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Welcome to DailyMail.com’s daily U.S. politics blog, with live coverage of the biggest stories from the corridors of power.

Hunter Biden returned to court for the final stretch of his federal gun trial, with his lawyers deciding against him taking the stand in his own defense.

The jury is now deliberating in the case where the president’s son could face a maximum of 25 years in prison.

In other legal news, Donald Trump will virtually meet with a probation officer ahead of his July 11 sentencing in the hush money case after he was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records. 

Follow live updates from our reporters in Wilmington and Washington D.C. 

Table of Contents

Breaking:Jury begins deliberating

The jury started deliberations after the judge read out instructions.

Now the wait for a verdict begins.

If Hunter is found guilty, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden at the federal court for his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

Hunter Biden’s wife Melissa Cohen, first lady Jill, sister Ashley and uncle Jim leave court as jury begins deliberating

Hunter exits arm-in-arm with wife Melissa as jury begins deliberating

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden at the federal court for his trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

From Dailymail.com’s Josh Boswell in Delaware ciminal court:

Hunter exited arm-in-arm with his wife Melissa. His half-sister Ashley exited early, crying – not for the first time during the trial.

Hunter’s aunt Valerie Owens, with whom he is very close, wore dark sunglasses inside that concealed any tears.

Getting the last word in the arguments, prosecutor Derek Hines turned the case on its head, listing all the testimony he said the jury would have to believe were lies in order to acquit the defendant.

He said Hunter’s ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan would have to have lied about seeing Hunter use crack every 20 minutes in late September 2018, just a couple of weeks before he bought a gun – a lie that would have risked her immunity agreement with prosecutors.

Hines said Hunter would have had to have been lying in his text messages to Hallie that he was meeting a dealer and ‘smoking crack’ in the two days after he bought the gun.

Hunter would have had to have been lying in his own book, in which he said he ‘relapsed’ in September 2018 and continued using drugs in October.

The jury would need to believe Hunter’s ex-lover and brother’s widow, Hallie Biden, was lying when she said she found drug detritus and paraphernalia in Hunter’s truck on October 23.

Prosecutor rejects defense claims that questioning of Naomi Biden was ‘extraordinarily cruel’

Prosecutor Derek Hines began his rebuttal statement by rejecting defense suggestions that questioning of Naomi Biden was ‘extraordinarily cruel’.

Hines said: ‘Who called the defendant’s daughter as a witness in this case? Not us.’

Naomi, 30, was called by the defense and then cross-examined by the prosecution.

Hines said several things defense attorney Abbe Lowell had said in his closing arguments were ‘completely unfair’.

That also included suggesting that the jury has Hunter Biden’s life in its hands.

Hines said that if Hunter Biden had simply been an addict struggling with personal problems ‘we would not be here in this courtroom.’

Hunter instead is on trial for buying a gun and lying about being a drug addict when he did so, Hines said.

Hines told the jury the evidence clearly shows Hunter Biden had a pattern of illegal drug use at the time he bought the gun.

Prosecutors don’t have to prove Hunter used drugs on the day he bought the gun or that he was under the influence while in the gun store, he said.

FILE - Naomi Biden departs from federal court, Friday, June 7, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. The Biden family has gone to great lengths to support Hunter Biden as he stands trial for lying on a federal gun-purchase form when he said he didn't have a drug problem. Hunter Biden's eldest daughter Naomi testified for the defense. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Defense lawyer accuses prosecutors of trying to fool jury like a ‘magician’

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell compared the government’s case to the work of a magician.

They focused attention on drug use from months or years before the gun purchase to create the illusion that Hunter Biden was a user of crack cocaine when he bought the weapon, he said.

‘They blurred all those years before he walked into StarQuest Shooters and all those years after,’ Lowell told the jury.

Hunter Biden Evidence June 5/6

‘With my last breath…’

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell made a heartfelt appeal to the jury to find his client not guilty.

As he ended his closing argument Lowell said: ‘The burden of proof is always on the prosecution. With my last breath in this case I ask for the only verdict that will hold the prosecutors to what the law requires of them.’

