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One World with Zain Asher

Hunter Biden Found Guilty On All Counts In The Gun Case. Aired 12- 1p ET

Aired June 11, 2024 - 12:00:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, hello everyone. Live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Zain Asher. We have major breaking news this hour starting in a Delaware courtroom where history was literally made

just moments ago. The U.S. President's son is now officially a convicted felon. Hunter Biden's gun case, the jury in that gun case has now returned

guilty verdicts on all three counts.

GOLODRYGA: After a relatively short three-hour period of deliberation --

ASHER: Right.

GOLODRYGA: - the jury in Hunter Biden's gun case has returned guilty on all three of those counts. Biden could face as much as 25 years in prison,

but legal experts are saying that he will likely get a much lighter sentence than that.

Now, the key question for the jury was whether Biden was knowingly addicted to drugs when he filled out a federal form to purchase a handgun in 2018.

Once the jury agreed that he was, the verdicts then appear to have come fairly quickly.

ASHER: All right, we're going to be covering this story from all angles. I want to bring CNN's Justice Correspondent, Jessica Schneider. Obviously,

this verdict, Jessica, a huge blow to the President and, of course, his family, but many would say that they weren't necessarily that surprised by

this outcome, given the mounting of evidence. Just take us through that.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, they were definitely hoping for a different verdict. In fact, it's interesting

because the first lady, Jill Biden, who was in court most of the days of this trial, she wasn't even able to make it into the courtroom for the

reading of this verdict. That's how quickly it all came about.

But yes, right just after 11 o'clock this morning, Hunter Biden was found guilty on those three criminal charges. And it turns out this is the first

of what will be two federal trials. This guilty verdict stemming from this trial on Hunter Biden's violation of laws that are meant to prevent drug

addicts from owning firearms. There's a second trial scheduled in California just months from now in September on charges of tax fraud.

Now, this particular gun case, it stems from a years-long investigation that was ultimately taken over by the Special Counsel David Weiss, who

oversaw this case and then ended up bringing these three felony gun related charges against Hunter Biden that have now resulted in those guilty

verdicts. After the guilty verdict was read, the judge told the court today sentencing will be sometime in the next 120 days.

So, that actually puts a possible sentencing in October, just weeks before Hunter's father, Joe Biden, will be on the ballot in the 2024 election.

Now, as for sentencing here, Hunter Biden does face up to 25 years in prison, up to a $750,000 fine.

But his sentence will likely be far less than those 25 years since, of course, he does not have a criminal record. But that will all be up to the

judge. And the sentencing will also likely come around the same time that Hunter Biden is scheduled to go on that other trial in California for those

tax fraud charges.

Now, President Joe Biden has already said in the days previous to this before this guilty verdict that he will not pardon his son. In fact, the

President just released a statement. I'll read a part of it here. Joe Biden saying, "As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a dad. Jill

and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of

pride. Seeing someone you love come out on the other side."

And he continued to say, "As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as

Hunter considers an appeal." Because, of course, Hunter Biden's team will be appealing this verdict in the weeks and months to come.

But all of this, Zain and Bianna, it embroils now both presidential candidates, Joe Biden and the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump,

in a lot of legal drama in what are the days and the weeks before the election. And as I said, the legal drama is going to continue. We have the

former President, Donald Trump, his sentencing is right now scheduled for July 11th, just days before the Republican convention.

And then this Hunter Biden saga will continue to play out, not only with the sentencing on these three guilty counts in this case, but then with

that tax fraud trial that will also move forward in California. So, it is really incredible to see all of this legal drama swirling around the two

presidential candidates just months before the 2024 election, guys.


GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that tax fraud case in California is set to begin in September. And you're so right to focus on just the significance of what

has happened within our justice system in this past month alone. A former President for the first time ever in U.S. history is now a convicted felon.

And for the first time, a sitting President's son is a convicted felon, as well.

Jessica, can I just ask you, legally, the timing of the sentence, it seems to be rather arbitrary in that in the Trump case, it's coming just a matter

of a few weeks following the jury reaching their verdict of guilty. Why is it taking so long, over 100 days for the sentencing in the Biden case?

