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US v Hunter Biden trial enters day 7 with continued jury deliberations: 'Choices have consequences'

First son Hunter Biden's criminal trial in Delaware ended day 6 with jury deliberations, which will continue this week until a verdict in the case is reached.

WILMINGTON, Del. – A federal court waits with bated breath for a verdict in the historical U.S. v. Hunter Biden criminal case after jury deliberations kicked off Monday afternoon. 

"Choices have consequences and that’s why we’re here," prosecutor Derek Hines told the court Monday afternoon. 

Hunter Biden's sixth day of trial, which is related to his gun purchase in 2018, kicked off with a brief rebuttal case from prosecutors before both the prosecution and the defense teams hashed out jury instructions with presiding Judge Maryellen Noreika, held closing arguments and finally jury deliberations.

The first son is facing three charges related to his Oct. 12, 2018, purchase of a Cobra Colt .38 handgun, including making a false statement in the purchase of a gun, making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federally licensed gun dealer, and possession of a gun by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

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Hunter Biden, who has a well-established history with drug and alcohol abuse, is specifically accused of lying on a federal gun form, called Form 4473, where he checked a box labeled "No" when asked if he is an unlawful user of drugs or addicted to controlled substances.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty in the case. 

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Prosecutor Leo Wise delivered the government's closing arguments in the case, underscoring the phrase previously used in the team's opening arguments: "No one is above the law."

Wise told the jury that the evidence and testimony heard in court since last Tuesday has been "personal," "ugly" and "overwhelming," but also "necessary." Throughout the course of the trial, the court heard testimony from Hunter Biden's ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan, sister-in-law-turned-girlfriend Hallie Biden, daughter Naomi Biden, as well as from a series of experts from the FBI and DEA in addition to the trio of gun shop owners involved in the gun sale.

Wise told the jury that the prosecution team has sufficiently presented to them evidence that before, during and after the gun purchase, Hunter Biden was a drug addict and knew he was a drug addict before filling out ATF Form 4473.

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"The defendant knew he used crack and was addicted to crack at the relevant time period," Wise said, noting that the prosecution team did not need to prove to the jury that Hunter Biden used and was addicted to crack cocaine on the specific day of the purchase, just the time period surrounding the gun purchase. 

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The first son's 2021 memoir "Beautiful Things" again took center stage on Monday. The memoir includes anecdotes from Hunter Biden that he needed crack cocaine every 20 minutes at the height of his addiction, how he met a female drug dealer he nicknamed "Bicycles" who sold him crack cocaine on the streets of Washington, D.C., and how he could serve as a "crack daddy" to dealers due to his spiraling addiction. 

"I had returned that fall of 2018, after my most recent relapse in California, with the hope of getting clean through a new therapy and reconciling with Hallie," Hunter Biden wrote in his memoir of his return to Delaware after a stint in a California rehab. Wise highlighted that portion of the book, pointing to the phrase "hope of getting clean," which Wise said shows Hunter Biden was using drugs when he traveled back to Delaware where he purchased the gun

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The book was "key evidence that Hunter was using drugs," Wise argued in his comments to the jury. 

Wise also again rehashed text messages Hunter Biden sent others the month of the gun purchase, including telling Hallie Biden one day after the gun purchase that he was "waiting for a dealer named Mookie" behind a stadium, and a day after that, he texted Hallie Biden that he was "sleeping on a car smoking crack on 4th street and Rodney."

"The central issue in this case is whether he was an addict and knew that he was," Wise said. 

"We've had his life in our hands, but not now I have to give it to you," Lowell told the jury Monday afternoon of Hunter Biden. 

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Lowell laid out his argument to the jury Monday that prosecutors have failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Biden knowingly lied about his addiction to crack cocaine when buying the gun at the Wilmington gun shop back in October 2018. 

Lowell, instead, accused prosecutors of playing a "magician's trick," claiming they rolled out "conjecture" to the jury regarding Hunter Biden's drug abuse by not presenting evidence showing photos from October 2018 of Hunter Biden's drug purchases or use, lack of evidence showing the gun he purchased was ever loaded or taken into public, and unable to show who got cocaine residue on the brown pouch that contained the gun when it was eventually collected by police. 

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Lowell and the defense team do not dispute that Hunter Biden has a long history with substance abuse, with Lowell telling the court earlier in the trial that the first son began abusing alcohol as a teenager before graduating to drugs as an adult. Lowell instead argued that ahead of the gun purchase in October, Hunter Biden had received rehab treatment in August that same year and hired a "sober coach" to help him stay clean. 

Lowell argued that on the day of Hunter Biden's gun purchase, the first son did not believe he was an active addict and user, and consequently did not lie on the federal gun form.

"That statement, when made, was not what he believed to be false," Lowell told the jury. "The word knowingly could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt."

Lowell specifically walked the jury through the series of other questions asked on ATF Form 4473, which included questions such as: "Have you ever renounced your United States citizenship?" and "Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence …"

The question Hunter Biden is accused of lying about states: "Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside."

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Lowell honed in on the phrases "have you ever" versus "are you," arguing that the drug question asked in the present tense if Hunter Biden was using drugs and was an unlawful user of drugs, not if he had ever been addicted. 

"It’s time to end this case," Lowell said. 

Hunter Biden was joined in court Monday by his stepmother, first lady Jill Biden, sister Ashley Biden, wife Melissa Cohen Biden, as well as Jim Biden, who is President Biden's brother. Roughly two dozen Biden family members and allies filled three rows of the court's audience area. 

Hunter Biden appeared to be more upbeat Monday as the trial nears its end. He flashed a bright smile a handful of times Monday, aimed toward family members and allies.

Jill Biden again took her front-row seat and remained forward-facing, seldom looking around the courtroom. During a break, Lowell joined the first lady for a few moments, and the two chatted and Jill Biden was seen smiling and nodding as she spoke with the defense attorney. 

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Wise highlighted to the jury that the "people sitting in the gallery are not evidence," seemingly referring to the first lady and others in the Biden family. 

"Respectfully, none of that matters," he added, even if the jurors recognized the audience "from the news." 

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Prosecutors instead told jurors to focus on whether Hunter Biden was an addict around the time period of the gun purchase and if he knew he was an addict when he bought the gun.

"You don’t have his life in your hands. Was he an addict? Did he know he was an addict when he filled out that form?" prosecutor Derek Hines told the jury during the prosecution team's final closing rebuttal, pushing back on defense attorney Lowell's previous comment that the jury's verdict puts Hunter Biden's life in the balance. 

"The defendant was a crack addict and a drug user, and he had a gun," he said.

If convicted, the total maximum prison time for the three charges could be up to 25 years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

A verdict could be reached as early as Tuesday morning. Hunter Biden did not testify in the case after Lowell floated the possibility on Friday and said he'd take the weekend to make a decision. 

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