The President’s Son Was Convicted of Three Felonies

A jury in Wilmington, Del., today found Hunter Biden, the president’s son, guilty of three felony counts of lying on a federal firearms application in 2018. He could face up to 25 years in prison, but first-time offenders typically receive no jail time.

The crimes stemmed from Biden’s purchase of a handgun at one of the low points of his troubled life. He had been addicted to crack cocaine, and he decided to buy a .38-caliber handgun because he thought spending time on a shooting range would help him avoid drugs. But when purchasing the gun, he wrote on a federal form that he was not using drugs — an assertion that prosecutors successfully persuaded the jury was false.

Here are some takeaways from the verdict.

The conviction brought an end to an extraordinary seven-day trial that made public Biden’s reckless behavior. The case reached that point after Biden’s plea deal with the government, which would have resulted in no prison time, imploded last year.

The verdict is likely to weigh heavily — personally and politically — on President Biden as he continues a bruising re-election campaign. The president has said he will not pardon his son, adding today that he will “respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.”

Hunter Biden’s legal troubles are not over. He still faces tax charges in Los Angeles that are considered more serious than those in the Wilmington case. That trial is scheduled for September.

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