The fact his client has a famous last name doesn’t mean he is less entitled to his rights than any other defendant, Lowell said.

He also told jurors they should consider testimony by Hallie Biden and Zoe Kestan under grants of immunity ‘with great care and caution.’

Attorney Abbe Lowell arrives at federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Defense suggests large cash withdrawals could have been for rehab not drugs

In closing arguments, defense attorney Abbe Lowell also rejected the prosecution’s assertion that large cash withdrawals made by Hunter Biden could have been only for drug transactions.

He said prosecution witnesses had been unable to back up that assertion with detailed financial records.

Earlier in the trial the defense had suggested the money could have been used to pay for Hunter’s rehab.

Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell wraps up closing arguments after calling cross-examination of Naomi Biden ‘extraordinarily cruel’

Hunter Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell has finished his closing arguments after slamming the prosecution’s ‘extraordinarily cruel’ cross-examination of Naomi Biden.

Lowell accused the prosecutors of asking Hunter’s daughter if she used drugs to fill ‘gaping holes’ in their case.

He banged his fist on the lectern and glared at the opposing side as he delivered the stark message.

Prosecutors now have a short rebuttal to the defense’s closing.

epa11402102 Abbe Lowell, attorney to Hunter Biden, arrives for the second week of Hunter Biden's gun trial at the US Federal District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, 10 June 2024. Hunter Biden is the first child of a sitting president to appear in court facing criminal charges.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Hallie throwing away Hunter’s gun was ‘incredibly stupid’ but she did it ‘for love’

for Hallie Biden testimony in Hunter Biden federal trialpics submited by Candace NO CREDIT

‘On October 23rd, Hallie did something incredibly stupid,’ Hunter’s defense attorney Abbe Lowell said.

Hallie threw out the gun in a dumpster behind a grocery store when she discovered the weapon.

He went on to say that she may have thrown it out ‘for love’ of Hunter.

Hallie and Hunter engaged in a romantic relationship during a period of time they were both drug users.

The damning messages from Hunter that could blow a hole in his defense

The defense picks apart ‘poor’ Hallie Biden’s testimony, suggests cocaine residue found on Hunter gun pouch could have been hers

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JUNE 06: Hallie Biden, daughter in-law of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs from the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building after testifying in the trial of Hunter Biden on June 06, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware. The trial for Hunter Biden's felony gun charges continues today with additional witnesses. Hallie Biden is the widow of Joe Biden's deceased son, Beau Biden. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Hunter’s defense attorney Abbe Lowell is picking apart Hallie Biden’s testimony.

Hallie, Beau Biden’s widow, and Hunter had a brief romantic relationship following the death of his brother.

‘Poor Hallie Biden,’ said Lowell during closing arguments.

He was picking apart the pair’s text messages from around the time that Hunter purchased the gun.

Hallie admitted to using drugs herself while in a relationship with Hunter.

Lowell seized on that, telling the jury that drug residue found on the president’s son’s gun pouch could have been left by Hallie, not Hunter.

He said ‘you don’t know’ who could have put the drug residue on the pouch.

Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell insists his memoir detailing drug addiction was ‘not a diary entry’

Lowell argued in his closing arguments that Hunter’s memoir ‘Beautiful Things’ which detailed his drug use and addiction ‘was not a diary entry.’

The book, published in 2021, includes details about his struggle with sobriety.

However, his attorney insists that Hunter didn’t actually know he was an addict during the 2015 to 2019 period he describes.

Lowell: ‘As agent Jensen said, it was not a diary entry.’

Prosecution recounts evidence of former Hunter lover Zoe Kestan

In closing arguments prosecutor Leo Wise stressed the testimony of Hunter’s former girlfriend Zoe Kestan.

Kestan said she saw Hunter using drugs from December 2017 through November 2018.

He bought the gun on October 12, 2018.

Kestan’s testimony included that she had seen Hunter use drugs in Malibu in September 2018, after a visit to rehab the previous month.

