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Jury likely considered Hunter Biden’s own words in memoir as ‘powerful’ evidence to convict: experts

Following the historic conviction of the sitting president’s son, some legal experts have pointed to Hunter Biden’s memoir about his own recovery from drug addiction as “strong” evidence to persuade jurors to convict him.

Hunter Biden was convicted Tuesday of making a false statement regarding a gun purchase, making a false statement regarding information required to be kept by a federally licensed gun dealer and possessing a firearm by an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance.

After a week of witness testimony, the 12-person jury deliberated for a total of three hours from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

Legal experts who spoke to Fox News Digital pointed to Hunter Biden’s 2021 memoir “Beautiful Things: A Memoir,” which chronicles his struggle with illegal drug addiction, arguing that it was likely to be compelling evidence for the jury. The autobiographical book was read aloud in court, with Hunter Biden’s voice reading it as he sat in the courtroom.

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Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, holds his memoir, “Beautiful Things,” as he leaves the federal courthouse with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, during his firearms-related criminal trial in Wilmington, Delaware, United States, on June 5, 2024. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

“In a lot of cases, defendants confess during police interviews or whatever, and that’s very powerful. I’ve always preferred having confessions in cases,” Jonathan Fahey, a former federal prosecutor and white-collar crime lawyer, told Fox News Digital in an interview.

Prosecutors referred to several excerpts from the book during witness testimony, including descriptions of “the wisdom of a crack addict” and “the ability to find crack in any town.”

“Crack takes people to the darkest recesses of their souls and the darkest corners of every community,” Hunter Biden wrote in his book.

“When I could, I bought from users, not dealers,” Biden writes. “In Timbuktu, I quit drugs and found crack,” Biden writes in his book. He explains that his addiction was so strong that he became a “crack daddy” to drug dealers in Washington, D.C.

Prosecutors had to prove that Biden was addicted to illegal drugs when he bought the handgun and that he lied in October 2018 on a federal firearms declaration, known as ATF Form 4473, by checking a box that said “no” when asked if he was an illegal firearms user or addicted to controlled substances.

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Hunter Biden and Melissa Cohen Biden arrive at federal courthouse

Hunter Biden arrives with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, at the federal courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“But if they’re not being interrogated and they’re making confessions — as was the case with him, they’re doing so of their own volition, either to try to sell a book or as part of a book — I think it’s pretty strong to say, I was basically not honest about my book, but now I am,” Fahey said of Biden’s defense strategy.

“I think it’s certainly compelling that the defendant has his own testimony,” Fahey said, adding that testimony from close relatives who “corroborated” each other also likely influenced the jury.

John Malcolm, a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta, said he was not surprised the verdict came quickly, saying “the evidence of Hunter Biden’s guilt was overwhelming.”

“That evidence included not only Hunter Biden’s contemporaneous text messages, but also testimony from people who cared about Hunter Biden but were forced to acknowledge that he was struggling with addiction at the time he made the decision to purchase a firearm, as well as excerpts from Hunter’s own book documenting his struggle with addiction at the time he purchased his firearm,” Malcolm said.

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Courtroom sketches depicting Hunter Biden's federal trial in Wilmington, Delaware.

A courtroom sketch shows Hunter Biden listening during his federal trial in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday, June 10, 2024. (William J. Hennessy Jr.)

“The only question is whether jurors will ignore the evidence and the judge’s instructions and go ahead and nullify the jury because of the fact that he’s a Biden in a small state where the Bidens have dominated the political landscape for decades,” Malcolm said.

Biden’s family, including First Lady Jill Biden, were present in the courtroom throughout the trial.

“The jurors deserve credit for being able to put that aside and focus on the task at hand,” Malcolm said.

“I think it was cumulative. There wasn’t necessarily one so-called smoking gun,” Jim Trusty, a former federal prosecutor and former lawyer to former President Donald Trump, told Fox News Digital, adding that Biden’s memoir was a “big piece of evidence.”

“There’s a reason they started it,” he said.

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Hunter Biden responded to the guilty verdict in a statement on Tuesday, saying he was “more grateful for the love and support I’ve received over the last week from Melissa, my family, friends and the community.”

“Recovery is possible by God’s grace, and I am blessed to experience that grace one day at a time,” he added.

Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton contributed to this report.