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5 things to know about Hunter Biden trial

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5 things to know about Hunter Biden trial

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Hunter Biden’s federal gun crime trial kicked off with jury selection on Monday in Delaware, launching proceedings that are sure to hold the nation’s attention in the days and weeks to come.

Here are some key facts to know about the trial moving forward.

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1. Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison

Hunter is charged with one count of making false statements in a firearm purchase, another count of making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a licensed firearm dealer, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

If he is found guilty on all charges, he could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release. 

JUDGE BARS PROSECUTORS FROM USING SOME SALACIOUS EVIDENCE IN HUNTER BIDEN’S GUN TRIAL

Hunter Biden’s federal gun crime trial kicked off on Monday in Delaware, launching proceedings that are sure to hold the nation’s attention in the days and weeks to come. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

According to an indictment, Hunter Biden bought a Colt Cobra revolver on Oct. 12, 2018, and “knowingly made a false and fictitious written statement, intended and likely to deceive that dealer with respect to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale of the firearm … certifying he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, and any other controlled substance, when in fact, as he knew, that statement was false and fictitious.”

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2. Hunter’s defense hinges on his drug addiction

Hunter’s charges allege that he was addicted to drugs at the time he purchased the firearm, meaning prosecutors do not need to prove that he was in fact on drugs at the moment of the purchase.

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett summarized Hunter’s “crazy” defense plan in a Monday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

“The best witness against Hunter Biden is Hunter Biden,” Jarrett said. “I mean, [he] wrote a book explaining in detail how he was a drug addict at the exact time that he bought a gun and then allegedly lied about it, so he incriminated himself, and it was incredibly foolish to cash in by peddling a book about your addiction when you know you’re under criminal investigation for an addiction related crime.”

HUNTER BIDEN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO TAX CHARGES BROUGHT BY SPECIAL COUNSEL DAVID WEISS

President Biden

President Biden has yet to speak about his son’s trial now that it has begun. (Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images/File)

Jarrett said Hunter’s main defense hinges on denial of addiction and rehab, with a backup defense of being too strung out to intend wrongdoing. His defense may also attempt to challenge the Second Amendment, despite his father’s advocacy for stricter gun laws.

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HUNTER BIDEN IS IN COURT IN DELAWARE. HERE’S WHAT HE DOESN’T WANT THE JURY TO HEAR

“His dad is on record railing against the Second Amendment,” Jarrett said. “And arguing strict gun laws should always be enforced, except for, you know, maybe against my own son. So, it’s a crazy defense.”

3. Hunter’s family members are attending the proceedings

First lady Jill Biden, Hunter’s stepmother, attended the first day of his trial alongside Hunter’s sister, Ashley Biden, on Monday.

Hunter arrived at court while holding hands with wife Melissa Cohen Biden.

Hunter’s father, President Biden, has not announced any plans to attend the proceedings.

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4. The judge has barred prosecutors from using salacious evidence

The judge in Hunter’s trial has ruled that the prosecution cannot use some salacious evidence in the proceedings, including references to his U.S. Navy discharge and the child support case for his out-of-wedlock daughter in Arkansas.

Judge Maryellen Noreika said the government may use part of Hunter Biden’s book in which he discusses his addiction to drugs.

Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, arrives at federal court

Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, arrive at federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The prosecution does not plan to bring out Hunter Biden’s entire infamous laptop, which leaked in 2020 just before the presidential election, but may introduce certain pieces of information. Noreika ruled that Hunter Biden’s team will be able to question aspects of the laptop in front of the jury. 

In what is called a “motion in limine,” Hunter Biden asked the court “to exclude reference to the child support proceedings in Arkansas and reference to his discharge from the Navy.” This is in reference to the child he fathered out-of-wedlock with ex-stripper Lunden Roberts.

5. This is not Hunter’s only criminal trial

Hunter’s gun crime charges are not the only criminal charges against him. The first son is also facing federal tax charges in California.

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Hunter will have to attend federal court in Los Angeles this month for tax evasion charges. That case stems from a years-long investigation conducted by Special Counsel David Weiss.

Weiss charged Hunter Biden in December, alleging a “four-year scheme” in which the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to all charges in that case, with a trial scheduled to begin on June 20.

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Congressional Baseball Game descends into chaos after protesters storm field

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Congressional Baseball Game descends into chaos after protesters storm field

Several arrests were made at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity on Wednesday night, after individuals who appeared to be protesters of climate change stormed the field at Nationals Park in D.C.

