How Hunter Biden’s trial could impact the election 

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How Hunter Biden’s trial could impact the election 

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The Big Story 

How Hunter Biden’s trial could impact the election 

Just days after former President Trump was convicted in his Manhattan fraud trial, the federal gun case against President Biden’s son Hunter is underway in Delaware – creating a courtroom split-screen amid a tense 2024 presidential race. 

© AP Photo/Matt Slocum

It’s the first trial of a sitting president’s child, and it’s kicking off just five months before Election Day as Hunter Biden‘s father tries for reelection. 


Republicans have long used Hunter as a point of attack against President Biden, trying to tie his foreign business affairs — which notably aren’t at issue in this case — to the incumbent and cast the Biden family as corrupt. 


In just a few weeks, Trump and Biden will square off for their first presidential debate of the cycle, and some Democrats are reportedly worried that the trial of his only surviving son could take a toll on the president as the already-heated election cycle ramps up.  


The proceedings could also prove a distraction as Biden works to tout his record along the campaign trail. 


Prosecutors in the case say Hunter Biden unlawfully bought and possessed a gun in 2018 because he falsely stated on a form that he was not a drug user, despite being addicted to cocaine at the time, The Hill’s Ella Lee reports


Hunter Biden has been open about his struggles with addiction, but pleaded not guilty to the three felony counts — and his attorneys have suggested that he didn’t consider himself to have a drug problem at the time that he filled out the form.  


First Lady Jill Biden has been in attendance at the Delaware proceedings since their the opening day, as jury selection kicked off this week. Biden has been supportive of his son but is keeping his distance, committed to not commenting on pending federal cases.   


“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,” the president said in a statement. 


Meanwhile, Trump’s allies have appeared eager to turn focus away from the former president’s legal troubles and onto Hunter Biden’s case.   


Trump was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York last week, making him the first former president to notch a felony conviction. That doesn’t bar him from the White House race – and his camp has used it as a rallying cry to rake in donations and support, claiming the system is weaponized against him.   


But others have pointed to Hunter Biden’s trial to counter Trump’s claims of a rigged Justice Department. 


The president’s son is also set to stand trial on federal taxes charges in another case in California this September – five days before Trump and Biden are set to go toe-to-toe in a second presidential debate.  


Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

Former President Trump is set to meet with top business leaders for a discussion hosted by the Business Roundtable (BRT) later this month in Washington, D.C. Trump is participating in the moderated discussion at BRT’s quarterly meeting on June 13, his campaign announced on Wednesday. BRT, the lobbying group for business leaders, is made up of more than 200 CEOs from leading U.S. companies. BRT’s president is Joshua Bolten, …

Democrats took a swipe at the Republican National Convention (RNC) after its website included a background picture of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam rather than Milwaukee, where the party’s convention will be hosted next month. The background picture of Ho Chi Minh City went viral on social media Tuesday after a Boston Globe reporter posted a screenshot of what appeared to be the RNC’s “News and Updates” …

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain defended Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) Wednesday in his contentious primary race. “The @UAW fights for economic justice from the bargaining table to the ballot box,” Fain said in a post on the social platform X. “We need leaders like @JamaalBowmanNY who will fight for the wealthy to pay their fair share! We can’t keep electing people who are too scared to stand up to the billionaires.” …

The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

22 days until the first presidential debate 40 days until the Republican National Convention 75 days until the Democratic National Convention 153 days until the 2024 general election 229 days until Inauguration Day 2025 

On Our Watch 

Dems, GOP prepare for intense Montana Senate battle 

©AP Photo (J. Scott Applewhite/Matthew Brown)

Democrats are hitting the ground running after Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and businessman Tim Sheehy formally clinched the Democratic and Republican nominations, respectively, for what will be a hotly contested Senate seat this fall. 


Following the Montana primaries on Tuesday, the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm launched a digital ad attacking the Republican nominee as “Shady Sheehy,” accusing him of a “pattern of lies” about his background. 


Tester is running for his fourth term in the Senate representing the red-leaning state, being the only Democrat holding statewide office in Montana. Sheehy was recruited by top Republican leaders to challenge Tester for the seat in an attempt to finally flip it red. 


The ad references a few controversies that have emerged surrounding Sheehy, including inconsistencies in descriptions he has given of how he received a gunshot wound years ago and reports that the company he founded is millions of dollars in debt despite him emphasizing his record as a businessman. 


The ad, which will air on YouTube, concludes with the question, “How can we trust him?”


“Sheehy represents everything Montanans hate about rich out-of-staters, and after he’s been caught lying about every part of his life, he’s shown Montana voters why they can’t trust him to look out for anyone but himself in the Senate,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Amanda Sherman Baity said in a release. 


Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee promoted Sheehy following his primary win on Tuesday, calling him a “strong conservative, an American hero and a successful businessman who will bring an outsider’s perspective to a broken Washington.” 


“The clearest path to a Republican Senate majority runs through Montana. Tim Sheehy will deliver a Senate majority for President Trump, Jon Tester wants to deliver a Senate majority for Joe Biden. That is the choice in this election,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chair of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, said.

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

Support among Republican voters for allowing convicted felons to be president has risen after former President Trump’s guilty verdict in New York last week, a new poll finds. The survey, conducted by YouGov, comes less than a week after a jury convicted Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, of all 34 felony counts in his hush money case. Fifty-eight percent of GOP voters said in the new survey convicted felons should …

GOP Senate candidate and former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will skip the Republican National Convention slated for next month.  Hogan’s campaign confirmed to The Hill that the the former governor will not be attending the GOP’s July convention in Milwaukee, Wis. The convention, where former President Trump is expected to be picked as the party’s official nominee, will take place July 15-18.  The former governor …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

5 questions (and answers) ahead of Donald Trump‘s Phoenix visit (AZCentral
Trump and Biden win N.J. primaries. Will it be a close race in November? (

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

The G.O.P. push for post-verdict payback: ‘Fight fire with fire’ (The New York Times
Foreign policy becomes a liability for Biden’s campaign as he heads to France (Axios
Would a reelected Trump prosecute his opponents? He already tried. (The Washington Post)  

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

A number of states held primaries for races up and down the ballot Tuesday, with President Biden and former President Trump inching ever closer to their respective nominations and a couple of notable Senate match-ups solidifying. Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Washington, D.C., held some of the last presidential primaries … Read more

Senate Republicans are warning New York Judge Juan Merchan not to sentence former President Trump to prison or house arrest or take any other action that could disrupt the likely GOP nominee’s ability to campaign ahead of the November election. It could take months for Trump to appeal his conviction on 34 felony counts related to the falsification … Read more

What People Think 

Opinions related to campaigns and elections submitted to The Hill:

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