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Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden's daughter closes out week of trial testimony. What's next in the case?


WILMINGTON, Del. - The government rested its case against Hunter Biden in Wilmington federal court on Friday, and the defense called Naomi Biden, his daughter, to the stand.

Her vulnerable testimony underscored the family dynamics of the trial: Hunter Biden's ex-wife has testified, as well as his former lover 鈭 the widow of his brother. On most days, First Lady Jill Biden has looked on from the courtroom gallery.

Hunter Biden faces two firearms felonies based on allegations that he lied about his drug use when he filled out a form required to purchase a revolver in October 2018, as well as an additional felony for illegally possessing the gun while addicted to controlled substances. To convict the president's son, prosecutors must prove he was an unlawful user or addicted to controlled substances when he bought the gun.

His defense has conceded he was addicted before and after he bought the gun, but has sought to build a wall around that month, arguing that he was not using drugs at the time and didn't knowingly lie on the form.

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, arrives at the federal court for his trial on criminal gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, June 7, 2024.

Hunter Biden's daughter testifies

To that end, defense attorneys called Naomi, 30 and Hunter's eldest child, to the stand Friday morning.

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She was soft-spoken and apologized for being nervous early in her testimony. She said she had not spoken to her father for several months in summer 2018 when she took her boyfriend 鈭 who she would later marry 鈭 to meet him in California that August.

At the time, Hunter was undergoing drug treatment. They met at a coffee shop and spent the afternoon shopping together.

鈥淗e seemed the clearest since my uncle died,鈥 Naomi said of her father, noting that she also met his 鈥渟ober coach鈥 鈥 like a sponsor 鈥 during the visit. 鈥淗e seemed really great.鈥

She saw him again in New York that October and told the jury he appeared to be doing well, saying he seemed 鈥渉opeful.鈥

Yet prosecutors painted a different picture during Naomi鈥檚 cross-examination, using text messages to undercut the narrative presented by the defense that Hunter had a period of sobriety in the fall of 2018.

According to Naomi's testimony, that October, she borrowed her father鈥檚 truck to move Peter from Washington, D.C. to New York, where he was moving in with her. The plan was for Hunter to drive up to New York. He鈥檇 take what Naomi called 鈥淧op鈥檚 car,鈥 referring to a black Cadillac leased by her grandfather, President Joe Biden. Once in New York, the two would swap cars.

Prosecutor Leo Wise read through a series of text messages between Naomi Biden and her father in her attempts to schedule the car swap. The first messages began mid-afternoon on Oct. 17, with Naomi inquiring when Hunter wanted to swap vehicles. She didn't receive a reply until almost midnight that day.

Then, around 2 a.m. on Oct. 18, Hunter texted his daughter asking if they could meet at Fifth Avenue and West 57th Street to swap the cars. She replied asking if he meant at that hour, though didn't hear back until later that day.

Naomi Biden (C), daughter of Hunter Biden, leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 07, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware. The trial for Hunter Biden's felony gun charges continues today with additional witnesses. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Wise seized on the 2 a.m. messages.

鈥淒o you know what your father was doing at 2 a.m. and why he was asking for the car then?鈥 Wise asked pointedly.

He then addressed text messages sent later that day in which Naomi tried to firm up plans for Peter and Hunter to swap cars. In the messages, Naomi asked if she would see her father during his short trip to New York. He replied no, though she testified Friday that she believed he was saying no to another inquiry she had made.

Still, she wrote back: 鈥淪o no see you?!鈥 That message was followed by an 鈥渦nhappy face,鈥 Wise said.

Wise also read a text message around the same time in which Naomi told Biden 鈥淚'm sorry, I can鈥檛 take this. I miss you so much. I just wanna hang out with you.鈥

Her father replied: 鈥淚 am sorry I鈥檝e been so unreachable. It is not fair to you.鈥

Wise's questions seemed to imply that Hunter was avoiding his daughter, asking Naomi if she knew if during this timeframe he was 鈥渕eeting with someone named Frankie鈥 鈥 a man who, according to previous testimony, sold drugs to Hunter in New York early in 2018.

Prosecution rests Friday

Before Naomi Biden's testimony, prosecutors rested their case after three and a half days of testimony from 10 witnesses.

Three of those were Hunter Biden's former lovers: his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, his former girlfriend Zoe Kestan and Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother and his former girlfriend. Kestan and Hallie Biden provided what might be the most damning testimony.

Hunter Biden trial: Ex-wife, former girlfriend detail his drug use, battle with sobriety

Kestan testified to Hunter Biden's frequent drug use through summer 2018 and as late as September after a period in rehab. Hallie Biden also testified about text messages from October 2018, the same month Hunter Biden bought the gun, where he told her he was waiting for a dealer in one message and smoking crack on a car in another message sent days after he purchased the gun.

She also told the jury she found what she believed to be drug paraphernalia and residue with Hunter Biden's gun before she trashed it at a local grocery store.

This directly undercuts the defense argument that Hunter Biden was not using drugs in October and thus didn't knowingly lie on the form he completed to purchase the revolver.

Trial Coverage: Hallie Biden testifies to drug use, gun discovery

Prosecutors have also introduced excerpts from Hunter Biden's memoir where he goes into detail about his struggles with addiction in 2018 and in the surrounding years. They've also introduced dozens of text messages and that a DEA agent testified on Friday show Hunter Biden arranging drug deals. Other than the two messages to Hallie Biden in October, the messages were primarily sent before and after October 2018.

An FBI special agent also testified to large cash withdrawals by Hunter Biden, with prosecutors contending those are consistent with someone frequently buying drugs.

The prosecutor's case also featured testimony by employees from StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply, the Talleyville shop where Hunter Biden bought the gun, as well as testimony from police responsible for recovering the weapon after Hallie Biden threw it in the trash 11 days after its purchase.

The Delaware man who found the gun while rummaging through the grocery store garbage also testified Thursday.

Edward Banner, a witness in the trial of Hunter Biden, son of 91影视 President Joe Biden, on criminal gun charges, departs the federal court during Hunter Biden's trial in Wilmington, Delaware on June 6, 2024.

What comes next

It is unclear if Hunter Biden's defense team will call more witnesses. In opening statements, defense attorney Abbe Lowell said James Biden, the president's brother, would feature in the defense case. He was at the courthouse Friday, however court adjourned early that day without him testifying.

There is also the question of whether Hunter Biden might take the stand, a decision Lowell told the court has not been made as of Friday.

Attorney Abbe Lowell arrives at the federal court for the trial of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, on criminal gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 7, 2024.

It is also unclear if prosecutors will offer rebuttal witnesses once the defense rests.

Presiding Judge Maryellen Noreika told attorneys to return to the courthouse Monday at 8:15 a.m. to continue the proceedings.

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