Hunter Biden found guilty of lying about drug use when buying firearm

US Correspondent Dan Rivers reports on the outcome of Hunter Biden's trial

The US President's son has been found guilty of lying about his drug use when buying a firearm but despite his conviction, Joe Biden has vowed to always support him.

Hunter Biden was charged in federal court in Wilmington with three felony counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics in October 2018. He had pleaded not guilty.

He acknowledged struggling with addiction to crack cocaine, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Delaware.

Jury deliberations began on Monday following a weeklong trial and he was found guilty on three felony gun charges. The jury deliberated for just under three hours delivering their verdict on Tuesday.

The first two counts were for lying about his drug use on a federal background check form, and the third count was for possessing a gun while addicted to, or using, illegal drugs.

The conviction marks the first time a president’s immediate family member has been found guilty of a crime during their father’s term in office, though his crimes predate Mr Biden’s tenure as president.

After the jury's decision was announced, President Joe Biden said he would accept the outcome of the case and “will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.”

“Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that,” the president said in a statement.

Hunter did not testify during the trial and the jury were told they aren’t allowed to hold that decision against him in their deliberations.

It's the first time a president’s immediate family member has been found guilty of a crime during their father’s term in office. Credit: AP

During the trial, the jury heard personal details about Hunter's well-known struggles with alcoholism and crack cocaine addiction.

Prosecutors leaned on the testimony of three of Hunter's ex-partners – including Hallie Biden, widow of his brother Beau Biden – to tell the jury how his dependency on crack cocaine led to the end of his marriage, strained his relationships with his kids, and put him in danger on several occasions.

Hunter's defense team argued, unsuccessfully, that he didn’t actually view himself as a user or addict when he bought and possessed the gun.

Hunter Biden left the courthouse holding hands with the first lady and his wife. Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Two of the counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years. The third has a maximum of five years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

In a written statement following the verdict, he said he was "disappointed" by the outcome but "grateful" for the support of family and friends. His attorney said they will “continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available.”

President Biden and the White House have repeatedly ruled out a pardon for his son.

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