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The Latest: Court adjourns for the day in Hunter Biden’s gun trial

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Hunter Biden (all times local):

Court adjourned for the day in Hunter Biden’s gun trial, with testimony expected to resume Thursday morning.

After the jurors were dismissed, Derek Hines told the judge the prosecution has six more witnesses after gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland, and that their testimony would be shorter. He said it is possible the prosecution could rest its case Thursday. If so, he said, the prosecution would like to know which witness or witnesses the defense might call.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell didn’t indicate who his first witness might be once the government rests its case.

Currently:

— Cross-examination of FBI agent continues in Hunter Biden’s gun trial, as first lady again attends

— Prosecutors spend the first day of testimony in Hunter Biden’s gun trial detailing his drug problems

Here’s the latest:

WHY CLEVELAND WAS THE ‘WHALE HUNTER’

Former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland said Hunter Biden did not express interest in a particular model of a handgun when he came into the store.

Cleveland said he explained the attributes of various models on display to him.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, then asked Cleveland if he was familiar with the phrase “whale hunter.”

“That’s what they called me because I sold high-end guns to customers,” Cleveland explained.

“I’m a salesman,” he added. “That’s just what I did.”

But he said he didn’t have a profit motive to upsell customers on more expensive merchandise because he was paid a flat salary and didn’t make commissions. In fact, he said he refused to accept the leftover $13 as a tip when Biden paid $900 for his purchases.

Cleveland said Biden ultimately was responsible for deciding what to purchase.

“Everything he bought, he ultimately decided on,” he said.

Cleveland said he met twice with federal authorities in advance of his testimony. He testified that he didn’t initially recognize that his customer that day was Hunter Biden. Neither Lowell nor the prosecutor asked him to specify when he learned that his customer was the president’s son.

DEFENSE TEST GUN CLERK’S RECOLLECTION OF HUNTER BIDEN’S ARRIVAL

On cross-examination, the defense tested former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland’s recollection of Hunter Biden’s arrival.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, asked Cleveland whether he might have been mistaken when he testified that he saw Hunter drive up to the store, rather than perhaps walking to the store from nearby.

“100% sure he drove up,” Cleveland said. “I noticed the car as soon as it pulled into the third parking spot.”

FORMER GUN CLERK DESCRIBES SELLING HUNTER BIDEN AMMUNITION

Fellow gun store employee Jason Turner started the background check process, Gordon Cleveland testified in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

Cleveland spoke to Hunter about accessories such as a speedloader, practice ammunition and hollow-point ammunition, which he said was preferable to full metal jacket cartridges for self-defense.

“He went with the hollow-point,” Cleveland said.

The former store clerk said Hunter paid in cash, giving him $900 and telling him to keep the change, which amounted to about $13. Cleveland said he didn’t keep the change but put it in an envelope next to the register.

Direct questioning of Cleveland ended and the defense began cross-examining him.

CLEVELAND DESCRIBES HUNTER BIDEN FILLING IN THE GUN PURCHASE FORM

Former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland testified that he watched as Hunter Biden entered his name, address and other personal information on the gun purchase form.

He also said he was standing next to Hunter when he began to answer a series of questions on the form with “yes or no” boxes to check. Hunter checked a box saying he was buying the gun for himself. Another question asked “are you an unlawful user of or addicted to” marijuana, stimulants, narcotics or any other controlled substance.

“He wrote ‘no’,” Cleveland said. He also testified that Hunter did not ask any questions or express any confusion about answering the question.

Cleveland said he then left the sales floor and consulted with a colleague about whether Hunter could use a passport for identification. He returned to the floor and watched Biden sign the form, which includes a warning about the consequences of submitting false information.

FORMER GUN STORE CLERK DESCRIBES GIVING HUNTER BIDEN THE GUN PURCHASE FORM

The former store clerk testified that he presented Hunter with a blank federal gun purchase form, made a copy of the passport Hunter presented for identification and told him to fill out the form and take his time.

