Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Hunter Biden Delaware Trial – Day 1

(Y’all didn’t think I’d pass up recapping this one, did you?)

We turn our attention now from Manhattan to Wilmington, Delaware, where another high-profile political figure is standing trial on felony charges. Granted, Hunter Biden isn’t himself a politician, but given his relationship to the President of the United States, I’d say he qualifies. 

Monday marked Day 1 in his Delaware gun trial. I couldn’t hope to provide a better, more thorough overview of the case than Mia Cathell did over at our sister site, Townhall. I highly encourage you to read her detailed explainer.

READ: Hunter Biden’s Gun Case Explained

Just a brief excerpt from Mia’s article to set the table: 

Namely, President Joe Biden’s No. 1 Boy is charged with making a false statement during a background check to deceive a federally licensed firearms dealer in Wilmington, Delaware—his father’s home turf (Count 1), making a false statement on a form that the seller kept as the firearm transaction record (Count 2), and illegally possessing the gun over an 11-day period (Count 3).
The prosecution will argue that Hunter Biden knowingly lied on the federal form (“ATF Form 4473“) by falsely attesting he was not an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance, i.e. crack cocaine, when he was both, thereby violating federal law; thus, by lying, Hunter Biden was able to illegally buy the gun, a Colt Cobra 38SPL revolver, on October 12, 2018, and he chose to unlawfully possess that firearm until it was taken from his possession about a week and a half later on October 23, 2018.
If convicted, the charges are punishable by up to 25 years in prison, plus $750,000 in fines and nine years of supervised release.

As an added bonus, Mia is actually attending this trial, so Townhall Media (of which RedState is a proud part) will be able to bring you the latest on it quickly throughout.

Over the weekend, Judge Maryellen Noreika issued some key evidentiary and instruction-related rulings ahead of the proceedings. 

First, although Hunter’s legal team submitted some proposed changes to the preliminary jury instructions, Noreika declined to make them. 

As to the elements of the offenses, the preliminary instructions include a general description of the charges. The Court’s final jury instructions will include all of the requisite elements for each offense. As to the instruction on reasonable doubt, Defendant does not assert that the Court’s proposed instruction – which is the accepted Third Circuit Model Jury Instruction – is incorrect or provide a compelling order to use a different instruction.

Next, as to the Government’s motion to exclude the testimony of Hunter’s proposed experts, Dr. Joshua Lee (or Dr. Elie Aoun), Michael Lee Coyer, and Khody Detwiler, Noreika granted the motion as to Aoun and reserved her ruling as to Coyer. Hunter’s team attempted to sub in Aoun for Lee due to a scheduling conflict and elected not to call Detwiler (the handwriting expert). 

Lastly, Noreika granted the Government’s motion in limine to admit ATF Form 4473 and exclude an annotated version of the form from 2021 as she determined any probative value of the annotated version was “outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, and misleading the jury.”

As Mia reported, things got underway shortly after 9:00 am Eastern, with several Biden family members in attendance. 

9:10 a.m. — Some media (including Townhall) and the public are now heading into the courtroom. Hunter Biden is looking around at those entering. First Lady Jill Biden is two rows behind him. 

Mid-day, we got a decent flavor of the types of questions being put to the jurors (and their responses).

Potential Jurors on Hunter Biden Case Face Questions on Guns, Addiction With Some Surprising Results

And surprisingly, by the end of the day, the jury had been seated. 

Game On: Jury Seated in Hunter Biden Gun Case, Opening Statements Set for Tuesday

It took roughly seven hours, but by 4:20 p.m. Monday, 12 jurors and four alternates were chosen to decide Hunter Biden’s guilt or innocence in his trial, where he stands accused of lying on a federal gun form. Six of the jurors are men, while six are women, and all of the alternates are female. 

We weren’t treated to a ton of detail regarding the strikes taken by the prosecution or defense (or the reasons therefor). What we know for sure is that the son of a prominent Delaware family and Democrat president is standing trial before jurors who hale from a deep blue state. (The evidence appears pretty damning, but I wouldn’t recommend holding one’s breath on a guilty verdict.) 

Opening statements are set to begin Tuesday morning. As always, RedState will keep you apprised of the developments. 

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  1. From what I’ve heard, he truly has a jury of his peers! People who are sympathetic to drug use. Where were the business people in Trumps case? As the article says, don’t get your hopes up, Hunter gets off. Just another crook that has been caught and released. This will come back on them in the long run.

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