The prosecutor said that evidence alone was enough to convict Hunter.

Zoe Kestan departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Zoe Kestan, 28, appeared before the panel in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday, a source familiar with her testimony said.Her turn on the witness stand came immediately after an appearance by the former stripper with whom Hunter Biden, 52, has an out-of-wedlock child, the source said. -https://news.artnet.com/art-world/wet-paint-hunter-biden-1744755https://nypost.com/2022/02/21/ex-girlfriend-tells-hunter-biden-grand-jury-about-lavish-spending/

Closing arguments kick off as prosecution tells jury ‘people sitting in the gallery are not evidence’

Attorneys started closing arguments in Hunter Biden’s gun trial after court resumed following a lunch break.

The prosecution is up first after bringing FBI agent Erika Jensen back to the stand.

‘No one is above the law,’ stated prosecutor Leo Wise.

He also told the jury to ignore the big wigs in the audience, including First Lady Jill Biden.

‘All of this is not evidence. People sitting in the gallery are not evidence.’

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jill, Ashley and Jim Biden leave the court as Hunter braces for closing arguments in his gun trial

TSA must answer why it failed to find ‘prohibited items’ in luggage before five Americans were detained in Turks and Caicos

After several Americans were detained in Turks in Caicos for entering the country with stray bullets in their luggage, a top GOP senator is investigating U.S. airport security officials.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are very strict about ammunition charges, which come with a penally of up to 12 years in prison.

As a result, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., sent a letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) first obtained by DailyMail.com, demanding to know more about their ‘failure’ to discover the bullets, which he says ‘raises serious concerns about TSA’s ability to accomplish this critical security mission. ‘

What the judge told the jury

Just before the lunch break Judge Maryellen Noreika instructed jurors that if they are convinced the government ‘proved each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt’ then they should return a guilty verdict.

But she said that if jurors have reasonable doubt about one or more elements of the offense, they must return a verdict of not guilty.

Court breaks for lunch, with closing arguments when the jury returns

FBI agent recalled for more evidence over Hunter texts about ‘drug dealer called Mookie’

FBI agent Erika Jensen, who testified for the prosecution earlier in the trial, was briefly recalled to the stand.

Earlier in the case she had testified about texts Hunter sent to Hallie Biden in the days around the purchase of the gun.

Those messages included mention of him waiting for a dealer called ‘Mookie’ at a 7-Eleven.

On Monday, Jensen said she did not have location data connected to the texts to determine where Hunter was when he sent them

But authorities did recover location data from October16, 2018, four days after the gun purchase, when Hunter was texting around 4am.

The location data indicated Hunter was at a local convenience store about an hour later.

Prosecutors have suggested Hunter hung out at the store while waiting for a drug dealer.

Abbe Lowell, for Hunter, suggested maybe his client was just getting a doughnut or coffee.

Jill Biden’s 3,600-mile round trip from France to Delaware to spend two days at Hunter’s trial could cost up to $345,000

Taxpayers will pick up the majority of cost for Jill Biden’s whirlwind flights between Wilmington, Delaware, and France so she could be  at son Hunter’s side during his federal gun trial although the Democratic Party will chip in some funds.

The first lady racked up $345,400 in flight costs, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation estimated, as she boomeranged between the United States and France last week, traveling separately from husband Joe Biden so she could support her family at home while also representing the United States abroad.

Her political party will repay the government for what it would cost for her to fly commercially with taxpayers footing the rest of the bill.

‘In accordance with relevant regulations utilized across administrations, the government is reimbursed the value of a first-class fare for these flights to Wilmington and back to Paris,’ Jill Biden’s office told DailyMail.com in a statement.

Breaking: The defense rests without calling Hunter to the stand

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

From DailyMail.com’s Josh Boswell in Delaware court:

Hunter Biden’s defense rested this morning – but prosecutors managed to drop one last bombshell to the jury.

After Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell confirmed they would not be calling Hunter’s uncle Jim Biden or any other witnesses, and Hunter himself would not be taking the stand, prosecutor Derek Hines stepped up to the podium to give a rebuttal.