Gordon Cleveland said firearms dealers are not allowed to help a person fill out a form.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. The son of President Joe Biden is accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

FORMER GUN STORE CLERK TAKES THE STAND AFTER COURT RESUMES

A former gun clerk has taken the stand in Hunter Biden’s federal trial.

Gordon Cleveland sold Hunter Biden a .38 caliber revolver in October 2018. Federal prosecutors allege Hunter lied on a gun purchase form when he checked a box saying he was not a user of illegal drugs.

Cleveland recalled seeing Hunter Biden pull up to the store in a Cadillac CTS, prompting prosecutor Derek Hines to ask how he remembered what kind of car Hunter was driving.

“I like guns and I like cars,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland said the Colt Cobra revolver Hunter Biden bought was known as a reliable handgun. Hines showed Cleveland the gun in court and asked him to read the serial number.

KESTAN DESCRIBES HUNTER BIDEN USING DRUGS A MONTH AFTER BUYING GUN

Before cross-examination began, Zoe Kestan testified that in November 2018, the month after Hunter Biden purchased the gun, he invited her to visit him at a rental home in Massachusetts, where he told her he was undergoing ketamine transfusions, which are sometimes used to treat depression.

When she arrived, she said Hunter asked if she could find cocaine for him. Kestan said she contacted someone she knew from her college days and they met a drug dealer before checking into a hotel. That night, and the next morning, before leaving for a ketamine treatment, Hunter used drugs, she said.

On cross-examination by Hunter’s lawyer, Kestan acknowledged she had no contact with him in October 2018, the period when he bought the gun.

Before the judge ordered an afternoon recess, the prosecution called gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland to the witness stand next.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS ISSUE CRIMINAL REFERRALS AGAINST HUNTER BIDEN AND HIS UNCLE

As testimony continues in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial, House Republicans have issued criminal referrals against him and his uncle, James Biden.

They accused the president’s family members of making false statements to Congress as part of a year-long impeachment inquiry.

The Republican chairmen of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Ways & Means committees sent a letter to the Justice Department on Wednesday recommending the prosecution of the two men.

For months, Republicans have pursued an impeachment inquiry seeking to tie the Democratic president to his son’s business dealings. So far, GOP lawmakers have failed to uncover evidence directly implicating President Joe Biden in any wrongdoing.

JURORS SEE PHOTO OF HOTEL TABLE LITTERED WITH DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

After the lunch break, jurors also were shown a cellphone photo Zoe Kestan took of a hotel room in California where she said Hunter Biden had stayed in May 2018 with another woman before catching a flight to the East Coast.

Kestan said Hunter Biden asked her to check out of the room for him.

“I was quite angry that I had to clean it up,” she said, as jurors in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial observed a photo of a tabletop littered with drug paraphernalia.

COURT HAS RESUMED AFTER THE LUNCH BREAK

Court has resumed after the lunch break in the federal gun trial of Hunter Biden.

First lady Jill Biden had been absent after the morning break but has returned to the courtroom after lunch.

Zoe Kestan, a former girlfriend of Hunter Biden’s, returned to the witness stand.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. The son of President Joe Biden is accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

JURY SEES PHOTOS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA FROM KESTAN’S TIME WITH HUNTER

Before breaking for lunch, the prosecution showed jurors a photo from Zoe Kestan’s cellphone showing a glass pipe on a bathroom counter at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City during Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

Jurors also saw photos Kestan took during their stay in Los Angeles, including a bathroom selfie that showed pipes and a beer bottle near Hunter Biden. Another photo showed him wearing a T-shirt that said “Addicted” over a marijuana leaf.

“I thought that was funny because he didn’t smoke weed,” she said.

Kestan recalled helping Biden learn how to cook powder cocaine into crack by searching the internet for tips for him. She said he successfully cooked his own crack but was disappointed by the yield it produced.