SCHNEIDER: Two different court systems. The Trump trial was in state court. The state court timeline might be a little bit faster as it as it

pertains to sentencing. It's also possible that Trump's team could ask to push that sentencing date off, given the political calendar with the

Republican convention just days after, the -- now on the books July 11th sentencing. So, we could see about that.

But in this case, I mean, this has been a federal trial overseen by a federal judge. And I will say this judge, Maryellen Noreika, she has

actually been quite prompt and pushing forward with this case. She moved this case along very quickly. There were a lot of requests for delays in

the case itself that she refused to entertain.

So, I think that that 120 days is probably pretty standard for a federal court and a federal judge, because this is definitely a judge in the Hunter

Biden case who will not stand for any delays. So, I think this is just par for the course in the federal courtroom as opposed to the state courtroom

where Donald Trump was found guilty on his charges.

GOLODRYGA: All right, Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider, thank you so much.

ASHER: All right, let's get straight now to CNN's Marshall Cohen, who is at the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware. So, Marshall, just take us

through some of the highlights of the case here, just in terms of closing arguments. And one of the things that the prosecutor said in the closing

arguments was, look, anybody who smokes crack essentially every 20 minutes knows that they're an addict.

Hunter Biden's lawyers instead argued, look, this is a man who was actually trying to turn his life around at a time that he purchased that gun. He was

actually in rehab. But that didn't go over necessarily that well with the jurors. Just take us through that, Marshall.

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, you know, they didn't buy it, the defense, they just they didn't buy it. And look, there was a lot of

evidence here. The prosecutors said that there was overwhelming evidence of Hunter Biden's guilt. And it seems like they were right, because it only

took the jury three hours to reach this verdict.

Now, to prove that he was guilty of these crimes, they needed to prove in the crimes of all 12 jurors unanimously that Hunter Biden was a drug user

or a drug addict while he bought and possessed a gun in October 2018. It's against federal law, it's against U.S. law for drug users or drug addicts

to buy guns or to own guns.

And to convey that message to the jury, the prosecutors brought in devastating details of his drug use, his addiction, the relationships that

he destroyed, his inability to get clean, how he was using crack cocaine almost every 20 minutes, meeting up with dealers at homeless encampments in

L.A., trolling around the streets of Washington, D.C. to find crack cocaine.

This is personal. It is devastating. And it hit -- it hit with the jury. And they agreed unanimously that the prosecution had proved this case that,

yes, they -- that Hunter was a drug user around the time that he bought that gun. You mentioned the defense. They noted over and over and over that

there was no eyewitness testimony presented during the case.

No one said I saw him smoking crack on the day he bought the gun, the day after he bought the gun, the day before he bought the gun. But the

prosecution very smartly in their closing arguments told the jury directly, we don't need to prove that. We just need to prove that he was using drugs

around this same time. And clearly they did.

GOLODRYGA: Marshall, as we heard from the President, he once again said, quote, "I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect

the judicial process." As Hunter considers an appeal, he'd already said in previous interviews leading up to this decision that he will not be

offering a pardon to his son if he is indeed found guilty.

We're just in the early hours of this conviction. But talk about the political implications now for the Biden camp and the fact that now, you

have a sitting President who is the father of a convicted felon running again against a former President who, for the first time in history, is

also, now, a convicted felon.


COHEN: Yeah, this is the year of the felon, right? That is now a label that both Donald Trump and Hunter Biden have to bear. Of course, only one

of those two men is a candidate for office, Donald Trump, of course. But this has been a massive weight on the entire Biden family. You know,

experts and historians and people who know intimately the Bidens, they know that this must be weighing on the President's mind just as much as the

other major issues that he's grappling with -- the war in Israel and Gaza, the situation in Ukraine, the immigration crisis at the border.

This hits close to home. Just imagine it's hard enough doing a normal job, let alone running the free world. And then if your own son, now, is facing

potential prison time, it has been devastating for them.

It has been amazing for the Republicans, though, to flip this to the other side. And you asked about the politics. They loved it. They had put front

and center in their impeachment case -- Hunter Biden front and center. The House Republicans spent a lot of last year investigating Hunter,

investigating his laptop, looking into his financial dealings overseas and the money that he made in Ukraine and China.