He brought FBI agent Erika Jensen back to the stand and had her show the jury incriminating text messages of Hunter setting up an apparent drug deal at a 7/11 just one day before he bought his Colt Cobra revolver.

But DailyMail.com had already scooped the prosecution.

This morning we published a story with the texts – showing that Hunter’s conversation was with a violent drug dealer convicted in 2023 after a prosecution by David Weiss, the Special Counsel who charged Hunter.

Hunter Biden leaves courtroom during short break

After attorneys finished discussing the final jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s gun trial, defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the judge: ‘We do have another issue.’

The judge then huddled with lawyers in a private conversation.

After that conversation ended, Hunter Biden left the courtroom and the judge ordered a short break.

Hunter later returned to the courtroom as the lawyers continued talking with the judge.

It came after attorneys had finished discussing the final jury instructions.

Jim Biden arrives in green blazer and monogrammed cuffs

Jim Biden, the president’s brother, arrived at court in a green blazer.

His shirt cuffs were embossed with monogrammed letters that appeared to be his initials ‘JBB’.

Hunter hugged his uncle before going into court.

epa11402099 US President Joe Biden's siblings Valerie Biden (L) and James Biden (R) arrive for the second week of Hunter Biden's gun trial at the US Federal District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, 10 June 2024. Hunter Biden is the first child of a sitting president to appear in court facing criminal charges.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO
Hunter Biden hugs James Biden after arriving to federal court, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Biden says he will NOT pardon son Hunter if he is found guilty

President Joe Biden said in a new interview Thursday that he would not pardon his son Hunter Biden, who’s on federal trial this week on gun charges.

Biden sat down with ABC News’ David Muir and answered ‘yes’ when the journalist asked if he would accept the outcome of Hunter’s trial, which has seen a parade of the first son’s ex-lovers as witnesses.

The president also answered ‘yes’ when Muir asked Biden if he would rule out pardoning his son.

Jury instruction discussion includes definition of reasonable doubt and immunity

Among the issues discussed regarding jury instructions in Hunter Biden’s gun trial were the definitions of reasonable doubt and firearms dealer.

They also discussed the immunity granted by prosecutors to Hunter’s sister-in-law and former lover, Hallie Biden, and former girlfriend Zoe Kestan, in exchange for their testimony.

The judge and attorneys also talked about how jurors can request to see certain physical exhibits, including the gun, in the jury room.

Defense attorneys argued in their proposed jury instructions that the ‘the overly expansive and amorphous’ definitions of what it means to be a drug ‘user’ and to ‘possess’ a firearm will deny Hunter Biden a fair trial.

They also contend that any conviction obtained using those instructions cannot be sustained on appeal.

Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison – and his father has ruled out a pardon

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to three federal gun charges against him.

If he is found guilty of lying about his drug use on a federal form when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

Two of the counts carry a maximum of 10 years in prison while the remaining has a maximum of five.

Each also has a maximum fine of $250,000.

As it would be his first offense, it is unclear whether he would serve any jail time.

Hunter Biden’s defense attorney indicates president’s son won’t take the stand

Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell has suggested his client will not take the stand in his own defense at the federal gun trial.

Lowell allowed the judge to include in jury instructions that the panel should not hold it against him that he ‘did not testify’ when they deliberate the verdict.

This is not definitive, but a clear indication that the president’s son has decided against testifying.

Jill and Ashley Biden arrive at court

First Lady Jill Biden and her daughter Ashley arrived at court on Monday morning to support Hunter in the closing stages of the trial.

Jill flew to Delaware from France for 24 hours last week to be in court when Naomi testified.