THE SCENE IN THE COURTROOM AS HUNTER’S EXES TESTIFIED

Several jurors took notes as Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and former girlfriend, Zoe Kestan, testified and all members appeared to be attentive during the women’s testimony.

Hunter Biden didn’t have any visible reactions to the women’s testimony, and neither made eye contact with him as they left the witness stand during his federal gun trial.

Afterward, Hunter Biden held hands with his wife as they left the courtroom for a lunch break.

Before breaking for lunch, the prosecution also showed jurors a photo from Kestan’s cellphone showing a crack pipe on a bathroom counter at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City.

EX-GIRLFRIEND DESCRIBES MEETING HUNTER BIDEN

Zoe Kestan, a designer, said she first met Hunter Biden in December 2017 at a strip club in New York where she was working, she testified during his federal gun trial.

During a private session, he pulled out a pipe and began smoking what she assumed was crack.

“He was incredibly charming and charismatic and friendly, and I felt really safe around him,” she said. “I remember after he had smoked it, nothing had changed. He was the same charming person.”

Kestan said Hunter invited her back to his hotel room. She declined but gave him her phone number.

Kestan said she met up again with Hunter Biden in New York a couple of weeks after their initial meeting, when a friend invited her to the hotel where Hunter was staying. Within 15 minutes of her arrival, Hunter began smoking crack and asked her if she wanted to join him, said Kestan, who declined.

She ended up staying with Hunter at his hotel for the next five days, during which time Hunter was smoking crack perhaps every 20 minutes, Kestan said. She added that she believed he was smoking less than what he was used to.

NOW ON THE STAND: ZOE KESTAN, A FORMER GIRLFRIEND OF HUNTER BIDEN

Zoe Kestan, a former girlfriend of Hunter Biden, has been called to testify in his federal gun trial.

She is testifying under a grant of immunity.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. He’s accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

BUHLE SAYS SHE NEVER SAW HUNTER BIDEN USING DRUGS

During cross-examination, Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s defense attorney asked ex-wife Kathleen Buhle: “Did you ever see Hunter using drugs?”

“No,” she replied.

On redirect questioning, prosecutor Leo Wise asked Buhle how she knew Hunter was using drugs, to which she replied: “He told me.”

“I assumed he was continuing to use when I would find the pipes in the car,” she said, adding that she found pipes “about a dozen times.”

Federal prosecutors have spent hours showing jurors evidence of Hunter Biden’s drug problem, seeking to reveal through his own words and writing the depth of his addiction to show it was still going on when, they say, he lied on a form to buy a firearm.

HUNTER BIDEN’S EX-WIFE DESCRIBES DISCOVERING HIS DRUG USE

Kathleen Buhle, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, testified that she discovered her husband was using drugs when she found a crack pipe in an ashtray on their porch on July, 3, 2015, a day after their anniversary.

When she confronted him, “he acknowledged smoking crack,” she said while testifying in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

Even before she found the crack pipe, Buhle suspected Hunter Biden was using drugs, given that he earlier had been kicked out of the Navy after testing positive for cocaine.

“I was definitely worried, scared,” she said.

KATHLEEN BUHLE, HUNTER BIDEN’S EX-WIFE, IS CALLED TO THE STAND

Kathleen Buhle, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife, has been called to the stand to testify in his federal gun trial.

She was married to the president’s son for roughly 20 years. They have three children and divorced in 2016 after his infidelity and drug abuse became too much, according to her memoir, “If We Break,” about the dissolution of their marriage.

Federal prosecutors have spent hours showing jurors evidence of Hunter Biden’s drug problem, seeking to reveal through his own words and writing the depth of his addiction to show it was still going on when, they say, he lied on a form to buy a firearm.

PROSECUTORS QUESTION FBI AGENT ABOUT HUNTER’S CASH WITHDRAWALS

Before the break, prosecutor Derek Hines, in his follow-up questioning of FBI agent Erika Jensen tried to rebut the implication that Hunter Biden was making large cash withdrawals to pay for rent, rehab and other expenses.

