‘Jury’s Not Going To Be Swayed’: Former Federal Prosecutor Tells CNN Hunter Biden Faces ‘Uphill Battle’ For Acquittal


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Jason Cohen Contributor
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Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti on Thursday said that Hunter Biden has a tough path to getting an acquittal in his federal gun trial, noting the jury will not be persuaded by a particular defense argument.

President Joe Biden’s daughter-in-law, Hallie Biden, who is also the widow of Beau Biden and at one point dated Hunter, testified on Thursday, telling prosecutors he introduced her to crack cocaine in 2018. Mariotti on “CNN News Central” said the defense’s argument that Hallie is not a reliable witness because of her drug use will not land with the jury unless they pity Hunter or believe the prosecution is off-base, suggesting a hung jury may be what the defendant is seeking. (RELATED: ‘Every Angle… Hurts Joe Biden’: Hunter’s Latest Stunt May Have Thrown His Dad Into A Messy Tangle, Strategists Say)


“Obviously there’s an uphill battle for the defense on this point generally,” Mariotti said. “But I think what the defense is trying to do here is partly to call into question her testimony. The fact that she was on drugs also could potentially impact her perception of events at that time but the defense … is really focused on trying to say, ‘look, maybe he was using drugs the month prior. Maybe he was using drugs a month afterwards, but this was his state of mind during that month. So I think it’s an effective point. But really the jury’s not going to be swayed unless they just feel bad for Hunter and think that the prosecution is wrong-headed in some fashion.”

“I think they have a strong case,” Mariotti said in response to host Boris Sanchez’ question about whether the defense has proven Hunter’s guilt to the jury. “I think there’s a lot of questions here about why this case was brought and so on. This is a very unusual case. I do think there’s very, very substantial appellate issues. The statute’s been called into question, the constitutionality of it and so on. There’s an argument that there was already a deal, but I think in terms of the jury verdict, the defense has an uphill battle here and they’re really hoping to get a hung jury.”

Hallie also testified Thursday that she observed Hunter smoking a crack rock the size of a ping-pong ball. She said she found the gun Hunter purchased in his car on October 23, 2018, along with “some remnants of crack” and other items.

Hunter’s trial started Monday and he is facing three federal gun charges brought by special counsel David Weiss in September, which consist of providing false statements and knowingly possessing a gun while being a drug addict.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley asserted Thursday he was stunned by how rapidly Hunter’s various defenses during the trial “collapsed.” Criminal defense attorney Bernarda Villalona advised Hunter to plead guilty on Monday, claiming Weiss’ evidence against him is “strong” and that it may be his “best” course of action to skirt a prison sentence.

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