This is surely helpful to their efforts to dirty up the Biden family. And also, Bianna, it's just part one. There is another trial scheduled for

September that gets to many of those financial dealings that have been so important to the Republican political attacks against Hunter and his


There is a tax trial scheduled for September in L.A. for tax evasion and alleged false statements on his tax returns relating to the millions of

dollars that he earned overseas. So this, frankly, is a very bad day for the President and his son. But it could get worse as we get deeper into the

campaign season.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, there have been Republicans publicly saying that they question the rationale for bringing this case, obviously, given their

political convictions with regards to gun laws, in general. They, including Lindsey Graham, famously said that it is the tax case that they believe

that should have been brought to court, not necessarily this case. Nonetheless, this is a blow to the Biden, the Biden campaign and obviously

the Biden family personally, as well. Marshall Cohen at the courthouse in Delaware for us, thank you.

ASHER: All right. Now, for some more perspective on all of this, we're joined live now by former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi. So, Jean, a lot of

people have been talking about the two-tiered justice system in America, which sometimes works in favor of the person who's been charged. Sometimes

it works against them.

When you look at the facts of this case, the idea that Hunter Biden essentially lied on this form, the fact that he purchased a gun when he

knew, according to the jurors, that he was addicted to drugs. How do you think the trajectory of this case would be different if we weren't talking

about the President's son and this political environment that we're in right now?

GENE ROSSI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: That is a fabulous question. In my 27 years with the U.S. Department of Justice, I would never have prosecuted

this case. Usually when you bring a charge like this, you add it to something else. I had a trial way back in the day, about 20 years ago. A

defendant had a criminal conviction rap sheet of over 20 convictions.

We added a charge similar to this only because we wanted to get in certain evidence. But as a standalone charge to charge an addict, and they proved

beyond a reasonable doubt, he's an addict. Congratulations.

But to charge this type of case where he's lying on a form and he's being charged with possessing a gun as an addict, I have never, ever seen this

case brought in my almost 30 years with the Justice Department. And if his name were Hunter Smith instead of Hunter Biden, we would not be talking

about this case.

GOLODRYGA: So, if there were grounds for appeal, in your view, and it sounds like perhaps there are, is it this specific argument that you're

making -- because it does appear that we've had experts on our show dissecting this decision, regardless from which political background or

side they're on, that have said the prosecution in this case did quite an effective job.

ROSSI: Oh, they did a great job, but they were pulling wings off of a fly.


I mean, they proved beyond any doubt that he's an addict and that he got a gun and he lied on a form. But what I'm saying is, this type of case by

itself would never have been brought if it weren't Hunter Biden.

And I got to say this about President Joe Biden. We have a Trump-appointed judge. We have a Trump-appointed prosecutor. And Joe Biden is still saying

that the rule of law matters and he's not going to pardon his son. I got to compliment that, contrast it with the former President of the United States

who is, in fact, a felon. It's like the tale of two candidates.

GOLODRYGA: But could you answer the question, is this grounds for appeal enough, this argument that you're making, that but for the fact that he is

Joe Biden's son, this case wouldn't have been brought, in your view?

ROSSI: You can make the argument. It's called selective prosecution and it could be an appealable issue. The problem with a selective prosecution

argument is -- and they should make it -- is the case law is very weighted towards the government. They used to bring these arguments during the

Vietnam War when people were burning their draft card.

They said it was selective prosecution. But selective prosecution, and on its face, I think it is, but at the appellate level, it's a very tough

hurdle for a defendant. And I hope I answered your question on that one.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, you did.

ASHER: You said the prosecutors obviously did a fabulous job. You know, I was saying a second ago that they, you know, they said at the end in the

closing arguments, listen, if you use crack cocaine every 20 minutes, of course, you know you're an addict. Let's -- let's be real here. Just in

terms of the defense and what they had to work with, they tried to tug at people's heartstrings.

They tried to sort of portray him in a very human way. But could they have done anything differently? Is there anything just sort of listening to

their closing arguments, as well, that you think to yourself, perhaps they could have done a better job in this particular area? What are your

thoughts on that?

ROSSI: Okay, I tried a lot of cases and I want to say this. Monday morning quarterbacks never throw interceptions. But I got to say this. Abbe Lowell

is very gifted in front of from what I know. He played the cards as best he could in any criminal case as a defense attorney.

