Joe Biden talks Hunter's gun purchase: "I have great confidence in my son"

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday, the elder Biden was asked about Hunter Biden’s purchase of a firearm in 2018, at a time when the president’s son was using drugs heavily. Biden allegedly lied on the federal background check form when he bought the pistol, answering “no” to the question about whether he was a user of or addicted to any unlawful substances.

While the Washington Post has reported that investigators believe they have enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden for lying on the Form 4473, Biden offered little more than word salad when pressed about the potential for his son’s federal prosecution.

“I’m confident,” Biden said Tuesday in an interview with CNN, that “what he says and does are consistent with what happens.”

I’m confident that Biden really doesn’t want to talk about this particular topic, given the weight of evidence against his son. But talk he did, even though what he had to say wasn’t exactly a rousing defense of his offspring’s alleged lawbreaking.

“Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son. This is a kid who got — not a kid, he’s a grown man — he got hooked on, like many families have had happen, hooked on drugs,” Biden responded. “He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life.”

The president noted that his son had written about his addiction struggles in his memoir, “Beautiful Things,” and that he also acknowledged falsely answering a question when applying for a firearm.

“He came along and said, ‘By the way, this thing about a gun,’ I didn’t know about it, but it turns out that when he made an application to buy a gun, what happened was, I guess you get asked, I don’t guess, you get asked, ‘Are you on drugs? Do you use drugs?’ He said no. And he wrote about saying no in his book. So, I have great confidence in my son. I love him, and he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple years now.”

I don’t knock Biden for standing by his troubled son or for not giving up on him. Frankly, though, that’s completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. The real question is whether or not Joe Biden believes his son should be prosecuted for lying on a federal background check form; a question that Biden completely avoided answering.

Joe Biden wants to make it a federal crime to possess an AR-15. His Department of Justice is promulgating ATF rules that would make it a federal felony offense to possess an AR-style pistol with a stabilizing brace attached; a rule that could turn millions of responsible gun owners into paperwork criminals overnight. And perhaps most importantly, Attorney General Merrick Garland and his team of U.S. Attorneys are prosecuting others for the same crime, at least on occasion. Biden’s Justice Department is even trying to prevent medical marijuana patients from being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights, claiming that they’re too dangerous to trust with a gun.

Given all that, why should Hunter Biden get a pass? Joe Biden the dad can love his son with all his heart, but President Joe Biden has made it clear that he wants to fully enforce all of the gun laws on the books; including one that it appears his son willfully disregarded. The question isn’t whether Biden has confidence in his son, but whether the public can have confidence that political pressure won’t allow Hunter Biden to avoid criminal charges when there’s a mountain of evidence (including his own statements) pointing to his guilt.