Opening statements begin in Hunter Biden's gun trial

Prosecutors deliver strong opening statement in the first son's trial.
Hunter Biden, Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2024

Opening statements in Hunter Biden's Delaware gun trial began Tuesday morning with a strong words from the prosecutors. 

“We’re here because of the defendant’s lies and choices,” federal prosecutor Derek Hines said, according to CNN. “No one is above the law. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your name is.”

Hunter Biden was charged in Delaware by Justice Department special counsel David Weiss with three felony crimes in connection to 2018 firearm purchase while he was using drugs. The accusations include lying to the licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application used to screen firearm's buyers by saying he was not a drug user, and illegally possessing the firearm for 11 days.

In his opening statement, Hunter Biden's defense attorney Abbe Lowell emphasized that prosecutors must prove that the first son "knowingly" committed the crimes. “They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hunter knowingly violated the law,” Lowell said. 

The first son is also charged with tax crimes in California by Weiss and is set to face trial later this year after a delay. 

The charges in this trial, and the upcoming tax trial, stem from an IRS investigation into Hunter Biden that faced delays from the Justice Department. This spurred IRS Whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler to bring concerns about improper interference in the investigation, including claims that Weiss misled them.