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Jury likely considered Hunter Biden’s own words in memoir as ‘powerful’ evidence to convict: experts

Following Hunter Biden's guilty verdict, some legal experts pointed to his own memoir of his drug addiction recovery as “powerful" evidence for the jury to convict him.

Following the historic conviction of a sitting president’s son, some legal experts pointed to Hunter Biden’s own memoir of his drug addiction recovery as "powerful" evidence for the jury to convict him.

Hunter Biden was found guilty on Tuesday of 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.

After a week of witness testimony, the 12 jurors deliberated a total of three hours between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. 

Legal experts speaking to Fox News Digital pointed to Hunter Biden’s 2021 book titled, "Beautiful Things: A Memoir," chronicling his battle with addiction to illegal drugs, which they argued likely served as compelling evidence to the jury. The autobiographical book was played aloud in the courtroom, narrated in Hunter Biden’s voice as he was sitting in the courtroom. 

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"A lot of cases you'll have admissions by defendant, you know, by police interrogation or whatever. And those are quite powerful. I always liked having them in a case," Jonathan Fahey, a former federal prosecutor and white-collar crime attorney, told Fox News Digital in an interview.

Prosecutors referred to several excerpts of the book during witness testimony, including references to "crackhead wisdom," and the "ability to find crack in any town." 

"Crack takes you into the darkest recesses of your soul, as well as the darkest corners of every community," Hunter Biden wrote in the book.

"When I could, I tried to buy from a user instead of a dealer," he wrote. "I could get off a plane in Timbuktu and find some crack," Biden writes in the book. He describes how he could be a "crack daddy" to Washington, D.C., drug dealers because his addiction was so strong.

The prosecution had to prove that Biden was addicted to illegal drugs when he purchased a handgun, and that he lied on a federal firearm form, known as ATF Form 4473, in October 2018 when he ticked a box labeled "No" when asked if he is an unlawful user of a firearm or addicted to controlled substances. 

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"But when you have their admissions, where they’re not being interrogated, when it's just by their own volition, in his case, trying to sell a book or as part of his book – I think it's pretty powerful to then say, you know, essentially I wasn't candid in my book, and I’m candid now," Fahey said of Biden’s defense strategy.

"I do think it is quite compelling that you have his own words," Fahey said, adding that testimony from close family members who "corroborated" each other also likely impacted the jury.

John Malcolm, a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta, said he was not surprised a verdict was reached quickly, saying "the evidence of Hunter Biden’s guilt was overwhelming." 

"That evidence included not only contemporaneous text messages to and from Hunter himself, but testimony from people who care about Hunter Biden, but who had to admit that he was in the throes of addiction at the time he made the choice to purchase a firearm, as well as testimony from Hunter himself in the form of excerpts from his book in which he chronicled his struggles with addiction at the time he purchased the firearm," Malcolm said. 

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"The only open question was whether the jurors would ignore the evidence and the instructions from the judge and engage in jury nullification because of the fact that he is a Biden in a small state in which the Bidens have dominated the political landscape for decades," Malcolm said. 

Throughout the trial, members of Biden’s family, including first lady Jill Biden, were present in the courtroom. 

"The members of the jury, to their credit, managed to set that aside and focused on the task at hand," Malcolm said. 

"I think it was an accumulation. There's not necessarily one smoking gun so to speak," Jim Trusty, a former federal prosecutor and former lawyer for former President Trump, told Fox News Digital, adding that Biden’s memoir was "a big piece of evidence." 

"They started with that for a reason," he said. 

Hunter Biden reacted to the guilty verdict on Tuesday in a statement saying, "I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome."

"Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time," he added.

Fox News Digital's Emma Colton contributed to this report. 

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