She has been a frequent fixture in the courtroom and has embraced other family members during the deeply emotional testimony about Hunter’s crack cocaine addicition

U.S. first lady Jill Biden arrives at the federal court for Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier
Ashley Biden arrives to federal court, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
epa11402106 US First Lady Jill Biden arrives for the second week of Hunter Biden's gun trial at the US Federal District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, 10 June 2024. Hunter Biden is the first child of a sitting president to appear in court facing criminal charges.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO
U.S. first lady Jill Biden arrives at the federal court for Hunter Biden's trial on criminal gun charges, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

Hunter Biden arrives at court with wife Melissa Cohen and uncle Jim Biden

What to expect this morning in Hunter Biden’s gun trial

The court will first meet to discuss jury instructions and then the defense will likely either call Hunter Biden or rest its case.

Then closing arguments will begin, and the jury could be sent out to deliberate as soon as today.

President Joe Biden’s brother Jim was expected to testify, but the defense appears to have changed its mind after Naomi’s testimony on Friday.

FILE - James Biden, President Joe Biden's brother and uncle to Hunter Biden, left, and Sara Biden arrive at federal court, June 7, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. The Biden family has gone to great lengths to support Hunter Biden as he stands trial for lying on a federal gun-purchase form when he said he didn't have a drug problem. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Peter Neal’s sweet message to wife Naomi Biden after she was ambushed on witness stand in Hunter’s gun trial and amid pregnancy speculation

Peter Neal posted a touching message to wife Naomi Biden after she was ambushed on the witness stand in her father Hunter’s federal gun trial and amid speculation she is pregnant.

‘I love you,’ Neal wrote on his Instagram stories. The text was posted over a picture of Naomi smiling, her back to camera but her head turned to face its lens. Her stomach is not visible.

The duo appear to be on a weekend getaway. Naomi is standing at door with a number on it, appearing to be some kind of hotel room. The next photo in his story is of a peacock standing in front of a hotel room.

The two married in November 2022 in a White House wedding. Peter was in the courtroom this past week to support his wife as Naomi was ambushed with devastating text messages that blew a hole in the her father’s defense in the federal gun trial.

Recap: Jill Biden watches as granddaughter Naomi Biden is ambushed on witness stand with her own text message to Hunter saying

Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi was ambushed with devastating text messages on Friday that blew a hole in her father’s defense in the federal gun trial.

First Lady Jill Biden watched from the gallery as her granddaughter testified about interactions with her father at rehab and when he was in the depths of a crack cocaine addiction.

It came on another dramatic day in the trial, where the prosecution wrapped its case after less than a week and Naomi was questioned about life with her father.

At first, questioned by Hunter’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, she painted a rosy picture of Hunter’s sobriety in the lead-up to his October 2018 gun purchase over which he is charged.

Naomi said she visited Hunter with her then-boyfriend Peter in Los Angeles in August 2018, where Hunter had been having a short rehab stint.

‘He seemed like the clearest I’d seen him since my uncle died,’ she said, referring to Beau Biden who died from brain cancer on May 30, 2015.

‘He seemed really great,’ Naomi added. ‘I told him that I was so proud of him and so proud to be able to introduce Peter to him.’

Trump set for probation hearing ahead of sentencing in hush money case

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled for a virtual probation interview on Monday after a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in his ‘hush money’ trial.

The former president will participate in the hearing from his home at Mar-a-Lago, according to multiple reports. The probation interview is a normal process for Trump’s pre-sentencing report.

The interview is the next step in the sentencing process as Judge Juan Merchan is scheduled to sentence the former president on July 11, just days before the Republican National convention begins in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The interview will be conducted by a probation officer with Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche present and will be followed by report delivered to the judge.

Welcome to DailyMail.com’s US politics blog, with live coverage of Hunter Biden’s gun trial as it enters its final stages

Welcome to DailyMail.com’s daily U.S. politics blog, with live coverage of the biggest stories from the corridors of power.

Hunter Biden returns to court for the final stretch of his federal gun trial, and could take the stand in his own defense.

His legal team is poised to announce if he will testify after his daughter Naomi offered deeply personal testimony after his crack cocaine addiction.

In other legal news, Donald Trump is set to virtually meet with a probation officer ahead of his July 11 sentencing in the hush money case after he was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

FILE PHOTO: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, depart the federal court during his trial on criminal gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 7, 2024. REUTERS/Hannah Beier/File Photo

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