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Mixed Reactions to Hunter Biden Conviction on Federal Gun Charges

Joe Biden's son was found guilty on three counts – but that hasn't silenced the skeptics.

A Delaware jury deliberated for a total of three hours – beginning on the afternoon of June 10 – before returning a verdict on June 11 in the Hunter Biden gun felony trial. Biden had been charged with three federal crimes relating to a false statement on a background check form he completed for the purchase of a revolver in October of 2018. The president’s son was found guilty on all counts – a perhaps unsurprising outcome that drew mixed reactions from Joe Biden’s political opponents.

The case was prosecuted by David C. Weiss, a Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel appointed to investigate the first son for possible tax-related crimes. Biden was convicted of making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false statement in the purchase of a gun, and possession of a gun by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

Put together, the three charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 25 years, plus a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge. The Department of Justice frequently declines to prosecute private citizens suspected of lying on a background check form for a gun purchase. That could be why several of Joe Biden’s critics have called the trial and the verdict a “distraction.” Some of them, such as Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), have suggested that prosecuting Hunter Biden on these charges amounted to an attempt by the DOJ to prove that the criminal justice system has not been weaponized along ideological lines.

Hunter Biden Verdict Met with Cynicism

Mace described it as “the veil of fairness,” while Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) wrote on the X social media platform, “Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict is nothing more than the Left’s attempt to create the illusion of equal justice. Don’t fall for it.”

Another Republican, Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, seemed a little less skeptical, writing, “Today’s verdict is a step towards ensuring equal application of the law, regardless of one’s last name.” However, Smith also pointed out, “If it were not for the IRS whistleblowers coming forward to the Ways and Means Committee, Hunter Biden would have never faced accountability for the crimes he has committed [emphasis Smith’s].”

Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign released a statement shortly after the verdict was announced:

“This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine. Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit.”

Still others weren’t going to let the DOJ off the hook, pointing out that, in 2023, Hunter Biden almost obtained what many called a “sweetheart deal.” He was ready to plead guilty to certain tax crimes in exchange for the gun charges being dropped. A judge nixed that deal after seeing that a clause in the fine print would have granted Biden virtual immunity from all future charges.

Hunter Biden also released a statement saying he was “disappointed” in the outcome of the trial but grateful for the support he had received from his family. He faces another trial on tax charges, set to begin in Los Angeles on Sept. 5.

Making any prediction about the sentence for his gun felonies – which, of course, Hunter Biden will be able to appeal – would be entirely speculative. However, if Joe Biden’s son avoids jail time, it would not be a vindication of the widely held suspicion that Biden’s DOJ is operating a politically motivated two-tier system of criminal justice. Not only are these types of crimes seldom prosecuted, but it is rarer still for a private citizen to be incarcerated for such a transgression.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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