You're handed cards and you have to play them the best you can. You can't ask for more cards. And he did the best he could. I could never have done a

better job than what he did. It's just the facts in this case and the evidence, which is simply overwhelming.

GOLODRYGA: Can I take your point that -- but for the fact that this were Joe Biden's son, that this case wouldn't have been brought and flip it

around and ask you if that's your same view with regards to the case against Donald Trump and the hush money trial in New York.

Because that, too, was a rather obscure charge in law and a case, quite frankly, that the DOJ decided not to bring against the former President, as

well. It took years for the district attorney in New York here to bring it himself. So could you say that both standards apply?

ROSSI: No, and I got to respectfully disagree with you. I represented Keith Davidson, who was Stormy Daniels', old attorney, and I met with the

prosecutors, there were four of them. They're brilliant for the Southern District of New York. And I can tell you by those meetings and proffers

that they were ready or interested in indicting Donald Trump, in my view -- in my view.

And what happened was in March or the spring of 2019, we got a new sheriff in town, a new attorney general, Bill Barr. And what did he do for the next

two years? He put his thumb on the scale and basically and essentially told the Southern District to kill this case. That's point number one. So, I

respectfully disagree that the Department of Justice declined the case. They only did it for political reasons, not the line prosecutors, the

people above.

Second thing is this. We're not talking about a crack addict who's using a pipe every other day or every day. We're talking about the President of the

United States whose underling pleaded guilty to federal charges. And there's no case I've ever had where an underling pleads guilty to serious

charges and the person above who's directing him gets a pass.

So, I disagree vehemently that this is the same as Hunter Biden. It is not. What President Trump was found guilty of, and he's now a felon,

effectively, is he tried to affect and he did affect essentially the election of the most powerful human being on the planet.


That's a big deal versus Hunter Biden, who's using a crack pipe and he gets a gun for 11 days and he never uses it. Those are two different things.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you so much, Federal Prosecutor Gene Rossi, for breaking it down for us.

ROSSI: Hey, did I give you enough? Did I give you enough?

GOLODRYGA: You answered all of our questions.

ASHER: And we'd love to have you in again.

ROSSI: Absolutely. I'll give you -- I'll give you an earful.

GOLODRYGA: That was just a taste test. Yeah, thank you.

ASHER: Thank you, Gene. All right. This, just in to CNN. We've actually learned that Special Counsel David Weiss and his team of prosecutors are

expected to give a news conference in about 30 minutes or so from now. Obviously, this verdict is a huge win for them. We will bring that to you

live as and when it happens.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Still to come for us, though, we continue to follow the news of Hunter Biden's guilty verdict. The political implications of

all of this, when we come right back.


ASHER: All right, we continue to follow the breaking news that Joe Biden's son, Hunter, has now been found guilty of three felonies connected to his

purchase of a handgun back in 2018.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, the 12 person jury took just three hours to convict him of three felonies. The panel concluded that he violated laws intended to

prevent drug addicts from owning firearms. The judge did not set a sentencing date, but indicated that it would probably happen in about four

months' time. Now that a federal jury has convicted Hunter Biden on three federal felony charges, it could complicate Joe Biden's messaging for the

2024 White House campaign.

ASHER: It certainly could. And it comes with the first presidential debate against Donald Trump, which will be, of course, right here on CNN just a

couple of weeks from now. The Trump campaign is already weighing in on this development, on this verdict. They have a statement and let me share it

with you.

Quote, "This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden crime family, which has raked in tens of millions of

dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine. Crooked Joe Biden's reign over the Biden family criminal empire is all coming to an end on November 5th. And

never again will Biden sell government access for profit." That was a mouthful. Larry Sabato joins us live now with the political implications of

these guilty verdicts.


He's the Director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia. Larry, thank you so much for being with us. We just had a guest on, former

federal prosecutor Gene Rossi, who was basically saying that, look, there is a two tiered justice system in America. And this was essentially

political punishment. This case would never have been brought when you think about what the charges were here. If his name was -- I think that he

gave the example -- if his name was Hunter Smith, right, anything other than Biden, we would not be talking about this at all. Is that how the

average American voter is going to view this as some kind of political tit for tat? What are your thoughts?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, I know, Gene. I think Gene is correct in a legal sense. Politically, let me

just boil it down. And you're not going to believe this because of the wall to wall coverage that this is attracting. The political effect of the

conviction of Hunter Biden on these three felony counts is zero -- zero.

