Hunter Biden’s Trial and Its Revelations

The president’s son likely broke the law, but the case is about much more.

The story

Hunter Biden is on trial in Delaware, having allegedly purchased a firearm in 2018 while addicted to drugs, then lying about it on a federal form. Evidence against Hunter is significant, including his own admissions in his memoir and text messages, which confirm drug abuse at the time of the purchase.

In addition to unearthing more evidence of erratic behavior, the bombshell was full authentication of the infamous Hunter Biden laptop, which was used as evidence during direct examination.

FBI agent Erica Jensen testified that the agency received a tip from a Delaware computer store where Hunter had allegedly left his laptop. After obtaining a search warrant, the FBI used forensic tools to extract the laptop’s data and verify its authenticity.

The intelligence community, major news publications, and high-ranking Democrat politicians had assured Americans for months that the laptop story was Russian disinformation. In critical weeks leading up to the 2020 election, Facebook and Twitter censored the article, concealing important information as voters were deciding which candidate to support.

Photos and emails related to Hunter’s drug use, extracted from the laptop, demonstrated his crack cocaine addiction. The laptop also provided substantial proof of corrupt overseas business dealings which netted him millions of dollars.

The politics

Few see an optimistic scenario for Hunter Biden, with the jury expected to deliver a swift guilty verdict. As The Dispatch Senior Editor Sarah Isgur articulated in The New York Times:

Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on three felony gun charges … In the meantime, his father is behind in many polls, his financial benefactor is reportedly “tapped out” and his best legal arguments require gutting federal gun control laws. An embarrassing trial that he is likely to lose will only make things worse.

In other words, Hunter needs to accept a plea deal — fast.

On the left, many express sympathy for Biden’s struggles with drug addiction, yet are compelled to acknowledge that he committed a crime — lying to obtain a gun. Entire articles are devoted to drug addiction, and how the disease upends families and communities. Sympathy, though, does not change facts; Hunter intentionally lied.

Beyond the headlines

President Biden reportedly speaks to his son daily by phone, raising concerns about a conflict of interest, given that the president’s Justice Department brought the charges against Hunter.

Initially, Hunter Biden accepted a deal requiring that he plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges for failing to pay federal income taxes on time in 2017 and 2018. The deal mandated a pretrial diversion program for the gun charge, sparing him jail time. However, it fell apart during a court hearing due to disagreement over terms. Republicans criticized the plea agreement as a “sweetheart deal,” evidencing a two-tiered justice system for the powerful.

This current trial starkly contrasts with former president Donald Trump's recent conviction. Trump was convicted in Manhattan, which voted only 14.5 percent for him in 2020; the likelihood of seating an unbiased jury was minimal.

In Wilmington, Delaware, where Hunter Biden is on trial, his father won the city with 89 percent of the vote. President Biden’s supporters understand that convicting his son would politically damage him.

The case seems to demand an open-and-shut guilty verdict. An acquittal or hung jury because of Hunter’s last name could lead Americans to perceive justice as being applied unevenly, depending on one’s societal status and geographic location.

Why it matters

Hunter Biden’s fate is secondary to the revelation regarding the FBI’s authentication of the laptop four full years after the fact. This undermines public trust in major institutions like the FBI, Big Tech, and mainstream media, which have failed to hold powerful individuals accountable — especially when an election is at stake.

Hunter’s behavior, along with records retrieved from his laptop, do little to convince the average American that President Biden was uninfluenced by his son’s business activities. Hunter obviously used his father’s name and influence to profit from foreign actors, while Joe Biden turned a blind eye or, worse, actively encouraged and benefited from his son’s actions.

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