The game, which raises money for local charities in the D.C. area, features Democrats and Republicans from the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Climate change protesters were seen chanting with signs that read, “Stop playing games with our future,” and shirts that read, “End Fossil Fuels” before several people jumped onto the field.

A group known as Climate Defiance took credit for the display in a tweet on X.

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REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: LAWMAKERS TAKE TO THE FIELD IN STRANGE SPECTACLE OF ANNUAL CONGRESSIONAL BASEBALL GAME

During the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park, eight people jumped out on the field in a demonstration against fossil fuels. (Emily Hillstrom)

“Update: Eight of us have been arrested for shutting down the Congressional Baseball Game. They are behind bars now. Make no mistake: It’s the Members of Congress who should be locked up.”

The group also bragged about their mission on social media and causing the game to pause.

“We have taken the field at the Congressional Baseball Game + play has FROZEN! Congress sends billions of public $$ to subsidize deadly fossil fuels — but the police are tackling us instead. This Chevron-sponsored game cannot continue. This is unconscionable,” the group wrote. 

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STEVE SCALISE BACK ON THE FIELD FOR CONGRESSIONAL BASEBALL GAME AFTER CANCER BATTLE

Protesters on field during congressional baseball game

Climate change protesters crashed the annual Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday evening.  (Emily Hillstrom)

The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) promptly arrived and escorted the demonstrators out and the game was able to resume play. USCP confirmed that eight people were arrested.

“We are proud of our officers who are working to keep everyone safe during tonight’s Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. When eight people tried to protest on the field, our officers quickly stopped them and arrested them. The eight people are being charged with federal charges – Interference with a Member of the U.S. Capitol Police,” Capitol Police wrote in a statement on X. 

A small group of anti-Israel protesters were also spotted in the crowd. The group unfurled a Free Palestine and Palestinian flag in the right field section by the foul post. The group’s message was met with boos from others in the stands.

CLIMATE ACTIVISTS HAVE NEW TARGET IN MIND FOR MAJOR SUMMER PROTEST: ‘MAKE THEIR LIVES MISERABLE’

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This is not the first time the annual charity game has been met with controversy.

Over the last several years, the event has drawn more scrutiny after a gunman opened fire on Republicans who were at the stadium early for practice in 2017.

The Congressional Baseball Game has been held since 1909. 

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Tough-on-crime measure officially qualifies for November ballot as rifts in Legislature mount

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Tough-on-crime measure officially qualifies for November ballot as rifts in Legislature mount

A ballot measure to impose harsher criminal penalties for drug possession and theft, altering the controversial Proposition 47 passed in 2014, has qualified for the November ballot.

The measure, however, may be undercut by the California Legislature’s Democratic leadership, which is pushing a package of bills targeting the rash of retail thefts across the state. The lawmakers hope the legislation will sway voters to reject the tough-on-crime ballot initiative, and are using the bills to pressure proponents of the measure rescind their proposal.

News of the ballot measure qualifying comes just two weeks before the secretary of state releases the official slate of statewide propositions that will appear on the November ballot. It also comes as Democratic leadership made a hardball move last week by promising to add an amendment to their retail crime legislation that would revoke the laws if voters pass the statewide proposition.

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“We’re calling today upon our leaders to stop playing politics,” Greg Totten, co-chair of Californians for Safer Communities, said Wednesday during a news conference. “The Legislature’s plan to include an automatic repeal … proves they are not serious about addressing the explosion in retail theft and the state’s fentanyl crisis.”

Since voters passed Proposition 47 in 2014, the initiative has been the center of debate over whether it is the reason for the rash of retail thefts across the state. Democratic lawmakers say that the measure helped reduce prison populations and that some areas have seen property crimes go down. Republicans say the measure has led to a lack of arrests and less accountability for thieves.

The secretary of state has verified that the measure gathered enough signatures from registered California voters to qualify for the ballot, made possible by a multimillion-dollar signature-gathering effort that big-box retailers including Walmart, Home Deport and Target largely funded. The coalition has so far raised $8.5 million in campaign contributions.

The ballot initiative, called the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act, would change the law to make a third offense of theft, regardless of the value of merchandise, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. The measure also would make possession of fentanyl a felony. Finally, the measure would impose a “treatment-mandated felony” the third time someone is arrested for drug possession.