If a presidential nominee, Donald Trump, can be convicted of 34 felony counts and lose only between one and two percent of his support, which is

now the consensus number based on a number of swing state polls, as well as national polls, then the conviction of a son of a President for what is

essentially an offense connected to drug abuse is going to have no effect at all. If anything, it will generate --

ASHER: Larry, Larry, I just want to -- I beg to differ slightly. And the reason is because.

SABATO: Go ahead, it's your show.

ASHER: The reason I disagree is because the differences between the Bidens and the Trumps is essentially that Donald Trump hasn't built his brand

around being the sort of upright, you know, rule follower. That is why he's more able to get away. That's why nothing sticks to him.

The Biden family is very different. They've really built their brand around being honest, sort of law-abiding. It's just a completely different

situation. And therefore, what they get away with and what sticks to them is going to be slightly different. What is your take on that?

SABATO: Well, that may apply to Joe Biden, who is President of the United States. And yes, that was part of his brand. I think it still is. Almost

every American -- almost every American has one or more members of his or her extended family who's suffering from a drug abuse problem or has

suffered from it.

We all know about this. And it doesn't -- it affects the rest of the family, but it doesn't say anything about them. You evaluate every member

of the family differently depending on what they have done. And I think that's going to apply to Joe Biden, too.

Now, the second trial coming in September for Hunter Biden -- that may be a different matter. We'll see. It's poorly timed in terms of the election.

But this one really has not had much of an impact. And there really is some sympathy being generated for President Biden and the Biden family, because

it's such a difficult matter that we all have dealt with.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. And Americans, historically, are all familiar with family members of Presidents, whether it's brothers, siblings, cousins who have

also had issues with the law and some -- been really a thorn in the side as an understatement to the campaigns of their presidential family members.

Let's just read a statement that we're now getting from Hunter Biden's lawyer. He says -- AbbeLowell says that, "We are naturally disappointed by

today's verdict. We will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available." And then Hunter Biden himself has a statement that

he says he is more grateful for love and support that he has received than he is disappointed by the guilty verdict outcome.

If I can just go back, though, to the Trump campaign statement. Obviously, they've had time to think about what this statement would be. It's not that

surprising that Hunter Biden -- this jury came back with a conviction. What do you make of the fact that instead of embracing this, for lack of a

better word, as a win, they say this is just a distraction from what they view as real crimes? Obviously, they have not been proven at all. But in a

way, dismissing the merits of this case.

SABATO: Well, is anybody surprised? It's Donald Trump and his campaign, and there are two different standards here, and I think it's unfortunate.

Biden, of course, he's the incumbent President, but Biden is judged much more harshly for anything negative said about the legal system or how

Donald Trump has been treated. And he really hasn't said very much about it. But Trump, even though he has been President and he's currently at

least a slight front-runner to be President again, is given free reign.


Most of what Donald Trump does in this matter or any matter is projection. It's just projection. When he's accused of something, you can be certain

that within three or four hours, he will accuse the other side of the same thing times 100. That's the way he operates. And you're right in that he

is. We're so used to this. We're numb to Donald Trump's tactics and outrages. And in politics, that gives you a certain advantage. It's not

fair, but it gives you a certain advantage.

ASHER: All right, Larry Sabato, thank you. Thank you for being very forthcoming with your opinion. Tell us what you really think, right?

GOLODRYGA: We love it on the show.

SABATO: Well, as I said -- agree or disagree.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you so much for being with us, Larry. Always good to have you on. We'll be right back with more.


ASHER: All right, welcome back to "ONE WORLD". I'm Zain Asher.

GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. More now on our breaking news this hour. A federal jury has just convicted Hunter Biden on all three felony

gun charges that he faced. It is the first time in the U.S. that an immediate family member of a sitting President has been found guilty of a


ASHER: Yeah, the Delaware jury just deliberated for about three hours or so. Biden could face as much as 25 years in prison and a fine of up to

around $750,000.


But legal experts say that he will likely get a much lighter sentence than that. And a reminder that Special Counsel David Weiss and his team of

prosecutors are expected to give a news conference around one o'clock in the afternoon. So, about 25 minutes or so from now, we will bring that to

you live.

