Hunter Biden facing ‘real possibility’ of prison time because he refused to plead guilty: Jonathan Turley

Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley argued Hunter Biden soured his chances of evading prison time after he was found guilty in his federal gun trial, suggesting the case “burst into flames” when he refused to plead guilty. Turley joined “The Faulkner Focus,” Wednesday, to discuss why he believes the judge presiding over the case is now in a “tough position” as Hunter faces a maximum of 25 years behind bars and possible fines as he awaits a sentencing date. 


JONATHAN TURLEY: What’s fascinating about the decision to go forward with the trial is that it put at risk… the chance that Hunter Biden could very well be sentenced to jail. I’ve said all along that I believe that there is a real possibility here of a prison sentence. The best shot he had to reduce that likelihood was to plead guilty, which is why, all the way up to the beginning of this trial, I was writing, ‘You need to plead guilty.’ I mean, this is a lead pipe cinch of a case. You can get a two-level departure, as it’s called, to plead guilty, and that would make it easier for the court to give you probation. He decided to put on a nullification defense, and it failed, but he then lost that departure. And so the judge is going to be in a tough position here. She has sentenced people to jail for this offense.

There are reports out today that many of the Biden family believed that a Delaware jury would not convict Hunter Biden. This is, after all, Biden Town. This is their hometown. This is the son of the favorite son of Delaware, and so I think that there were some people in the family that were shocked by the quick verdict. In my view, this was not worth the risk because this is not someone the defense counsel is going to want to see given a prison stint. But the best way to avoid that is to plead guilty. Get those points with the judge. Remember, this judge watched that sweetheart deal fall apart in her courtroom. She triggered it. She simply asked the prosecutor, ‘Have you ever seen a deal like this?’ And he said no, and the whole thing just burst into flames. And then she sat there and watched them put on an obvious nullification defense, trying to get the jury just to ignore the evidence. None of that’s going to play well with the judge in determining whether to sentence Hunter to jail, and the guidelines under the federal sentencing guidelines suggest that such a sentence is warranted. Now they’re discretionary. The judge doesn’t have to follow them, but none of that helps when it comes to that decision by the judge.

The first son was found guilty on all charges Tuesday in his historic criminal case focused on his purchase of a handgun in 2018. 

The jury deliberated for a total of three hours between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. 

Hunter Biden was found guilty of making a false statement in the purchase of a gun, making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federally licensed gun dealer, and possession of a gun by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

“I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome. Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time,” Hunter Biden said in a statement following the verdict. 

Hunter Biden’s trial this month lasted about six and a half days and included emotional testimony from members of his family, including daughter Naomi Biden, ex-wife Kathleen Buhle and sister-in-law-turned-girlfriend Hallie Biden.

Prosecutors worked to prove that Hunter Biden lied on a federal firearm form, known as ATF Form 4473, in October 2018 when he ticked a box labeled “No” when asked if he is an unlawful user of a firearm or addicted to controlled substances. Hunter Biden purchased the gun from a store called StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington.

He pleaded not guilty in the case.

Hunter Biden was still as the verdict was read. He appeared motionless, looking ahead with wide eyes as the guilty verdict was announced. Ahead of the verdict, he appeared more upbeat than he did amid trial proceedings during the first week of the trial. He flashed a big smile at his defense team early Tuesday morning. 

Hunter Biden also examined the jurors as they walked into court at 9 a.m. Monday. The jury appeared relaxed Monday morning ahead of final deliberations, with some slightly smiling as they poured into the jury box. 

A sentencing date has not yet been set. 

Fox News’ Emma Colton and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.