Opening Statement Prosecutors Use Hunter Biden's Voice Recording in Court

Opening Statement: Prosecutors Use Hunter Biden’s Voice Recording in Court

Wilmington, Delaware — As President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden is on trial on gun-related crimes. The prosecution encouraged jurors not to exhibit sympathy or preference for him because of this, while the defense contended that the case was exaggerated and belated.

During his opening remarks, prosecutor Derek Hines stated, “No one is above the law.” “In this country, everyone is subject to the same laws, regardless of their identity or name. .. Hunter Biden is not distinguished from anyone else by this statute.

As a member of the team working under special counsel David Weiss, Hines stated that prosecutors would present “overwhelming evidence” that Hunter Biden lied on a form by denying that he was a drug user or addict at the time he purchased a handgun from a Delaware gun store in October 2018.

And the prosecution wasted no time in presenting jurors with some of the most compelling evidence against the president’s son: his own voice recording revealing the extent of his drug addiction.

The prosecution played audio of Biden narrating passages from his memoir, in which he described how he struggled with an intense crack cocaine habit that frequently led to him smoking crack as often as every 15 minutes. Biden was seated calmly at the defense table alongside his attorneys.

Opening Statement Prosecutors Use Hunter Biden's Voice Recording in Court

Hines addressed the six men and six women on the jury, saying, “Addiction may not be a choice, but lying and buying a gun is a choice.”

The Attorney for Biden Previews His Case

Abbe Lowell, the principal defense lawyer for Biden, refuted claims that his client had misled on the federal background check form. He pointed out that there is no clear definition of what constitutes a drug user or addict on the form. He noted that the wording used on the form cannot be the same as what is understood in common usage because if they were, anyone struggling with addiction, even after years of sobriety, would not be allowed to acquire a firearm.


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Lowell informed the jury, “As you know, a person who recovers from alcohol or drug abuse always considers themselves an addict.” “My name is Abbe Lowell, and I’m an addict. I’m at an AA meeting.”

Occasionally, Lowell repeated a well-known semantic defense offered by one of the prominent defense attorney’s other clients: former President Bill Clinton. Lowell defended Clinton during the period leading up to his impeachment, during which he notably questioned “what the definition of the word ‘is’ is.”

Regarding the gun purchase paperwork at the center of Biden’s lawsuit, Lowell stated on Tuesday: “It most obviously uses the word ‘are.'” The phrase “Have you ever been?” is not used. It makes no mention of “Have you ever used?”

In court documents, Lowell has maintained that Weiss, the U.S. attorney Donald Trump nominated, brought the gun charges against Biden as a result of political pressure from Republicans. Seldom do prosecutors file the three felony offenses in question on their own.

Opening Statement Prosecutors Use Hunter Biden's Voice Recording in Court

Judge Maryellen Noreika, however, disallowed the defense from bringing up these points in front of the jury. Thus, Lowell gradually moved in that direction: he said the accusations were excessively severe and that there was no indication the prosecutors were interested in the case from the time the gun was bought and thrown away in a grocery store trash receptacle in 2018 until last year.

With a certain amount of skepticism, Lowell stated, “The prosecutors have filed three felony charges for these events.”


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In addition, Lowell gave the jury a taste of the other arguments that would be made, such as the claims that Biden was rushed by store staff and that the gun was an impulse purchase made when he was nearby acquiring a new cell phone. In addition, the defense lawyer said that Biden did not use drugs at the time he bought the pistol and that he kept it for 11 days until throwing it away after discovering it with Hallie Biden, the brother’s ex-wife, with whom Hunter was then dating.

“Quitting drugs wasn’t simple. Giving up alcohol was even more difficult, Lowell added, pointing out that there is no question concerning alcohol consumption on federal forms.

Lowell took note of Biden’s business travels and stays with different family members during the brief time that he is said to have had the gun. These actions, according to Lowell, were incompatible with a man who claimed to be addicted to crack cocaine to the point where he smoked once every fifteen to twenty minutes.

According to Lowell, “there is no such thing as a high-functioning crack addict—there may be high-functioning alcoholics.”

The trial began with First Lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden’s wife Melissa Cohen-Biden, and Hunter Biden’s half-sister Ashley Biden in the courtroom to support their husband. Anthony Bernal, the first lady’s advisor, was also in attendance.

As he was about to make his opening statement, Hunter Biden offered Lowell a mini-hug. He grinned broadly at his lawyer, momentarily held his neck, and then shook his hand. During Lowell’s fifty-minute statement, the president’s son seemed to be trying to look the jurors in the eye and periodically tapped or slapped the lectern for emphasis.

