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    Trump campaign, GOP seize on Hunter Biden verdict to escalate attacks on father

    By Alexandra Hutzler,


    Donald Trump's 2024 campaign, and many of the former president's Republican allies, are seizing on Hunter Biden's conviction to escalate attacks on President Joe Biden .

    The Trump team, shortly after the guilty verdict was handed down in the younger Biden's federal gun trial, sought to shift focus, without evidence, to claims about the family's alleged foreign business dealings.

    "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," Karoline Leavitt, the Trump campaign's national press secretary, said in a statement. "Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit."

    MORE: What's next for Hunter Biden following conviction on federal gun charges

    House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who is leading the GOP's stalled impeachment inquiry into President Biden, offered similar unfounded claims.

    "Today's verdict is a step toward accountability but until the Department of Justice investigates everyone involved in the Bidens' corrupt influence peddling schemes that generated over $18 million in foreign payments to the Biden family, it will be clear department officials continue to cover for the Big Guy, Joe Biden," Comer said.
    Rick Scuteri/AP, FILE - PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, June 6, 2024, in Phoenix.

    Republicans have long alleged wrongdoing in Hunter Biden and James Biden's overseas business affairs, and that President Biden was involved, but have yet to yield any concrete evidence against the president.

    Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, said the verdict against Hunter Biden was "step one" and that the party "will continue" to investigate the family.

    House Speaker Mike Johnson, asked about the verdict, told reporters it was "appropriate" as there was "overwhelming" evidence against Hunter Biden.

    Though when asked if the outcome undercut his claims of a two-tiered justice system -- assertions echoed by many Republicans amid Trump's legal woes -- Johnson said no.

    “All the charges that have been brought against him [Trump] have been obviously brought for political purposes," Johnson said. "Hunter Biden is a separate instance.”
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP - PHOTO: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson meets with reporters to condemn former President Donald Trump's guilty conviction in a New York court last week, at the Capitol, June 4, 2024.

    Hunter Biden was indicted in September by special counsel David Weiss on two counts related to false statements in purchasing the firearm and a third count of illegally obtaining a firearm while addicted to drugs. The indictment came after a plea deal with the federal government fell apart.

    The failed plea agreement was highly criticized by Republicans, who on Tuesday to continue to call it a "sweetheart deal."

    "They want you to forget DOJ was giving Hunter Biden a sweetheart deal with FULL immunity for ALL crimes against the United States until the Judge asked questions," said Sen. Eric Schmitt, a Missouri Republican.

    After a weeklong trial, a jury found the younger Biden guilty on all three counts after deliberating for just three hours.

    MORE: Biden shows support for son Hunter after conviction, says he will respect verdict

    In a statement, his attorney Abbe Lowell said they will continue to pursue legal avenues available to challenge the outcome.

    President Biden, in his first comment on the conviction, expressed love for his son and said he respected the verdict and judicial process.

    "Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support," President Biden said. "Nothing will ever change that."

    ABC News' Soorin Kim, Arthur Jones and Allison Pecorin contributed to this report.

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