• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Updated Jun 11, 2024, 12:36pm EDT
North America
icon

Semafor Signals

Hunter Biden found guilty on all counts in gun trial

Insights from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters

Arrow Down
Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, walks outside the federal court on the day of his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 10, 2024
Hannah Beier/REUTERS
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been found guilty on all charges in his federal gun trial.

Prosecutors argued Hunter lied on an application to buy a gun in 2018 about his substance use. He is facing separate tax-related charges in California; the trial is slated for later this year.

AD

Abbe Lowell, Hunter’s attorney, said the team is “naturally disappointed by today’s verdict,” and that they “respect the jury process” and “will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter.”

President Biden said after the verdict he will “accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process.”

Hunter’s conviction came weeks after former president and current presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to unfairly influence the 2016 presidential election.

AD
icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Hunter’s legal troubles could hurt his father’s campaign

Source icon
Sources:  
The New York Times, Reuters

The net effect of the firearms and tax cases against Hunter could undercut Biden’s advantage over Trump on ethical issues, conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote. “It’s definitely not a good look,” Kate Andersen Brower, an expert on the history of the presidency, told the BBC; the trial certainly exposed a side of the Biden family in contrast with the president’s personal image, and he has kept his distance from the trial. And in a February Reuters poll, 23% of respondents said Hunter’s legal problems made them less likely to vote for his father. Meanwhile, allies of the president are worried that the trial could prove a distraction for voters away from issues they care about.

Biden and Trump’s trials showcase ‘a tale of two parties’

Source icon
Sources:  
Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal

“The Trump and Biden cases are a tale of two parties,” columnist Edward Luce wrote for the Financial Times. The president could pardon his son — a grace Trump has extended to several political allies and associates charged with crimes — but has insisted he will not. If Biden is, as some right-wing pundits and politicians have alleged, “rigging the system, he has a funny way of showing it,” Luce wrote. Many Republicans have tried to portray the Biden family as corrupt for years, and have tried to link Hunter’s alleged misdeeds to his father. But the Biden campaign doesn’t think voters will ultimately see Hunter’s legal woes in the same light as Trump’s conviction and remaining felony charges, one adviser told The Wall Street Journal.

Hunter may not spend time in jail, despite conviction

Source icon
Sources:  
Newsweek, The BBC

Despite the conviction, Hunter Biden is unlikely to face jail time, a defense attorney told Newsweek. “Conviction for this type of crime generally does not result in a prison sentence,” he said. But the president’s son faces a maximum sentence of 25 years, and other attorneys think it is possible he will spend some time incarcerated. Ultimately, the judge has wide discretion in handing down a punishment.

Semafor Logo
AD