The Initial Eyewitness

Prosecutors called FBI special agent Erika Jensen as their first witness following the opening statements. Prosecutors instantly turned Biden’s own remarks against him, just as they had done at the beginning.

Jensen pointed to Biden’s memoir, Beautiful Things, and Hines proceeded to play long snippets of it that described violent, nauseating bouts of drug use. The audiobook was narrated by Biden himself, so jurors got to hear him speak about how he got into the habit of learning how to mix crack cocaine, how he got homeless people to buy crack for him, and how he almost passed out from falling asleep at the wheel while high on drugs.

The first lady wrapped her arm around Ashley Biden as the tape played in the courtroom; Biden subsequently departed the room.

After lunch, the two did not immediately return to the courtroom, but Melissa Cohen-Biden was present.

In the afternoon session, Jensen continued to testify while the jury was shown text messages to and from Hunter Biden. The prosecution claimed these messages showed his contacts with drug dealers from April to July of 2018, prior to his week-long stay at a detox and rehabilitation facility in the Brentwood district of Los Angeles in late August.

“Can you get baby powder?” Biden asked an alleged drug dealer in one correspondence from April 2018. Afterwards, he said, “The really soft stuff.”

A Drug Enforcement Agency agent would subsequently testify that this related to cocaine, as Hines pointed out in his opening remarks.

On June 19, 2018, Biden received a second message from the same phone number, saying, “Bro, I got it, where do I drop it bro?”

Hines employed further strategies in an effort to prove that Biden’s drug use persisted after that. He showed jurors that Biden withdrew money from banks at an alarming rate and cited passages from Biden’s book that discuss a relapse.

Based on documents shown to the jury on Tuesday, Biden took approximately $833,000 in ATM, check card, and teller withdrawals from two bank accounts between January and November 2018. The bank records indicated that he had access to around $151,000 in cash between the end of August and November. In October, the month he bought the pistol, he also ticked the box indicating he was not a drug user or addict and made cash withdrawals on all but four of those days. The same day he bought the rifle, he drew out $5,000.

The day after he purchased the rifle, Biden texted Hallie Biden, which jurors also observed. He wrote, “I was smoking crack and sleeping on a car on 4th St and Rodney.”

In his introductory remarks, Lowell hinted that Biden might have been lying to his brother’s widow about his drug use out of a simple desire to avoid seeing her.

The iconic laptop that Biden is accused of leaving at a Delaware repair shop and never retrieving was also visible to the jurors. The release of its contents, which included images of Biden using drugs and in hotel rooms with women, sparked a significant controversy in the 2020 presidential contest. Democrats claimed the material was probably Russian propaganda, and social media discussion of it was discouraged.

As the day came to a close, Lowell, the lead defense lawyer for Biden, cross-examined FBI agent Jensen. He pushed her to produce any texts from October 2018 that seemed to show Biden was coordinating drug deals with dealers. He added that there were no similarly extensive interactions in the month that Biden purchased the pistol, despite the fact that the prosecution had a lengthy text chain regarding an alleged cocaine trade that occurred on February 26, 2019.

Additionally, in October 2018, Lowell pressed Jensen for any evidence that Biden was experiencing crippling drug use. Jensen acknowledged that during that month, Biden traveled by plane and spent time with friends and family, all of which he has said were challenging when he was abusing crack.

The cornerstone of Biden’s defense will be the claim that the prosecution cannot show he “knowingly” purchased a pistol while using drugs since, following his stay in recovery in August of 2018, he may have reasonably believed he was drug-free in October 2018. The goal of Lowell’s cross-examination was to begin establishing that framework.

Juror Replacement at the Beginning of the day

There was a small hiccup when the trial’s second day got underway. Not long before the trial was set to begin at nine in the morning, Noreika took the bench and notified the parties that one of the jurors chosen on Monday had withdrawn due to transportation issues. She mentioned that four other jurors were running late.

One of the four alternates who were also chosen on Monday took the place of the juror who withdrew.

Noreika decided on a number of defense challenges to material prosecutors intended to introduce at the trial, including pictures of Biden taken during the time prosecutors claim he was a habitual drug user, as the parties waited for the delayed jurors.

Nearly all of the contentious issues were resolved in favor of the prosecution by the Trump-appointed judge. She gave the go-ahead for Hunter Biden’s shirtless pictures and the text message he sent after Hallie Biden dumped the gun to be exhibited to the jury as exhibits. Hunter Biden is said to have implied in the text that by tossing the pistol in the trash, she might have put others at danger.

Lowell’s attempt to introduce additional passages from Biden’s book beyond those that the prosecution had stated they intended to present the jury was likewise generally denied by Noreika. She said he could testify if he wanted to provide the jury with further details to support his case, but he would have to face cross-examination.

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