US President's son Hunter Biden convicted in firearms case (Ld)

Washington, June 11 A US jury on Tuesday found Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, guilty of all three crimes he was charged with in relation to a firearms case.

Biden faces a maximum punishment of 25 years but is more likely to get away with much less being a first-time offender.

President Biden can pardon him, but he has said repeatedly that he will not do so if his son is found guilty.

In a statement on the jury verdict, Joe Biden said, “As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride in seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.

"As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this 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.”

This is the first time that the child of a sitting US President has been tried on criminal charges and convicted.

The Junior Biden also faces a second trial in September for tax evasion.

Hunter Biden was charged with two counts of filing false information on forms he filled to buy a firearm in 2018. He had lied that he was not using narcotics at the time. The third count refers to possessing a firearm when he was using drugs.

He was tried in a federal court in Wilmington, the family’s hometown in Delaware state. The jury took only three hours to reach the verdict after the two sides wrapped up their final arguments on Monday.

Jill Biden, the first lady and Hunter Biden’s stepmother, had attended the trial on most days and was in the court just a few minutes after the verdict was read.

Biden’s conviction follows soon after another chapter was added to US history with Donald Trump becoming the first former President to be convicted of criminal charges.

A New York jury had held him guilty on May 31 on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal payments to an adult film star to not speak out about an affair they had in 2005. Trump has denied the affair.

While his sentencing date has been set for July 11, Trump completed a key pre-sentencing interview with the authorities on Monday.

The two convictions are separated not only by the crimes, but also the manner in which the two men and their families have handled them.

Trump has railed the trial calling it politically motivated and has riled against the judge, attacking him personally and his family.

The Biden family has taken it stoically and said before that they will accept the verdict, which, as the jury said, is that Hunter Biden is guilty as charged.

Politically, the conviction is likely to weaken Trump’s allegations that the Biden-led White House has weaponised the justice department to stop him from running for the President's post.

As with everything else, Trump has a tenuous relationship with truth. The New York case was a state case, not federal. Two of the other three cases he faces are federal, and the third is a state case again. It’s the same justice department that prosecuted the President’s son and won a guilty verdict.

Source: IANS
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