Hunter Biden’s Ex-Romantic Partners Testify on His Addiction in Gun Trial
Hunter Biden’s Ex-Romantic Partners Testify on His Addiction in Gun Trial

By Jacob Burg and Stacy Robinson

WILMINGTON, Del.—Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial entered its third day on June 5 as prosecutors called his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend to the stand to testify about his addiction to crack cocaine.

Prosecutors have scrutinized Mr. Biden’s large cash withdrawals the year of the gun purchase and numerous texts, photos, and videos that allegedly show his use of crack cocaine before and after the gun purchase on Oct. 18, 2018. With the inclusion of his ex-partners’ testimonies, prosecutors are trying to prove that Mr. Biden knowingly lied on his gun application form when he said he wasn’t a drug addict.

His defense attorneys maintained that the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash withdrawals in 2018 were for alcohol and rehab and sobriety services.

While on the stand, his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan both testified that Mr. Biden was using alcohol and crack cocaine simultaneously.

Mr. Biden is facing three felony charges from the 2018 firearm purchase. Authorities accuse him of lying to the federally licensed gun store by illegally claiming on his application that he was not a drug user at the time and then unlawfully possessing the gun for 11 days.

Ms. Buhle, who works as a nonprofit CEO in Washington, testified that her marriage with Mr. Biden began dissolving after she discovered a crack pipe on their side porch on July 3, 2015. He moved out shortly after, but they separated after he was unfaithful, she alleged.

She was concerned, testifying that the Navy once kicked him out for using cocaine. Ms. Buhle said that Mr. Biden “was not himself” during this time but that he was otherwise functioning whenever working or meeting with friends and family and that many failed to notice that he was intoxicated.

Mr. Biden’s defense attorneys previously said he could not have been using the drug leading up to the gun purchase, claiming that there’s no such thing as a functioning crack addict and that one wouldn’t be able to go through with the purchase and application.

Ex-Girlfriend Describes Drug Use

Ms. Kestan testified that she met Mr. Biden in January 2018 while working at a gentleman’s club in Manhattan. She alleged that his behavior didn’t change while he was under the influence of the drug and said he was “so charming” and “so nice.”

Ms. Kestan, who was granted immunity to testify, also alleged that she watched Mr. Biden arrange meetups with various drug dealers and said she would get cash from the ATM for him to purchase the substance. She said he would purchase ping-pong ball-sized crack rocks at a time but would take off small pieces to smoke.

She alleged that he tried to self-medicate his addiction with kambo, which is a South American frog venom used traditionally for purging and cleansing rituals. However, it failed to cure his symptoms, she said.

Ms. Kestan also claimed to have helped Mr. Biden learn how to cook powder cocaine into crack through internet research.

His defense attorneys say Mr. Biden truly believed that he was no longer addicted to crack cocaine on the day of the gun purchase. Therefore, he could not have knowingly lied when he checked the “no” box on the form.

They also scrutinized the handwriting on the form and suggested that someone else could have checked the box. The gun store owner previously alleged seeing Mr. Biden fill out the form, including the box about drug addiction.

Cash Withdrawals

Prosecutors spent much of day two of the trial probing roughly $399,000 worth of cash withdrawals that they allege that Mr. Biden made in 2018 alone, suggesting that he was spending the cash on drugs.

His attorneys said the withdrawals were either for liquor store purchases, alleging that Mr. Biden had turned to alcohol instead of crack when he purchased the gun, or rehab and sobriety services.

While Mr. Biden made three payments in August 2018 for rehab and sobriety services—including one for $2,000, another for $2,500, and a third for $4,000—prosecutors say they have the receipts and that he made the payments with a debit card.

“Do drug dealers accept credit cards?” prosecutors asked FBI Special Agent Erika Jensen, who was assigned to Mr. Biden’s case.

Prosecutors argued that the liquor store purchases were made with a Visa card as well, implying that the cash withdrawals must have been used for something else.

While the president has been absent from the courthouse during the trial, First Lady Jill Biden has been present each day.

Mr. Biden is facing up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted in the federal gun case, although first-time offenders typically receive less than the maximum sentence. It is also unclear if the judge will give him prison time.

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