Hunter Biden’s daughter testifies as gun trial nears end

 Naomi Biden, the eldest daughter of Hunter Biden and Kathleen Buhle, testified Friday about her father’s health and state of mind shortly before and after the U.S. Justice Department says he purchased a firearm while in the midst of a crack cocaine addiction.

Facing three felonies, Hunter Biden is accused of purchasing and possessing a Cold Cobra .38 special revolver while using or being addicted to a controlled substance. Prosecutors say he lied on a federal form while purchasing the revolver on Oct. 12, 2018. Hunter Biden asserted on the form that he was drug-free and not addicted at the time, but prosecutors say bank receipts, text messages and his own memoir indicate otherwise.

Naomi Biden told defense attorney Abbe Lowell that she met her father for lunch in late August 2018, during his stay at a rehabilitation center in Los Angeles. Hunter Biden, along with a “sober coach” he had hired, met her and her then-boyfriend Peter Neal at a cafe, she said.

“He seemed like the clearest he had been since my uncle died,” she said, referencing her father’s relapse following the 2015 death of his brother, Beau Biden.

Naomi Biden also spoke to her father’s lucidity in late October 2018, when her father visited her and Neal in New York City. Earlier that month, she and Neal had moved in together there, she explained, and had driven up from Washington, D.C. in Hunter Biden’s Ford Raptor truck.

Hunter Biden met with the pair and dropped off a Cadillac owned by then-soon-to-be President Joe Biden before leaving in the truck on October 19, she testified.

“He seemed great,” she added. “He seemed helpful.”

Naomi Biden said she saw no drug residue or paraphernalia inside the truck when it was in her and Neal’s possession, and that the center console was locked shut.

Her depiction of the truck stood in sharp contrast to Thursday’s testimony from Hallie Biden, Beau Biden’s widow and Hunter Biden’s former partner.

Hallie Biden told prosecutors that while cleaning out Hunter Biden’s truck on October 23, 2018 — four days after he retrieved the truck from New York — she found crack residue and paraphernalia in the vehicle’s cabin. Additionally, she said the truck’s center console was left ajar with a broken lock and Hunter Biden’s revolver inside.

During cross-examination of Naomi Biden, prosecutor Leo Wise suggested that the truck’s clean condition prior to October 19, 2018, actually gave credence to the prosecution’s case — if she never witnessed drug residue or paraphernalia in the truck, he posited, both must have been put in the vehicle after it was returned to Hunter Biden.

Wise also grilled Naomi Biden on the nature of her father’s visit to New York, suggesting he was not in the healthy state she portrayed him to be in during his stay.

Wise presented a series of text messages sent between Naomi and Hunter Biden during Hunter’s trip to New York, which Lowell noted he had not previously been given. The messages showed several days of attempts by Naomi to meet with her father. Hunter Biden repeatedly failed to provide a place or time to meet, the messages read, only offering to swap vehicles once, at 2 a.m. on October 18, 2018.

Naomi Biden spoke softly, hesitating as she told Wise she could not remember most of the messages, which would be more than five years old at the time of her testimony.

“I don’t recall any of this, except that I handed the car off, and he still seemed good, and I was still hopeful,” she told Wise.

When her testimony concluded, Naomi looked away from her father as they embraced. She appeared to wipe a tear from her eye as she left the courtroom.

Prosecutors close their case

Earlier in the morning, prosecutors presented two federal agents for expert testimony before closing their case.

First, Wise questioned Jason Brewer, an FBI forensic examiner and chemist who analyzed the leather pouch Hallie Biden used to throw away Hunter Biden’s gun and bullets on Oct. 23, 2018.

Brewer told Wise he found a minimal amount of off-white powder inside the pouch, which he confirmed to be cocaine after lab testing.

During cross-examination, defense attorney David Polansky noted that Brewer never conducted fingerprint or DNA sampling on the pouch, and that no test exists that could determine who put the cocaine in the pouch or for how long the cocaine had been there.

For their final witness, prosecutors called Joshua Romik, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent with experience in drug trafficking and coded language. He analyzed messages sent to and from Hunter Biden in 2018 and early 2019.

Using context from earlier testimony, Romik confirmed that Biden’s use of phrases like “1.4 grams,” “ounce,” “baby powder” and “the really soft stuff” were in reference to having, purchasing or using crack or powdered cocaine.

During cross-examination, Lowell asked Romik if Hunter Biden ever sent messages using similar coded drug language between August and November 2018, around the time he purchased the firearm.

While Romik agreed that Hunter Biden had not done so, he added that two messages sent by Hunter Biden — one on October 13, 2018, saying he was “waiting for a dealer named Mookie” and another sent a day later reading “I was on a car smoking crack” — were so explicit they that they didn’t require interpretation.

“With the exception of the October texts where he said that he was smoking crack,” Romik answered.

Hunter Biden’s attorneys weigh whether to have him testify

Court adjourned for the day unexpectedly after the lunch break as Biden’s defense team appeared to shift its strategy at the eleventh hour.

Lowell told the court he had decided not to call an expert witnesses, and Hunter Biden’s uncle, James Biden — who was at the courthouse Friday and who Lowell said during opening statements would testify — was seen leaving the building.

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