GOLODRYGA: In the meantime, let's bring in CNN's Jessica Schneider at the courthouse. Jessica, we saw that Abbe Lowell and --made a statement in

regards to his client, Hunter Biden. Tell us more about what was in that statement and subsequently what Hunter Biden himself has said.

SCHNEIDER: Yeah, Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's attorney, who was the trial attorney throughout this week-long trial, basically saying, obviously, he,

the family, Hunter Biden, all disappointed by the verdict today on those three counts -- three guilty counts against Hunter Biden. He said -- Abbe

Lowell now issuing the statement saying, "We respect the jury process. And as we have done throughout the case, we will continue to vigorously pursue

all the legal challenges available to Hunter. "

So, obviously, Hunter Biden's legal team will immediately start working on an appeal. I will note that sentencing has been scheduled for about 120

days, maybe three to four months from now. If Hunter Biden is sentenced to any prison time, that will likely be paused as these appeals are ongoing,

which we definitely expect because, you know, there have been a lot of rulings and cases in the past several years regarding gun laws.

The Supreme Court a few years ago, they issued a ruling, Bruin, where they said that all laws regarding guns need to comport with the historical

traditions that were in place at the time that the Second Amendment was put into place. And that has really opened up this door for a lot of litigation

and quite frankly, a lot of confusion in the courts.

And the idea is, well, if a certain restriction on guns didn't exist at the time of the nation's founding, then those laws shouldn't be in effect now.

That any laws that aren't in effect should be the type that would have conformed with the way the founder s had believed things should be when

they drafted the Constitution and the Second Amendment.

And, you know, to that end, guys, you know, I'm getting a little complicated here, perhaps, but the Fifth Amendment Court of Appeals,

granted it's a conservative court based in New Orleans, Louisiana, they actually, last year, ruled that gun laws, you know, saying that there's a

prohibition on drug users from owning guns, they actually declared that all of those types of laws unconstitutional.

So, it's quite possible that as Hunter Biden's legal team moves forward with their appeals. That case will move forward, as well, potentially at

some point be heard by the Supreme Court. And, you know, what Hunter Biden's team is saying in their belief is that this conviction rests on

very faulty legal grounds, that they will definitely be challenging here.

But nonetheless, guys, I mean, this is a conviction, the first ever conviction of a President's child, as we are at the height of this 2024

campaign. Both presidential campaigns, Trump's and Biden's, now really embroiled in this legal drama as we wait for Donald Trump's sentencing in

that state case on July 11th, if that date holds, and as Hunter Biden continues to go through the legal system with his sentencing, and then

another case in federal court in California on tax fraud charges. So, just a lot going on in the legal arena at the same time as this campaign and

upcoming election is happening.

ASHER: Yeah, it's very busy time. Jessica Schneider, live for us there. Thank you so much. And CNN is, of course, following closely reaction to

Hunter Biden's felony convictions. A short time ago, we actually heard from Trump. And more recently, we got a statement from President Biden, as well.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, let's read this statement for you from the Biden campaign. He said, "As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also

a dad. Jill and I love our son. And we are so proud of the man that he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand

the feeling of pride, seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery." He added, "As I also said last

week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.

ASHER: CNN's Arlette Saenz joins us live now from the White House. So, I think there's two key points about the statement that the President made,

Arlette. First of all, he was really trying to reach out to other Americans that he's very aware. So many Americans in this country have dealt with

addictions in their families. The president knows that.

The second thing that he did was draw a sharp contrast with former President Trump by saying, "I will accept the outcome of this case."


That is really key here. Arlette, take us through that.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I think the fundamental part of President Biden's statement is that he's trying to

approach this not from a legal perspective, but from the perspective of a father. So, you heard the President in that statement really reiterate his

support and his love for Hunter Biden, while also acknowledging that addiction is something that impacts not just his family, but also many

families around the country.

You have often seen the Bidens turn to that point as they've talked about their son, Hunter Biden. That's one way that they framed a lot of this back

in the 2020 campaign when Biden had faced off against former President Donald Trump and had expected that he would try to raise issues about his

son, Hunter Biden, in the midst of that campaign.

