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US President’s son Hunter Biden goes on trial on gun charges

Washington, June 3: US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is set to go on trial on Monday on three charges related to firearms possession, facing 25 years of maximum jail term if convicted. Hunter Biden’s trial comes just days after a Manhattan jury found former President Donald Trump guilty on all 34 charges of falsifying business records to show payment of hush money to an adult film star as legal expenses.

Trump faces four years of maximum punishment for each charge, but he is more likely to get away with a lesser punishment, such as community service, or home confinement, or supervised release. Hunter Biden has arrived at a federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, and the first day is likely to be spent on jury selection.

The trial is expected to last two weeks. He is charged with two counts of providing false information on a form he filled when he bought a Colt Cobra revolver in 2018. He had wrongly said he was not using narcotics at the time, which he said at the time in an autobiography.

The third count charges him with using narcotics while in possession of a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty. Hunter Biden is being prosecuted by David Weiss, a US attorney appointed by Trump and elevated to special prosecutor by the Biden administration at his request so as to be able to conduct the case independently.

President Biden can pardon his son if he is found guilty, but the White House has said he won’t pardon do so. Trump, on the other hand, is likely to pardon himself in federal cases if he is elected as the President again. But he won’t be able to pardon himself in the Manhattan case as it is a state case and presidential pardons can only be granted in federal cases.

He currently faces two federal cases — one for mishandling classified documents after leaving office, and the second is about the January 6 insurrection in 2021. He faces multiple charges in a state case of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election outcome in Georgia.

The younger Biden also faces tax-related charges in California. Republicans have used Hunter Biden, who struggled with drug addiction and failing relationships, to accuse the President of corruption. They tried first to implicate him in charges of bribery in Ukraine, which led instead to Trump’s first of the two impeachments.

President Biden has supported his son but has made no reported efforts to influence or end his prosecution by the Department of Justice, which is also prosecuting two senior Democratic lawmakers — Senator Robert Menendez of alleged bribery in exchange for helping Egypt, and Congressman Enrique Roberto for alleged bribery by Azerbaijan.

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