Hunter Biden: Jury selection in trial against US President's son

Former President Donald Trump is not the only one making headlines with legal problems this election year. The son of incumbent President Joe Biden also has to answer to the court.

In the US state of Delaware, jury selection has begun in the trial against Hunter Biden for alleged violations of gun laws. The 54-year-old son of US President Joe Biden is accused of making false statements when purchasing a gun in October 2018 and concealing his drug addiction at the time. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison. However, it is unclear to what extent the judge in charge would push the maximum sentence in this case, as he has no previous convictions.

As US media unanimously reported, President Biden was not present at the court in the city of Wilmington, but his wife Jill Biden was. In a statement, Biden said he would not comment on the case in his role as president. “But as a father, I feel boundless love for my son, trust in him and respect for his strength.”

The case in Delaware is one of two criminal proceedings that Hunter Biden is facing. In early December, he was also charged in the state of California with allegedly failing to properly pay federal taxes for several years. He had previously been under investigation for years. An agreement with prosecutors to avoid court proceedings failed in July 2023. In mid-August, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special investigator in the case. Indictments in Delaware and California followed in September and December.

Trump uses lawsuits for election campaign

Hunter Biden's legal problems are exacerbating the situation in an already extremely heated US election year. Democrat Biden wants to move into the White House for a second term – as does Republican ex-President Donald Trump, who was found guilty of illegal campaign financing by a jury in New York State just last week. The sentence has not yet been announced; in the worst case scenario, Trump faces up to four years in prison. However, it is more likely that the sentence will be suspended or that he will have to pay a fine.

In the election campaign, the respective trials serve as political ammunition for the opposing side. Trump is already making extensive use of the verdict against him to collect campaign donations. The Republican, who is facing several criminal proceedings in the election year, is portraying the legal action against him as a political witch hunt. Even if he is convicted, he could still run in the presidential election in November.