he was “disappointed” by the verdict but that he was grateful for the love and support of his family and friends. He could face up to 25 years in prison, but first-time offenders who did not use their weapons to commit a violent crime typically receive no jail time. No sentencing date was set.

The verdict brought an end to an extraordinary trial that made painfully public Biden’s crack addiction, reckless behavior and ruinous spending — narrated by three former romantic partners, including the widow of his brother, Beau Biden.

Here’s what else to know:

— The president’s reaction: In a statement, President Joe Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden were proud to see their son be “so strong and resilient in recovery” from his addiction. “Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support,” he added. “Nothing will ever change that.”

— Sentencing could be months away: The judge in the case, Maryellen Noreika, said sentencing would typically be about 120 days after the verdict; that’s early October, or about a month before the election. Although the maximum possible sentence Biden faces is more than two decades behind bars and $750,000 in fines, federal guidelines call for a fraction of that penalty. David Weiss, the special counsel, said the government would not seek a sentence more severe than for any other person convicted in such a case.

— Inside the courtroom: Biden stood with arms crossed, grimly surveying the jury as the verdict was read — although some members of his family were unable to get into the courtroom in time to hear it. Biden held the first lady’s hand as he left the courthouse and did not speak to reporters. “Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time,” Biden, who has said he’s been sober since mid-2019, said in his statement.

— No pardons are coming: Joe Biden has said he will not pardon his son, adding Tuesday that he “will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.” The president kept his distance from the trial and was out of office on Oct. 12, 2018, when Hunter Biden said he was drug-free on a background check — an assertion that prosecutors attacked using Hunter Biden’s own words.

— More legal troubles loom: The Delaware case, brought by Weiss, is widely regarded as the less serious of the two federal indictments against Hunter Biden brought last year. Biden still faces serious tax charges in Los Angeles stemming from his failure to pay the government during a yearslong crack, alcohol and spending binge. The trial is scheduled to start in September.

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