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Biden vows to respect son's guilty verdict in gun trial

President Joe Biden talks with his son Hunter Biden as he arrives Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., 11 June 2024
President Joe Biden talks with his son Hunter Biden as he arrives Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., 11 June 2024 Copyright AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Copyright AP Photo/Matt Rourke
By Euronews with AP
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The US President’s son Hunter Biden was convicted for lying about his illegal drug use to buy a gun, making him the first child of a sitting US president to be convicted of a crime.

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US President Joe Biden has said he will respect a 12-person jury’s decision to find his son guilty of gun crimes.

Biden left Washington for his Delaware home on Tuesday afternoon, where Hunter Biden, his wife Melissa and their toddler Beau awaited the president on the tarmac. 

On arrival, Joe Biden gave them a big hug.

Last week, President Biden said that he would not pardon his son if convicted.

“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," Biden said.

54-year-old Hunter Biden was found guilty on Tuesday of charges relating to the purchase of a revolver in 2018 when prosecutors argued he had lied on a gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs. 

He was convicted of lying to a licensed gun dealer, making a false claim by saying he was not a drug user, and illegally having the gun for eleven days. 

The jury deliberated for about three hours over two days.  

Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, though first-time offenders are unlikely to receive anywhere near the maximum. 

Hunter Biden accompanied by his mother, first lady Jill Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, walks out of federal court after hearing the verdict, Tuesday, June 11, 2024,
Hunter Biden accompanied by his mother, first lady Jill Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, walks out of federal court after hearing the verdict, Tuesday, June 11, 2024,Matt Slocum/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Judge Maryellen Noreika commented that the sentencing date would typically be around 120 days after the guilty verdict.

President Joe Biden kept his distance from the courtroom where his son Hunter stood trial to avoid any appearance of interference. However, he released a statement reacting to the jury’s guilty verdict, expressing support for his son and acknowledgement of his battle with addiction.

“Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” Biden wrote. “So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

President Joe Biden has said he would not pardon his son, and that he would "respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.”

After the verdict was announced, the White House cancelled press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s scheduled briefing, saying that Biden would spend the evening in Delaware.

The case is one of two federal indictments that have been brought against Hunter Biden last year. He faces serious tax charges in Los Angeles after he failed to pay the government during a year-long drug and alcohol spending binge.

The trial for the second indictment is due to start in September.

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