FBI agent continues testifying about Hunter Biden's drug use in gun trial

Hunter Biden’s attorneys on Wednesday will continue their cross-examination of an FBI agent who detailed the president’s son’s alleged drug use through his own text messages, memoir and bank records during the first day of testimony in his federal gun trial. 

Members of the Biden family, including first lady Jill Biden, became emotional during the first day of testimony on Tuesday as excerpts from Hunter Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” played for jurors. 

In opening statements, prosecutors revealed personal details about Hunter Biden’s addiction and the Biden family, including that he introduced his brother’s widow Hallie Biden, with whom he became romantically involved, to crack cocaine. 

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from his purchase of a revolver in October 2018. He is accused of making false statements on a federal gun form about his drug use, certifying he was not a user of or addicted to any controlled substance during a period when prosecutors allege he was addicted to crack cocaine. 

The gun was in his possession for 11 days before it was discarded in a trash can outside a grocery store by Hallie Biden. 

“On October 12, 2018, when the defendant filled out that form, he knew he was a drug addict,” prosecutor Derek Hines said during opening statements. “The law does not require us to prove that he was using drugs on that very day, just that he knew he was a drug user or a drug addict.” 

Hunter Biden’s attorneys have argued that prosecutors must prove that he was using drugs the day he bought the gun. The form uses the word “are,” Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell said in opening statements. 

“It does not say have you ever been, it does not say have you ever used,” Lowell said. 

FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen was the government‘s first witness, testifying about the authenticity of a laptop that Hunter Biden left behind at a Delaware repair shop and never retrieved. She said the laptop contained “evidence of addiction.” 

She read aloud Hunter Biden’s text messages that used coded language such as “baby powder” and “chore boy” to conceal his crack cocaine use as he appeared to be arranging to buy drugs in the months leading up to the gun purchase. 

The day after the gun purchase, she testified, Hunter Biden sent a message to Hallie Biden about “waiting for a dealer named Mookie.” The next day, he sent another to her that said, “I was sleeping on a car smoking crack on 4th Street and Rodney.” 

Jensen also testified that bank statements showed Hunter Biden withdrawing more than $151,000 in cash between September 2018 and November 2018. He made cash withdrawals on all but four days in October, the month he purchased the gun. He withdrew $5,000 on Oct. 12, 2018, the day he bought the gun. 

Lowell argued that Hunter Biden’s activities when he possessed the gun were inconsistent with crack cocaine use. Hunter Biden was also struggling with an alcohol addiction, Lowell said, noting that the federal forms do not ask about alcohol use. 

“There may be high functioning alcoholics, but there is no such thing as a high functioning crack addict,” Lowell said.

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