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Hunter Biden’s former flames testify in federal gun trial

Prosecutors say Hunter Biden knowingly lied about his drug use when he filled out a form in 2018 to buy a revolver.

WILMINGTON, Del. (CN) — Prosecutors continued to build their case against in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial Wednesday, calling on Biden's former romantic partners and a gun store clerk to paint a vivid picture of the president's son's yearslong addiction and an intent to buy a gun in October 2018. 

Hunter Biden faces three felony charges related to the Colt Cobra revolver he bought in 2018. Two of the charges focus on the form he filled out during the purchase: Prosecutors say he knowingly lied about his drug use and/or addiction when he answered "no" on the form.

First Lady Jill Biden and Hunter Biden's wife, Melissa Cohen, were both present in court on Wednesday.

Continued testimony of Erika Jensen

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell sought to debunk prosecutors' case surrounding Hunter Biden's memoir "Beautiful Things," noting that the excerpts highlighting period of time before fall 2018 contain “granular” depictions and specific details of Hunter Biden’s drug use that aren’t apparent when the memoir describes his time in Delaware — where he purchased the firearm.

Lead prosecutor Derek Hines said that the memoir “skips that chapter” of Biden’s life, noting that the book omits Biden’s firearm purchase altogether.

Lowell continued his assertion that the memoirs references to a “relapse” shortly before the firearm purchase could refer to alcoholism alone, highlighting bank statements showing eight separate liquor store transactions in October 2018, as well as a Nov. 8, 2018, text message sent from Hunter Biden to Hallie Biden reading, “Im a drunk.”

Hines countered that the liquor store purchases were made using a debit card and did not account for Biden’s large and frequent ATM withdrawals.

“Do drug dealers accept credit cards?” Hines asked FBI special agent Erika Jensen. “Not in my experience,” the agent replied.

Lowell noted that while texts from Biden in the days immediately following his firearm purchase said he was “waiting for a dealer named Mookie” and “on a car smoking crack,” Jensen could not confirm those events occurred. He also questioned whether both Biden’s firearm transaction form and laptop data could have been tampered with.

On the form, two date lines used different formatting and different colored pens. (The gun seller from whom Hunter Biden bought the weapon would later explain that the second date was part of the seller’s portion of the form, and was written by another employee.)

For the laptop, Lowell asked Jensen if she had done an analysis to see if the computer’s files were tampered with in the six months between Biden dropping it off at the computer store and the FBI acquiring it, to which she replied no.

Hines however confirmed that the FBI found no evidence to suggest any tampering occurred, and that Apple had preserved iCloud data from the laptop one day before Biden dropped the laptop off at the computer repair shop.

Testimony of Kathleen Buhle

Hunter Biden's ex-wife Kathleen Buhle spoke softly during her brief testimony, explaining to prosecutor Leo Wise that she discovered Hunter Biden was using drugs on July 3, 2015, after she found a crack pipe on the couple's porch in Washington, D.C. When confronted, Biden admitted to her that he was smoking crack, she said, although she never personally saw him smoke.

Lowell questioned Buhle’s closeness to his client around the time of his firearm purchase. Buhle told Lowell that while she was aware of Hunter Biden’s 2018 trip to California, she didn’t know he lived there, and was unaware that he had returned to Delaware later that year. 

When asked about Hunter Biden’s behavior while using crack, Buhle told Wise that she had often seen him “function,” working and interacting with his friends and family while using drugs.

Testimony of Zoe Kesten

Zoe Kesten, a fashion designer who was in a relationship with Biden starting in 2017, shared a similar sentiment as she discussed her frequent drug-fueled hotel stays with the president’s son, in which she said he would smoke crack about every 20 minutes.

Hunter Biden’s frequent use of crack continued, Kesten said, when she visited him in Malibu, California from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22, 2018 — less than one month before Biden purchased the firearm.

Kesten said she did not see Biden again until late November. She told Lowell during cross-examination that she could not speak to Biden’s habits during October 2018, nor whether he used drugs that month.

Kesten described Biden’s demeanor while high on crack as “cognizant” and “coherent,” adding that she “never saw an immediate change in his behavior.”

When he would pause his crack smoking to socialize, she said, Biden could easily interact with others in public.

“He was just so charming and nice,” she told Wise. 

Wise also showed the court several photos taken from Kesten’s phone that she indicated contained crack pipes and other paraphernalia, including a May 11, 2018, photo of Hunter Biden sitting in a bathtub with what Kesten described as a crack pipe in his hand.

Testimony of Gordon Cleveland

Gordon Cleveland, a former salesman at Starquest Shooters & Survival Supply who sold Biden the firearm, told prosecutors that Hunter Biden explicitly asked to buy a gun upon entering the store on Oct. 12, 2018. When asked for clarification on what type of gun he wished to buy, he told Cleveland he wanted a revolver, Cleveland testified.

The witness confirmed that Hunter Biden filled out the firearm transaction form. In addition to rebuffing Lowell's earlier line of questioning regarding the formatting. of the form, he confirmed that it was Hunter Biden who responded to the question asking whether he used or was addicted to a controlled substance at the time of purchase.

“He wrote no,” Cleveland said.

Categories / Criminal, Politics, Trials

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