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Jury selection begins in Hunter Biden's criminal trial

Jun 04, 2024

Washington [USA], June 4: Jury selection kicked off in a criminal case against Hunter Biden, a historic prosecution that could further influence the 2024 presidential election four days after Joe Biden's rivalDonald Trump became the first former U.S. president to be convicted.
Hunter Biden, 54, arrived at the courthouse for the first trial of the child of a sitting president, in which he will face three felony charges stemming from his purchase and possession of a revolver in 2018.
Hunter Biden is charged with lying about his use of illegal drugs when he bought a Colt Cobra .38-caliber revolver and with illegally possessing the weapon for 11 days in October 2018.
He has pleaded not guilty. The case, brought by U.S. Special Counsel David Weiss, a Trump appointee, is one of two criminal cases he faces, with federal tax charges brought separately in California.
The judge in the gun case, Maryellen Noreika, began screening potential jurors on Monday, many of whom disclosed they had family members or acquaintances with drug problems, including one juror who became emotional when discussing a brother-in-law with an addiction.
Most jurors said they were at least vaguely familiar with this case. "I live in Delaware. You can't swing a cat with out hearing something," one potential juror told the judge.
Few jurors expressed strong political views.
One said he had worked with First Lady Jill Biden and said he had met "Jill's husband" multiple times. He also said he supported the campaign of Ferris Wharton, who ran unsuccessfully for Delaware attorney general against Beau Biden, Hunter's brother, who died of cancer in 2015.
All 12 jurors must agree he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to convict.
Jill Biden, Hunter Biden's wife Melissa Cohen Biden and his half-sister Ashley Biden were in attendance at the trial in Wilmington, before U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika.
The trial comes days after Trump was convicted by a jury in state court in New York of 34 felony counts of falsifying documents to cover up hush money paid to a porn star to avoid a sex scandal shortly before the 2016 U.S. election that put him in the White House. Trump is the Republican candidate challenging Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the Nov. 5 U.S. election.
Hunter Biden's trial gives Republicans a chance to shift attention away from Trump's legal troubles. Trump is due to be sentenced on July 11. He has pleaded not guilty in three other pending criminal cases.
If convicted on all charges in the Delaware case, Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison, though defendants generally receive shorter sentences, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Hunter Biden spent the weekend with his father in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with the pair biking and attending church together on Saturday. The president, who had been expected to depart Rehoboth Beach on Monday, traveled on Sunday evening to his home in Wilmington.
Source: Fijian Broadcasting Corporation