Secondly, you have President Biden trying to make this very clear distinction with Trump in saying that he will accept the verdicts, the

outcome of this trial. Biden first said that last week in an interview with ABC News, where he also ruled out the possibility of pardoning his son,


Now, one question going forward, while the President has ruled out a pardon of his son, could he potentially consider a commutation of his son's

sentence? That's likely a question that the White House will receive a bit later today when Karine Jean-Pierre briefs the press around 2:30.

But really, this conclusion of this trial that has ended with three -- with Hunter Biden being found guilty on all three felony gun charges really caps

off a very difficult and troublesome period for the Biden family. They have long grappled with the issues of Hunter's addiction. They were well aware

that much of this would wind its way through the court.

First Lady Jill Biden had been on hand for much of the trial. She walked out hand-in-hand with Hunter after the verdict today. But it's clear that

the Biden campaign -- or the Biden family continues to stand by Hunter amid this conviction as they continue to try to show their love and support for

their son.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Arlette, just to your point about a possible commutation, it's interesting that we had a legal expert on. Obviously, I am not any

legal expert. But he said that a commutation would take the right away for an appeal, which is something clearly that Hunter Biden is hoping to

pursue. Quickly, let me ask you, just on the President's schedule today, perhaps a bit awkward given the subject and the context behind his son's

guilty verdict today, he'll be speaking about gun safety in Washington.

SAENZ: Yeah, he will. Around 1:30 here in Washington, the President will speak at a conference for Everytown for Gun Safety. It's an effort for the

President to really lay out some of the policies that he has enacted to try to tackle the issue of gun violence. It comes as the campaign has really

been trying to put gun violence -- efforts to tackle gun violence front and center as they believe it's something that will resonate with progressive

and young voters.

But it does potentially come at a politically awkward time just hours after his own son, Hunter Biden, is found guilty on three felony gun charges. So,

we do anticipate seeing President Biden in just under an hour when he speaks at that conference. We will see whether he has anything else to say

about his son's conviction.

ASHER: All right. Arlette Saenz at the White House life for us there. Thank you so much. We'll be right back with more.




GOLODRYGA: Well, as we've reported just moments ago, President Biden said that he will respect the judicial process after his son Hunter was

convicted on federal gun charges a short time ago.

ASHER: Yeah, and that actually makes Hunter Biden the first son of a sitting President to be convicted of a felony. The Delaware jury convicted

the 54-year-old on all three charges that he was facing.

GOLODRYGA: The panel found him guilty of lying about his use of illegal drugs when he bought a handgun in 2018, which is a felony. The special

counsel in the case is expected to hold a news conference in just about 15 times, and we will bring that to you live when it happens.

For now, we want to bring in Jeff Schwartz. He is a former judge in the state of Florida and a professor at the Thomas Cooley Law School. Jeff,

thanks so much for joining us. It's interesting detail that we're just now getting in from one of the jurors in this case that said that jurors were

split as recently as last night when they took an initial vote on whether to convict Hunter on the three criminal charges.

When they returned Tuesday morning, there was only one woman who was not ready to convict. And over the next few hours, the jury discussed the

elements of each crime, and the last holdout finally agreed to a guilty verdict.

I guess for someone who is an expert in courts and obviously how juries process a case, it's no surprise that even if there's one holdout, usually,

perhaps after more deliberation, they tend to side with the majority.

JEFF SWARTZ, FORMER MIAMI-DADE COUNTY COURT JUDGE: They do, and that's the essence of what has been referred to as an Allen charge. Even if a jury

comes back and says that they are hopelessly deadlocked, the instruction basically says, if you're in the minority, go back in there and work some


Listen to the people who are the majority and try to figure out why you disagree with them or whether why you disagree with them is not really a

reasonable doubt. It's just some doubt that you've created for yourself. And eventually, the jury comes back with a verdict.

I'm not surprised that last night, it was maybe six to six. Some people, because of things that happened in closing argument and otherwise, just

felt sorry for Hunter and felt sorry for the Biden family. I think that we can pretty much point to who the one was that was left this morning. There

was one particular juror who cried through most of Abbe Lowell's opening statement, was still crying when she came back from the break.

And so,, I think that that person really identified with the family and with addiction more than maybe the others did. But I'm not surprised that

they sat down and said, look, let's go through this a little bit. Maybe we can bring you along. And I think that's exactly what happened. It's not a

question of feeling bad for them. It's a question of whether he violated the statutes. And I think that's what occurred.

