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Three big takeaways from Day 6 of Hunter Biden's federal gun trial

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(WILMINGTON, Del.) — Jurors began deliberating Monday afternoon in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial after prosecutors urged them to use “common sense” to find him guilty of three felony gun charges, claiming to have proved their case “beyond a reasonable doubt seven ways to Sunday.”

“If this evidence did not establish that Hunter Biden was a crack addict, and an unlawful user, then no one is a crack addict or an unlawful user,” said prosecutor Derek Hines.

Abbe Lowell, the lead defense attorney, rebutted that claim by characterizing the government’s case as nothing more than “speculation and conjecture.”

The president’s son is accused of lying on a federal form when he said he wasn’t using drugs at the time he purchased a Colt revolver on Oct. 12, 2018.

The jury will resume its deliberations Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET.

Here are three big takeaways from Day 6 of the trial:

Prosecution says Hunter Biden ‘knew he was using drugs’

After the defense rested it case without Hunter Biden taking the stand in his own defense, the government, in its closing argument, laid out its case for Hunter Biden’s guilt on three criminal counts — two for lying on a federal form at a Wilmington gun shop and the other for possession of the firearm while an addict and user of drugs.

Prosecutor Leo Wise acknowledged the government’s case hinged on Hunter Biden’s “knowing” that he was a user and addict at the time he filled out the form.

“He knew he was using drugs,” Wise told jurors. “That’s what the evidence shows.”

Wise emphasized repeatedly to the jury that the government is not required to show specifically that Hunter used drugs when he owned the gun from Oct. 12-23, 2018 — instead, Wise said, they must show that the facts “establish that pattern.”

Wise pointed to text messages and book excerpts admitted into evidence, referencing Hunter Biden’s own words that he used to describe his addiction.

“Take the defendant’s word for it,” Wise told jurors.

Wise opened his closing argument by making a reference to the high profile of the case. The case is “not more or less important because of who the defendant is,” he said, gesturing toward the gallery where the first lady and president’s family sat.

“People sitting in the gallery are not evidence,” he said. “You may recognize them from the news, from the community … none of that matters.”

Defense calls government’s case a ‘magician’s trick’

During his 90-minute closing argument, Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell argued that the government did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his client was actively using drugs at the time of the gun purchase — saying there were “gaping holes” in their case.

Lowell repeatedly referred to prosecutors’ case as a “magicians’ trick” — to “watch this hand and pay no attention to that one,” as he said — arguing that prosecutors failed to “fill in the gaps” about Hunter Biden’s drug use around the time of his firearm purchase “because they don’t have the proof.”

The “lack of text messages with drug lingo” and “photos” around the time of the gun purchase prove that prosecutors failed to prove that Hunter Biden was actively using drugs at that time, Lowell argued.

The defense also argued there is no evidence that the firearm Hunter Biden purchased was ever loaded or carried “until Hallie did all that,” referring to when Hunter Biden’s then-girlfriend Hallie Biden discovered the gun and took it to a nearby store to dispose of it.

Lowell called prosecutors’ treatment of Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi Biden “extraordinarily cruel” and said many of their questions and evidence were introduced with the intention of “embarrassing Hunter.”

“We have had Hunter’s life in our hands until now,” Lowell said before concluding his closing argument. “And now we have to give it to you.”

Government refutes defense’s characterization

In his rebuttal, prosecutor Derek Hines refuted Lowell’s characterization directly.

“Hunter Biden’s life is not in your hands,” he told the jury. 

Instead, he said they would judge the facts of the case and the law, as instructed, to determine his guilt. They would not sentence Hunter Biden or determine his fate.

Hines appealed to jurors’ common sense to establish that Hunter Biden knew he was a drug addict.

“Sometimes, some things in life don’t need an explanation,” he said, implying that Hunter Biden’s addiction was self-evident — so clear that he wrote extensively about it in his memoir.

Hunter Biden would have understood the words “addict and user” on the ATF form prosecutors allege that he lied on, Hines told the jury.

“He knew what those words meant,” the prosecutor said.

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