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Biden reacts to his son Hunter's guilty verdict in gun case, vowing to "respect the judicial process"

Hunter Biden guilty on 3 counts in gun trial
Hunter Biden found guilty on all 3 counts in gun trial 03:23

Washington — President Biden issued a statement in response to his son Hunter Biden being convicted on three felony gun charges in federal court in Delaware on Tuesday, with the president saying he will accept the outcome of the case and loves his son. The president returned to Delaware Tuesday afternoon after the conviction, and was photographed hugging his son.

The jury determined Hunter Biden illegally purchased and possessed a gun while he was addicted to crack cocaine, violating federal law that prohibits users of illegal drugs from owning firearms. A sentencing date has not yet been set. 

"As I said last week, I am the president, but I am also a dad," the president said in his statement. "Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery. As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that."

Mr. Biden has generally declined to comment on the case, but said previously that he would accept the jury's decision and won't issue his son a pardon. On Friday, while in Italy for the G7, Mr. Biden told a reporter "no" when asked if he would commute Hunter Biden's sentence. 

At the same news conference, Mr. Biden also took another question about whether he's satisfied with the justice system in light of his son's conviction. 

"I'm extremely proud of my son, Hunter," Mr. Biden said. "He has overcome an addiction. He's one of the brightest, most decent men I know. And I am satisfied that I'm not gonna do anything, I said I abide by the jury decision. I will do that. And I will not pardon him."

President Joe Biden greets his son Hunter Biden at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Hunter Biden issued his own statement after the verdict, expressing gratitude toward his family and in particular toward his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden.

"I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome," Hunter Biden said. "Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time."

Hunter Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said they are "naturally disappointed" by the verdict but respect the process and will "vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available." 

First lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 11, 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware.
First lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 11, 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware.  Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The verdict was reached and read quickly Tuesday, and first lady Jill Biden, who has been present for most of the trial, didn't make it back to the courtroom in time to hear the verdict read. She walked out of the court hand-in-hand with Hunter Biden. 

President Biden was at the White House when the jury handed down the verdict. 

Other Biden family members have been present for the trial to offer support, including the president's brother, James. Hunter Biden's daughter Naomi testified in court. 

William J. Hennessy, Jr.

Hunter Biden was indicted on three felony gun charges in September after a proposed plea deal with federal prosecutors unraveled. He is due to appear in federal court in California to face separate tax charges in September. He has pleaded not guilty in that case. 

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