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How Hallie Biden is connected to the Hunter Biden gun trial

Hunter Biden faces gun trial in Delaware
Why Hunter Biden is facing gun trial in Delaware 03:01

Hallie Biden, widow of the president's late son, Beau, plays a key role in the backstory to Hunter Biden's trial on federal gun charges that begins this week. And her Thursday testimony is expected to be critical in his trial. 

The president's surviving son is accused of making a false statement material to a firearms sale, making a false statement in a firearms transaction record, and violating a law barring drug users from possessing a firearm. At the time, prosecutors allege Hunter was addicted to crack cocaine, but claimed otherwise. Hunter Biden's history with drug addiction has been a source of pain for his family, as well as a political headache for President Biden. 

How Hallie Biden is connected to Hunter Biden's gun trial 

Hallie Biden, now 50, was in what she described as Hunter Biden in 2018 when she found a new Colt Cobra .38 handgun in his truck outside her home, as she testified in court Thursday. Prosecutors showed video surveillence that showed her driving to a nearby grocery store and tossing the bagged gun into a trash bin. 

Hunter and Hallie Biden started dating several months after Buhle filed for divorce in 2017 and after Beau Biden's death in 2015. 

Hallie Biden told the court Thursday that she panicked when she found and later discarded the firearm at the center of the case, and she said that it was through Hunter Biden that she also came to use crack cocaine. She testified that she stopped using by August 2018, and acknowledged that the on again, off again relationship between Hunter and her was intense and complicated. 

"I panicked," Hallie Biden said. "I wanted to get rid of them," she said, in reference to the gun and the bullets. 

Prosecutors have questioned Hallie Biden as well as Hunter's ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle. Buhle has spoken with investigators about her ex-husband's business dealings. 

Charges against Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden, 54, was indicted by a federal grand jury in September after a diversion agreement for a felony gun offense and a plea deal related to misdemeanor tax charges unraveled when U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned whether the agreement would allow him to avoid potential future charges.

In a separate case in California, Hunter Biden faces charges alleging he failed to file taxes, evaded assessment, and filed a false or fraudulent tax return. Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to those charges. 

First lady Jill Biden made an appearance at the trial early in the week, before joining President Biden for D-Day anniversary events in France. The president has not attended any of the trial. 

"I am the president, but I am also a dad," the president said in a statement. "Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. Hunter's resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us. A lot of families have loved ones who have overcome addiction and know what we mean. As the president, I don't and won't comment on pending federal cases, but as a Dad, I have boundless love for my son, confidence in him, and respect for his strength. Our family has been through a lot together, and Jill and I are going to continue to be there for Hunter and our family with our love and support."

Hallie Biden and Beau Biden 

Hallie Biden was married to Beau Biden from 2002 until Beau Biden's death from glioblastoma in 2015. They had two children, Natalie Biden and Robert Biden II. 

Hallie and Beau were childhood friends, and began dating in 1998, while Beau was working at the U.S. Department of Justice in Philadelphia. The two were engaged during Thanksgiving weekend 2001 in Nantucket, which has long been a memorable place for the Bidens. 

A Delaware native, Hallie Biden has in the past worked as a school counselor. She now serves as the chairwoman of the board of directors for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, working to preserve her late husband's legacy as attorney general of Delaware. 

Troops Return
The late Beau Biden, son of Joe Biden, hugs wife Hallie as he arrives with fellow troops from a tour in Irag at Fort Dix, N.J. on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. Mel Evans / AP

Biden family relationship 

Hallie Biden has remained close to the Biden family, and the president often speaks about her children, his grandchildren. The president visited Hallie's home last week on the ninth anniversary of Beau's death, which was also a week before the trial began. 

Obama Beau Biden Funeral
Then-Vice President Joe Biden lowers his head as an honor guard carries a casket containing the remains of his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, into St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., for funeral services, Saturday, June 6, 2015. Standing alongside the vice president are Beau's widow Hallie Biden, left, and daughter, Natalie.  Patrick Semansky / AP

Hunter is now married to Melissa Cohen Biden. They have a son, Beau, 4. 

Erica Brown contributed to this report 

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