(Wilmington) The jury in Hunter Biden’s trial retired Monday to deliberate and decide whether the US president’s son was guilty of illegally purchasing and possessing a firearm in 2018.

After two weeks of proceedings that delved into his past drug addiction, the 12 jurors retired behind closed doors after closing arguments from the prosecution and defense.

Hunter Biden, a 54-year-old lawyer and businessman turned artist, has been appearing since June 3 in federal court in Delaware, in Wilmington, stronghold of the Biden family, for having lied about his drug use when he bought in 2018 a Colt Cobra type revolver in a gun store, a crime in the United States.

The accused, who did not testify at his trial, pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Abbe Lowell, assured jurors that “he was no longer using drugs” when he purchased the gun, which “was never, ever loaded, carried or used during the 11 days it was in his possession.”

For years, Republicans, and Donald Trump first and foremost, have sought to tarnish Joe Biden through his son’s setbacks, going so far as to open an impeachment investigation into the head of state around Hunter Biden’s affairs in Ukraine and China, without the latter providing compromising evidence so far.

But Hunter Biden is also due to appear in court in California in September on tax fraud charges. His cases, which are a hot topic for conservative outlets like Fox News, risk undermining his father’s attempts to draw a contrast with Donald Trump, who was convicted on May 30 at a criminal trial for making covert payments to a porn star, a first for a former president.

Five months before the November 5 election, the presidential couple showed their support for Hunter Biden, like the first lady kissing her stepson in the courtroom, or Joe Biden, who had assured his “infinite love” in a press release at the opening of the trial. But the American head of state assured that he would not grant him a presidential pardon if he was convicted.

The trial revived memories of Hunter Biden’s addiction problems, recalled in detail by the prosecution.

Prosecutors notably used as evidence large excerpts from Hunter Biden’s autobiography, “Les Belles Choses”. He says he never recovered from the death in 2015 of his brother Beau from brain cancer at age 46, the only one he survived with in 1972 from a car accident that had killed their mother and her little sister.  

Then he describes his descent into hell, including his wanderings in search of drugs around seedy convenience stores, and his failed attempts at detoxification, between the years 2015 and 2019.

But for the defense, the doubt must benefit him, because Hunter Biden was in a dropout phase the day he bought the weapon.

The jury must decide on two counts relating to alleged lies in the documents necessary for the purchase of the revolver in 2018, and a third on illegal possession of the weapon.