Hallie Biden Emerges as Crucial Witness in Hunter Biden’s Gun Case

Hallie Biden walked quickly to the witness stand, passing her brother-in-law and ex-boyfriend Hunter Biden, to tell the story of their troubled relationship that ended in pain, her own addiction, and eventually, his criminal charges.

Hallie, 50, is the government’s most crucial witness. She can provide a detailed and personal account of Hunter Biden’s severe addiction to crack cocaine. Hunter is on trial for lying about his drug use on a form to buy a gun in October 2018 and for illegally possessing the weapon.

Moments after Hallie sat down, prosecutors focused on what they believe is the strongest evidence against Hunter: a series of texts showing he bought and smoked crack within 48 hours of purchasing a gun in Delaware.

Her testimony forced Hallie, a recovering addict, to recall desperate and shameful times she had tried to forget. She was visibly shaken, frequently looking for her new husband’s face among the reporters.

“It was a terrible experience that I went through,” said Hallie, a former school counselor. Hunter, the defendant, nodded slightly as she spoke. Speaking nervously and in short bursts, Hallie admitted to the jury that she had smoked crack after Hunter introduced her to it in the summer of 2018.

She quit a few months later. She said she felt “ashamed and embarrassed” by their behavior when they briefly lived together in Annapolis, Maryland, still grieving the death of her husband and Hunter’s brother, Beau Biden, from brain cancer in 2015.

The texts between Hallie and Hunter were emotional. Leo J. Wise, the lead prosecutor, read their raw and frantic conversations in a lowered voice. The messages showed a mix of blame and affection, with Hallie begging Hunter to seek treatment and not to cheat on her while he was out all night looking for drugs.

Hallie said Hunter bought multiple large pieces of crack in Washington, where he had an apartment, and kept them in his backpack or car.

Two specific transactions were particularly damaging to Hunter’s defense, which argues he wasn’t using drugs when he signed the federal form to buy a Colt handgun on October 12, 2018.

The day after buying the gun, Hunter texted Hallie saying he was “buying,” meaning crack, she told the court. However, under cross-examination, she admitted she never saw him smoke crack in October 2018. Another message from October 14 mentioned Hunter was “sleeping on a car” and “smoking crack” after buying drugs from a dealer named Mookie.

Hallie added that Hunter’s behavior was erratic, disappearing for weeks at a time. She or her children would search his car for drugs or alcohol to help him when he returned exhausted.

Hunter’s defense lawyer, Abbe Lowell, questioned Hallie’s credibility, pointing out how often she answered “I don’t recall” about her actions before and after the gun purchase. Lowell suggested Hunter might have lied about buying drugs to cover up his affairs.

On October 23, 2018, 11 days after Hunter bought the gun, a panicked Hallie took the weapon and threw it in a supermarket trash can. Hunter contacted the police, and they had a series of anxious texts, where he cursed her and called her stupid.

Hallie said, “I’ll take the blame,” urging him to go to rehab and seeing her actions as a form of intervention. She claimed Hunter took few precautions in storing the gun, contradicting his lawyer’s statement that it was kept in a locked box in his truck.

Prosecutors showed a text from Hallie telling Hunter the box was left open in an unlocked car with windows down, and she warned him that “the kids search your car.”

Hallie found the gun in a case with a broken lock and surveillance video showed her tossing the gun and later trying to retrieve it. “I realize it was a stupid idea now, but I was just so panicked,” she said. Hunter’s romantic entanglements also added to the chaos, as he used his estranged wife’s phone number to text Hallie.

Thursday was the first time Jill Biden was not in the courtroom, as she joined her husband briefly to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

In an interview, President Biden said he would not pardon his son. Special Counsel David C. Weiss, who brought another case against Hunter for serious tax offenses, used the women closest to Hunter to detail his drug use.

On Wednesday, Hunter’s ex-wife and a former girlfriend testified about his addiction to crack before he applied for a gun. The events of the trial all occurred in 2018 when Joe Biden was out of office.

Hunter faces charges of lying to a gun dealer, making a false statement on the firearms application, and possessing an illegal gun. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, but nonviolent first-time offenders rarely receive severe prison time for such charges.

The government’s case hinges on whether Hunter was using drugs when he filled out the federal firearms application. “Addiction may not be a choice, but lying and buying a gun is a choice,” prosecutor Derek Hines told the jurors.

The evidence is intended to prove Hunter knowingly lied about his drug use. Critics argue the trial has become a public humiliation of the president’s troubled son for a crime rarely prosecuted alone for someone with no prior criminal record and who has been sober for years.

Hallie Biden, who knew Beau and Hunter since they were kids, is not just a witness but also someone who had to continue after her husband’s death. Unlike Hunter, Hallie addressed her addiction early, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly.

Late Thursday, as the prosecution prepared to rest its case, Hallie looked exhausted but brightened when Mr. Wise pointed out her new husband in the courtroom. When asked why he was there, she grinned and raised her fist, saying, “Support.”

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