Current track

Title

Artist


First lady Jill Biden supports Hunter Biden with near daily visits to court during trial

Written by on June 7, 2024

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — As Hunter Biden continues his trial in Delaware over allegations he lied on a gun permit application, first lady Jill Biden has been in his corner, showing support while also juggling her official duties.

Almost every day this week, Jill Biden was in court watching the proceedings along with other family members and growing emotional as details of Hunter Biden’s drug addictions, fraught relationships and other dark aspects of his past were brought up by prosecutors.

The first lady’s commitment to attending the trial was evident as she flew back late Thursday from France, where she accompanied President Joe Biden to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, to attend Friday’s court hearings before flying back overseas to attend a state dinner being hosted by the French prime minister on Saturday.

President Biden has not appeared at his son’s trial. In a statement on Monday, as jury selection was underway, Biden said he wouldn’t comment on the case but expressed “boundless love” for his son.

“I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” the president said in the statement. “Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us.”

Hunter Biden was indicted in September by special counsel David Weiss on two counts related to false statements in purchasing the firearm and a third count of illegally obtaining a firearm while addicted to drugs. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty and has denied the charges.

The indictment came after a plea deal with the federal government fell apart at the 11th hour last summer. It marked the first time a child of a sitting president was criminally indicted.

Hunter Biden’s legal issues have put the first family in the spotlight by their critics, particularly among Republicans on the Hill and former President Donald Trump.

The jeers did not appear to deter Jill Biden from showing up in court nearly every day since proceedings began.

The first lady has entered the courtroom with her security detail, sometimes affecting foot traffic in the federal courthouse as the first family has protection needs.

Hunter Biden was seen embracing his stepmother before she took her front-row seat. Jill Biden often sat next to her daughter Ashley Biden, Hunter’s step-sister; Valerie Biden, the president’s sister; or Melissa Cohen, Hunter Biden’s wife.

During the first week of hearings, the first lady was attentive and craned her next toward the screen showing exhibits of video, photos or text message data collected by the government.

She was visibly emotional on Tuesday as some of those exhibits included audio excerpts from Hunter’s book — him reading in lurid detail tales of his addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol.

Hunter Biden has been open about his addictions and the effect it had on his entire family, including his parents. In his 2018 memoir, he spoke about how then-Vice President Biden saved his life when he was on a binge and pushed him to get into rehab.

Jill and Ashley Biden sat shoulder-to-shoulder as the clips played out, at times leaning their heads against one another. At one point, as Hunter Biden’s voice was heard describing a raucous 12-day bender in Los Angeles, Jill Biden lifted her left arm and draped it around her daughter’s shoulders.

A person sitting with the family told ABC News they were both “fighting off tears.”

On Friday, Jill and Hunter Biden entered the courtroom arm-in-arm as Naomi Biden, Hunter Biden’s daughter, took the stand for the defense. While she testified, her husband, Peter Neal, sat in the gallery next to the first lady.

It is unclear if Hunter Biden will take the stand in his own defense when the trial resumes next week.

The two counts of making false statements carry sentences of up to 10 years and five years, respectively, while the possession charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

President Biden told “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir on Thursday that he would accept the outcome of his son’s trial and would not consider pardoning him.

ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.