Hunter Biden trial: Hallie Biden ‘panicked’ on finding his gun

Hunter Biden’s ex-girlfriend has testified that she “panicked” when she searched his car and found a gun – a moment that set off a chaotic string of events that has brought the president’s son to a federal courtroom.

Hallie Biden, who is also the widow of the defendant’s late brother Beau, said she had discovered the revolver amid piles of clothes and litter in the glove compartment of Hunter Biden’s truck.

Ms Biden, 50, also told the court she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to have started smoking crack cocaine herself after Mr Biden, 54, introduced her to the drug.

It is the first trial for the son of a sitting US president. He could face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to three charges related to his possession of a firearm while allegedly using narcotics.

He is accused of knowingly lying on federal paperwork when he purchased the revolver and ammunition from a gun shop in Wilmington, Delaware, on 12 October 2018.

His defence team says he was in recovery at the time, so was truthful when he indicated on the paperwork that he was not a drug user.

On Thursday, the court heard from Hallie Biden, a central figure in the case who became romantically involved with the defendant shortly after the 2015 death of his brother and her husband.

In often emotional, detailed testimony, she spoke of the pair’s “volatile” and “off-on” relationship, as well as their struggles with drug use and agonising battles to recover.

Concerned after seeing Mr Biden looking “exhausted” and fearing he could have relapsed into crack use, Ms Biden told jurors she had searched his truck early on the morning of 23 October 2018 – something she had frequently done.

There, among piles of clothes and garbage, she had found “remnants” of crack cocaine as well as drug paraphernalia.

“Oh, and the gun, obviously,” she added.

Almost instantly, she recalled, panic set in.

“I didn’t want him to hurt himself, and I didn’t want my kids to find it and hurt themselves,” the mother-of-two said.

“I was afraid to kind of touch it. I didn’t know it was loaded,” Ms Biden added.

Fearful, she wrapped the .38 calibre Colt Cobra revolver into a leather pouch, stuffed it into a purple “little gift shopping bag” and drove to a nearby grocery store, where she threw it in a rubbish bin.

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