Democrats have crafted a comprehensive 14-bill package that they think will resolve the issue of property crime and drug use in California — without the need to go back to the ballot box.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly said he is against bringing Proposition 47 back to the ballot.

“It doesn’t achieve the goals that are intended. I want to do something that can be done legislatively with more flexibility,” Newsom told The Times last Friday. “We have launched a package of bills working in both houses of the Legislature that have been fantastic in addressing legitimate concerns we have been addressing for years now. Not just retail theft, but organized retail theft.”

Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Los Angeles), who chairs the Select Committee on Retail Theft, told reporters Tuesday that the package of bills was “never intended” to be stacked on top of a “one-sided ballot measure.”

“The combination of the two [efforts] is sort of supercharging this whole process,” he said. “Moving back to a period where we’re going to have much more incarceration.”

Times staff writer Mackenzie Mays contributed to this report.

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Durbin looks to force Supreme Court ethics bill vote amid Alito controversy

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Durbin looks to force Supreme Court ethics bill vote amid Alito controversy

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., will attempt to force a vote Wednesday evening on a Supreme Court ethics bill backed by Democrats amid recent scrutiny of Justice Samuel Alito and renewed calls for the conservative justice to recuse from former President Trump’s immunity case. 

Durbin will lead fellow judiciary committee Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., in a request to bring the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act to the floor for a vote around 5:30 p.m.

However, unanimous consent to consider the measure will not be granted, as Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will object, his office told Fox News Digital. 

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Sen. Dick Durbin will attempt to force a vote on a Supreme Court ethics reform bill, but Sen. Lindsey Graham will object to it.  (Getty Images)

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If brought for a vote and passed, the bill would require the Supreme Court to create an ethics code that is publicly available. It would additionally allow for complaints to be lodged against justices and for a judicial investigation panel to then review them. 

The measure advanced out of the committee last year by a party line vote, with 11 Democrats in favor and all 10 Republicans opposed. 

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Sheldon Whitehouse, Dick Durbin

Sens. Whitehouse, left, and Durbin, right, have made a concerted effort to push Justice Alito to recuse. (Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., praised judiciary Democrats for their work on the bill after it advanced, saying at the time, “I support Chairman Durbin, Senator Whitehouse, and the Judiciary Committee’s work on SCOTUS ethics reform, and I look forward to working with them to make progress on this legislation.”

But since its advancement, the bill has remained in limbo. 

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Schumer’s office did not provide comment to Fox News Digital regarding his plans for bringing it to the floor. 

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Judiciary Democrats have made a renewed and concerted push to increase accountability for Supreme Court justices in the wake of the controversy surrounding Alito and his wife. The New York Times recently reported on an upside-down American flag that flew at their Virginia home in the weeks following the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, as well as an “Appeal to Heaven” flag that was on display at a beach home belonging to the Alitos. 

Democratic critics have suggested that the flags were displays of support for those who rioted on Jan. 6.

The reports prompted several letters to both Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts from Durbin, Whitehouse, and Blumenthal, which requested a meeting with Roberts and Alito’s recusal from 2020 election-related cases.

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SUPREME COURT HISTORICAL SOCIETY BLASTS ‘SURREPTITIOUS’ RECORDING AS DEMS TARGET JUSTICE ALITO

Samuel Alito talks during confirmation hearing

U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Samuel Alito (R), answers questions during the fourth and likely final day of his confirmation hearings January 12, 2006, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Alito has since refused to step back from such cases, which include the matter of Trump’s immunity claim in his federal election interference case, in which a decision from the court is expected this month. 

The unanimous consent request also comes in the wake of secret recordings that were taken by an undercover liberal filmmaker at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3, which featured Alito acknowledging that “there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised” when it comes to ideological differences. Alito additionally agreed with the activist’s statement suggesting the country should return to “godliness.” 

In an op-ed on Tuesday for the Wall Street Journal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., slammed his Democratic colleagues’ attempt to pass the legislation. The Republican explained that the court is charged constitutionally with the power to govern itself. “Liberals complain that the court’s binding ethics rules lack an ‘enforcement mechanism’ to ensure recusal when they want it,” he wrote. “But this complaint would throw the Constitution out the window.”

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“The court rightly vests judicial power in its democratically legitimate members as the Constitution requires. Democrats instead want a bureaucracy to ‘administer’ it,” he said in a scathing rebuke of the Democratic effort. 

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