A quickie guilty verdict in Delaware: How Hunter Biden botched his defense

Of course Hunter Biden was guilty. It only took a jury in Delaware, where the family name is golden, three hours to figure that out.

His defense was quite frankly absurd. Biden was a drug addict – he helpfully wrote and recorded a book about it – then his lawyer argued he wasn’t using drugs on the day, week or alternate Tuesday that he bought a handgun – so he didn’t mean to lie on the federal form.

The result: Guilty on all three felony counts.

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The only real mystery is why Hunter didn’t plead guilty and spare his father the personal and political embarrassment of having all this dirty laundry aired in open court. Federal prosecutors clearly were pushing for a settlement. The testimony from Hunter’s exes, the excruciating text messages, all this could have been avoided.

He would have gone to jail either way.

And yet, for all the criticism from Republicans that the law enforcement system has been weaponized against their side, the Biden Justice Department just convicted the president’s son. There aren’t many countries around the world where you can imagine that happening.

Hunter Biden departs from federal court, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

In fact, that same DOJ is now prosecuting two other prominent Democrats, Sen. Bob Menendez and his gold bars bribery case, and Rep. Henry Cuellar.

In what must have been a difficult psychological blow for Joe Biden, who went to Wilmington last night to be with his son, essentially repeated a statement he made last week.

“I will accept the outcome of this case, and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal,” said the president, who says he has ruled out a pardon. He said he and his wife are “so proud of the man he is today.”

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Despite hours of cable news banners, Joe Biden did not address the matter even when he was addressing a gun safety forum, which made for an awkward situation. But he was not going to give his detractors the sound bite they wanted.

You might think, given that Donald Trump is also a convicted felon – and I’m not comparing the two cases – that he and his allies would let the media tout the Hunter Biden conviction. But no.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, joined by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, arrive at the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware.   (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The Trump camp’s press secretary said “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 Crime Family is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit.”

So we’ve gone from Hunter Biden must be convicted immediately to this is a mere distraction. The gun felony case has nothing to do with his dad, who kept urging him to get sober. The second, more serious criminal trial, for tax evasion, might feature a limited parental role.

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But the “Biden Crime Family” refrain is aimed squarely at the then-vice president’s son trading on his last name to rake in global business for which he was clearly unqualified. So there’s a deliberate shifting of the goal posts here.

Keep in mind that House Republicans, after months of investigation, failed to produce evidence of Joe Biden getting a dime, though he clearly used innocuous calls and a couple of lunches to help his son drum up business. Also, the committee’s key source was indicted for lying.

Special counsel David Weiss told reporters yesterday the gun case shows “no one is above the law.” But he also suggested the government wouldn’t propose a harsher sentence than for the average person.

Hunter Biden, center, and his attorneys Abbe Lowell, right, and Kevin Morris, left, leave the House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup titled “Resolution Recommending That The House of Representatives Find Robert Hunter Biden In Contempt Of Congress,” in the Rayburn Building on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

One could argue that the case should have been brought five years ago. But there’s also a contention that it wouldn’t have been filed at all against Hunter Jones.

These rare cases usually have to be tied to a larger crime, such as if the president’s son had used the illicitly obtained gun to rob a bank. (That’s the argument Trump made, that he faced a gussied-up misdemeanor because he’s the leading candidate for president.)

But Hunter owned the handgun for all of 11 days before his paramour tossed it in the trash.

The judge should sentence Hunter Biden around the time of the Democratic convention in August. And then comes the second trial. Awful timing for a notorious son who could have avoided this spectacle with a guilty plea.

Howard Kurtz is the host of FOX News Channel’s MediaBuzz (Sundays 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET). Based in Washington, D.C., he joined the network in July 2013 and regularly appears on Special Report with Bret Baier and other programs.

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