Wilmington, Delaware — During his opening statement in Hunter Biden’s trial on Tuesday, prosecutor Derek Hines painted a damning picture of the life Hunter was leading around the time he allegedly illegally purchased a handgun in Delaware, telling jurors that they would be presented with “overwhelming evidence” that the first son was actively addicted to crack cocaine at the time and that he knew he was lying when he said otherwise on a federal gun-purchase background-check form.

Drawing on Hunter’s own account of his struggles with addiction, laid out in his memoir, Beautiful Things, as well as text messages and photos obtained from his abandoned laptop, Hines explained that Hunter was clearly still addicted to crack when he entered StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in his hometown of Wilmington in October, 2018 and purchased a .38 caliber Colt Cobra revolver — after attesting on a federal background check form that he was not a user of illegal drugs.

In making the purchase, Hunter “crossed a line” Hines said. The first son pleaded not guilty last year to charges of lying on a federal background check form and, if convicted, faces up to 25 years in prison.

Quoting from Hunter’s memoir, Hines reminded the jury that the first son had touted his “superpower of finding crack anywhere, anytime.”

“Those are [Hunter’s] words,” Hines said, turning to the jury.

Hines went on to cite a series of text messages Hunter sent around the time of the gun purchase to Hallie Biden, who he had begun dating after the death of her late husband and his brother, Beau Biden.

“I was sleeping in a car smoking crack,” Hunter said in one message to Hallie quoted by Hines. In another, Hunter called himself “a liar and a thief” and again acknowledged using drugs.

“The defendant knew he was an addict” Hines insisted.

The trial is “about the defendant’s lies and choices,” Hines said to conclude his 25-minute opening statement.

Hines’s insistence that Hunter made a conscious decision to lie on the background check form anticipated defense attorney Abbe Lowell’s argument that Hunter did not “knowingly” violate the law — a prerequisite for conviction on charges of lying on a federal background check form.

Lowell, in his opening statement, argued that Hunter was not an active drug addict when he made the purchase, though Lowell acknowledged Hunter was still drinking heavily at the time. The veteran defense attorney presented Hunter as sympathetic case who had become addicted to drugs early in life as a result of the “traumas” he suffered as a child — losing his mom in a car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury.

“Like literally millions of people in this country,” Hunter fought addiction, Lowell said.  “He has abused alcohol since he was a teenager and drugs since he was an adult.”

Lowell went on to insist that Hunter was not planning to purchase a gun when he entered the sporting goods store that October Friday in 2018. Hunter had instead bought a cell phone across the street and was merely shopping around when a salesman directed him to the gun section, Lowell suggested. That salesman, Gordon Cleveland, will be called to testify as a witness for the prosecution. The prosecution will also call a DEA agent to testify about Hunter’s use of slang terms such as “baby powder” to refer to cocaine in text messages with his dealer.

The defense is expected to call as a witness President Joe Biden’s brother Jim, who was involved in Hunter’s many foreign influence-peddling schemes and who therefore had a front-row seat to Hunter’s struggle with addiction around the time of the gun purchase.

The revolver that Hunter allegedly lied to purchase ended up in a public trash can after Hallie Biden found it in Hunter’s car and discarded it. The day the revolver was discarded was the only day that Hunter carried the gun outside of a lockbox, Lowell argued in his opening statement. After a man collecting cans found the gun and reported it to the police, Secret Service agents showed up at the sporting goods store to question the owner.

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'He Crossed a Line': Prosecutors Cite Hunter's Own Words to Paint Damning Picture of Drug Use as Gun Trial Kicks Off

Prosecutor Derek Hines drew on Hunter’s memoir and text messages taken from his laptop to prove Hunter was ... READ MORE


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