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Joe Biden says he will 'respect the judicial process' as Hunter considers appeal

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US President Joe Biden hugs his son Hunter Biden upon arrival at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on June 11, 2024, as he travels to Wilmington, Delaware.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden said Tuesday he will not challenge the federal jury verdict finding his son Hunter Biden guilty on three criminal gun charges.

"As I said last week, 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," Biden said in his first comment after his sole surviving son was convicted in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

"So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery," the president said.

"As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal," Biden said.

He added that he and first lady Jill Biden "will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that."

The message of support from the president and his family — for his son and the rule of law — contrasted with how Donald Trump and his own family responded to a New York jury's guilty verdict against the former president less than two weeks earlier.

Trump, after being convicted of falsifying business records, railed against his trial as "very unfair" and asserted it "should never be allowed to happen in the future." His presidential campaign then launched a massive fundraising push falsely claiming he was a "political prisoner" and that his trial was "rigged."

Hunter Biden said in a statement after Tuesday's verdict that he was "disappointed by the outcome" but added that he was grateful for the support he has received from his wife, Melissa Biden, and his family and friends.

"Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time," he said.

His attorney, Abbe Lowell, said, "We are naturally disappointed by today's verdict."

"We respect the jury process, and as we have done throughout this case, we will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter," Lowell said.

The jury convicted Hunter Biden, 54, on three counts related to his October 2018 purchase and possession of a revolver while using illicit drugs. Federal prosecutors accused the president's son of lying on a form used for a federal background check when he claimed he was not using illegal drugs or addicted to them.

The verdict, delivered after just three hours of deliberation over two days, makes Hunter the first son of a sitting U.S. president ever to be found guilty of crimes. He faces a separate trial on federal tax charges in September.

Later Tuesday, Joe Biden in a speech in Washington, D.C., touted his administration's gun safety record and its efforts to strengthen firearms regulations. He did not mention his son's guilty verdict during the speech.

Biden then traveled to Delaware to meet with his son. Hunter Biden and his wife and child, Beau, showed up to greet the president, who upon his arrival embraced his adult son on the airport tarmac.

Hunter's verdict came less than two weeks after Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was convicted in New York state court on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump and his allies have continued to spread the claim that the Department of Justice has been weaponized by Biden against Trump, despite the incumbent president's own son being prosecuted in two federal courts.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said after Hunter Biden's verdict that the gun trial was "nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family."

Former Trump national security aide Kash Patel, meanwhile, called the Delaware verdict "a rare example of constitutional justice, one not where individuals receive biased treatment based on their last name."

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