ASHER: Yeah. The proceedings played out in Delaware, which is, of course, the President's home state. It's where Hunter Biden grew up. It's where the

Biden family is deeply, deeply established. And in fact, you know, the jurors did talk to CNN about the fact that they did have a lot of sympathy.

I mean, so many Americans have either had direct experience of addiction or had members of their own family battle addiction.

SWARTZ: Right.

ASHER: But still, that wasn't enough. The evidence here was so overwhelming that the jurors speaking to CNN basically said, look, we had

no choice. We had no choice but to return a guilty verdict. Take us through your thoughts on that.

SWARTZ: I'm really not surprised by that. My experience with jurors are that they have a tendency to find the real issue, sometimes an issue that

even, you know, the lawyers don't think of. And when they make their decision, they make that decision based upon the law and the facts. They

find this issue and they make their verdict.

In this particular instance, I don't think this is any different. I think that they finally realized it this morning and finally convinced the one

holdout for the couple of hours that he or she held out that it's about the law. I


It's about the facts. It's not up to us to sentence people. It's our job to just tell the judge or the public, yes, he committed these crimes and he's

going to have to pay the price for them. And I think that's exactly the way that they went through it.

The Bidens are very popular people. I'm sure that it was very hard for them to look at someone who has gone through as much as Hunter has gone through

and the Biden family's gone through and all that the people, the Bidens have done for the people of Delaware to sit there and say, I'm sorry, I've

got to do this to you. And I'm sure that there is a feeling about that, but they reached the right verdict. I think in this case, the evidence was

overwhelming and I think that they reached the right verdict in this case.

ASHER: All right, Jeff Schultz, live for us there. Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, as we've noted for the first time in history, the son of a sitting President is found guilty on federal charges. We'll have an

update on the Hunter Biden verdict after the break.


ASHER: All right, Hunter Biden is now the first son of a sitting U.S. President to be found guilty of a federal crime. A short time ago, a

Delaware jury found him guilty on all three counts in the federal gun case against him.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and a date for Hunter Biden's sentencing has not yet been set. A reminder, we are waiting for the special counsel to hold a press

conference set to start at the top of the hour.

ASHER: And let's go straight now to CNN's Marshall Cohen, who is at the courtroom in Wilmington. Worth noting that Hunter Biden potentially faces

up to 25 years in prison, but also worth noting that he's unlikely to serve anything close to that, especially because he's a first time offender,

among other things. Marshall, walk us through it.

COHEN: Zain, it was an emotional and powerful moment in the courtroom when those three guilty verdicts were read. Hunter Biden in the defendant's

seat, many members of his family and allies in the gallery behind him. But it happened quick, guys. This thing came about pretty fast, only three

hours of deliberations, and then a very short period of time between when they announced that the verdict was in and when they actually read it in



Who didn't make it back to the courtroom in time? First Lady Jill Biden. She walked in about seven minutes after the proceedings had already

concluded. So, that just speaks to the pace at which this was decided. So, Hunter Biden is now a convicted felon, guilty on all three counts after a

federal jury heard here in Wilmington, Delaware heard extensive evidence about his drug abuse over many years, but specifically in 2018 when he

bought a gun.

It's against federal law to own a gun or buy a gun if you are a drug user or a drug addict. That's exactly what he was charged with doing, and that

is what the jury concluded that he did. As you mentioned at the top, he could now face up to 25 years in prison. There's three counts here. The

statutory maximum are 10 years, five years and 10 years if you add it all together.

Theoretically, he could face a maximum of 25. It is very unlikely that that's actually going to happen. He is now a first-time offender. He does

not have a history of violence. And so, we'll find out later in the year what his sentence is. Guys.

ASHER: Marshall Cohen, live for us there. Thank you so much. And a reminder that we are going to hear from Special Counsel David Weiss in

about five or so minutes from now. We actually saw there a huge win for them, which is likely what they will talk about.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we'll bring you David Weiss' comments when he steps up to the podium. Meantime, that does it for this hour of "ONE WORLD". Thanks so

much for watching. I'm Bianna Golodryga.

ASHER: I'm Zain Asher. "AMANPOUR" is up next.