Gun Salesman Testifies in Biden Trial


WILMINGTON, Delaware — A former gun store clerk defended his sales practices as he was questioned by Hunter Biden’s attorney during the first son’s trial on Wednesday.

Gordon Cleveland, who sold Biden a revolver in 2018, testified that he prioritized selling “quality” items over expensive ones.

Prosecutors called Cleveland, a trash truck driver and former employee of Starquest Shooters & Survival Supply, to the stand to discuss his interaction with Biden during the purchase.

Special counsel David Weiss has accused Biden of lying about his drug use on a federal form to purchase a Colt Cobra and retaining the firearm illegally for 11 days.

Cleveland testified that he observed Biden fill out the form, which prosecutors displayed in the courtroom. The form, signed by Biden, indicated that he had checked “no” to the question about being an unlawful drug user or addict.

He noted that Biden filled out the form at a normal pace “like you would do with any form.”

Cleveland recounted that Biden arrived at the store in a black Cadillac, entered the small shop, and expressed interest in a revolver.

The former clerk said he showed Biden the Colt Cobra line, describing it as a nicer brand known for “a lot of high-end things.”

Government prosecutor Derek Hines then presented the gun Biden had purchased, featuring a dark wooden handle with Colt Cobra insignia. Hines verified it with Cleveland and displayed it for the jurors.

A revolver Hunter Biden purchased on Oct. 12, 2018. (U.S. District Court of Delaware)

A receipt for nearly $900 entered into evidence showed Biden purchased with cash the revolver, ammunition, a BB gun, a speedloader, and two unrelated items from Cleveland’s shop on Oct. 12, 2018.

Cleveland explained the differences between full metal jacket and hollow point ammunition to Biden, who chose the latter for better self-defense.

“But to be clear, you’re the one who explained the various kinds of handguns?” Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell asked on cross-examination.

“Yes, I did,” Cleveland replied.

Lowell then asked if Cleveland was familiar with the term “whale hunter,” which refers to salespeople targeting high-revenue customers, prompting a laugh from the witness.

“I wouldn’t sell you something that is terrible and waste your money,” Cleveland said, noting that his sales did not affect his pay.

When Lowell suggested Cleveland pushed Biden to buy the ammunition, Cleveland said he did because it was standard practice when selling a gun.

“‘Cause what are you gonna do, throw it at somebody?” he quipped.

Lowell inquired twice about Cleveland’s grand jury testimony, where he admitted to trying to sway customers towards higher-end, pricier firearms. Cleveland responded that he did so because he didn’t want to sell low-quality products.

Cleveland will continue his testimony Thursday morning for further cross-examination, with Lowell expected to delve into the gun form’s regulations.

Prosecutors plan to call more witnesses and may rest their case by Thursday’s end, at which point the trial would shift to Biden’s defense.

So far, besides Cleveland, prosecutors have called three more witnesses, including Biden’s ex-wife and ex-girlfriend, both testifying about his past drug use. Zoe Kestan, one of the witnesses, was particularly candid, testifying Wednesday that she frequently saw Biden using crack, including in September 2018, a month before the gun purchase.

Ashley Oliver
Ashley Oliver
Ashley Oliver is a Justice Department reporter. She previously covered Congress and campaigns for Breitbart News. Originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, she graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in classics and philosophy before spending six years in Massachusetts working in the real estate industry.

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