The prosecutor showed bank statements indicating Hunter Biden used a debit card to pay for his drug treatment in California in August 2018 and Airbnb rentals.

“Did you see any evidence during your investigation that Mr. Biden was taking wads of cash and mailing it to Airbnb?” Hines asked Jensen.

“No,” she replied.

Hines presented bank statements showing that Hunter Biden used his debit card for liquor purchases.

“Do drug dealers accept credit cards?” he asked, to which Jensen replied: “Not in my experience.”

The prosecutor also attempted to rebut suggestions by the defense that references to relapsing in Hunter’s memoir referred to alcohol and not drugs.

“I was smoking crack every 15 minutes,” Biden wrote after referring to relapsing in August 2018.

Hines noted that Biden wrote about not being troubled about people trying to rob him as long as a cycle of depravity including drugs continued.

“Does he say alcohol in that sentence?” the prosecutor asked, drawing a negative response from Jensen.

PROSECUTORS’ REDIRECT OF FBI AGENT WRAPS, COURT RECESSES FOR MORNING BREAK

Prosecutors have finished their redirect of FBI agent Erika Jensen and the court has recessed for the morning break in Hunter Biden’s gun trial.

After the jury left for the break, Judge Maryellen Noreika spoke with the attorneys about jury instructions.

During cross-examination, Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, attempted to cast doubt on the testimony of the FBI agent called to answer questions about personal messages from his devices that were pulled by law enforcement.

DEFENSE WORKED TO CAST DOUBT ON FBI TESTIMONY DURING CROSS-EXAMINATION

During cross-examination, Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, attempted to cast doubt on the testimony of the FBI agent called to answer questions about personal messages from his devices that were pulled by law enforcement.

Agent Erika Jensen’s job was to establish that Hunter Biden had a drug problem when he purchased the gun in October 2018. Prosecutors do not have to prove he was using the day he bought the gun, just that he was using generally around the time of the purchase when he is accused of having lied on the form.

Lowell went through a large number of Hunter Biden’s texts with the agent to establish that few messages involved seeking or using drugs in the weeks before the gun purchase. The defense attorney also raised questions about how the FBI could prove Hunter Biden was being truthful with family when he texted about seeking or using drugs.

CROSS-EXAMINATION OF FBI AGENT CONTINUES IN HUNTER BIDEN’S GUN TRIAL

Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell is cross-examining Erika Jensen, an FBI agent assigned to the case.

Earlier, Lowell pointed out several liquor store purchases by Hunter in October 2018, the month he bought the gun. Lowell has suggested that references in Biden’s book to “relapsing” refer to alcohol abuse, not drug use.

Lowell asked Jensen about text message exchanges prosecutors say show evidence of Biden’s drug use in 2018 and 2019. Lowell pointed to a November 2018 text to Hallie Biden — Beau Biden’s widow, with whom Hunter Biden had a relationship after his brother’s death — in which Hunter confessed: “I’m a drunk.”

Lowell also questioned Jensen about bank statements showing withdrawals of large sums of money from Hunter Biden’s bank accounts. Prosecutors have suggested he made the cash withdrawals to buy drugs. Lowell implied through his questioning that President Joe Biden’s son spent the money on rent and other living expenses, drug treatment, alimony, tuition for his children, and helping family members with their finances.

WHAT’S THIS HUNTER BIDEN TRIAL ABOUT?

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of the Colt revolver when he was, according to his memoir, addicted to crack.

He has been accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

RECAPPING THE FIRST DAY OF TESTIMONY

The first day of testimony in the case dredged up painful memories for President Joe Biden and his family and revealed new and highly personal details about some of their struggles with addiction as the 2024 election looms.

For part of the day, first lady Jill Biden watched from the front row of the courtroom.

By The Associated Press

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