Hunter Biden may be a defendant in federal court, but he’s going on offense ahead of his trial on charges that he lied about his drug use when purchasing a firearm in 2018 and possessed a gun as an “unlawful user of drugs”. In a new op-ed at USA Today, Biden calls the charges part of an effort to annihilate his reputation and weaponize his drug addiction.
Biden’s op-ed barely touches on the substance of the criminal charges he’s facing. Instead, he focuses on his substance abuse, claiming the “weaponization of my addiction by partisan and craven factions represents a real threat to those desperate to get sober but are afraid of what may await them if they do.”
It is already a near-impossible decision for addicts to get sober, and the avalanche of negativity and assault of my personal privacy may only make it harder for those considering it.
I am blessed with a family that gave me the support and space to seek sincere redemption – and they too endure this shaming and humiliation of their father, son, brother and uncle. After what I have gone through since my brother died in 2015, and the perpetual public humiliation of me, I am now certain I can survive anything (except a drink or a drug).
And I am certain that part of my living amends is to not only survive this, but to also use my experience to be a living example of the promises we are told await us in sobriety.
The effort of recovery is something that should be celebrated, and I hope that despite my role as the punchline and punching bag for some, others will also make the effort I have made, one day at a time, and get honest with themselves and the people who love and rely upon them.
Does Hunter honestly believe that there are addicts out there ready to get clean and sober but decide not to because he’s been “shamed and humiliated” in public? While he claims in his op-ed that he doesn’t consider himself to be a victim, and fully accepts “that the choices and mistakes I made are mine,” his complaints about mean conservatives mocking him for his drug use and abuse definitely comes across as claiming victimhood status.
Moreover, if Biden really does accept that the choices and mistakes he made are his own, then he has little room to complain about facing federal charges for lying about his drug use while purchasing a firearm. It would be one thing if his op-ed made the case that the current federal statute is unconstitutional, but Biden seems to believe that the law simply shouldn’t apply to him.
My struggles and my mistakes have been fodder for a vile and sustained disinformation campaign against him, and an all-out annihilation of my reputation through high-pitched but fruitless congressional investigations and, more recently, criminal charges for possessing an unloaded gun for 11 days five years ago – charges that appear to be the first-ever of their kind brought in the history of Delaware.
The history of Delaware? Maybe, but not the history of the United States. The Department of Justice is currently asking the Supreme Court to uphold a Mississippi man’s conviction for possessing guns as an unlawful user of drugs (cannabis, in that particular case), so Biden isn’t the only person facing these kinds of charges or the possibility of prison time.
I’m actually sympathetic to the argument that the statute Hunter Biden’s been charged with is unconstitutional and a violation of the Second Amendment, but that’s not the argument that he’s making at USA Today. He’d prefer to downplay the charges to the point of absurdity. For instance, why did he only possess that firearm for 11 days? Because his girlfriend and former sister-in-law took the gun and threw it in a dumpster, which ultimately led to the FBI and Secret Service inserting themselves into the subsequent police investigation after Hallie Biden attempted to retrieve the fiream and discovered it was no longer in a grocery store’s trash bin where she had disposed of it.
Arriving on the scene, Delaware State Police retrieved security camera footage from the store and interviewed Janssen, the store manager. “We complied with the police and gave them whatever security footage we could,” Janssen told POLITICO.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also responded to the scene, according to people familiar with the situation. At the time, the FBI was monitoring Hunter Biden as part of an investigation that remains ongoing and that currently focuses on his taxes. The FBI declined to comment.
In addition to questioning Hallie, police called Hunter to the scene, where he was questioned outside the store’s loading dock area and explained he used the gun for target practice, according to the report.
If Hunter did tell police he used the gun for target practice, that would imply the gun was loaded at some point during the 11 days he had it in his possession, despite his claim to the contrary in today’s USA Today op-ed. That doesn’t matter as far as the criminal case against him, but it does indicate deception on his part, either back then or right now.
While police questioned Hunter and Hallie, two Secret Service agents arrived at the store where Hunter had purchased the gun, StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington, according to the two people familiar with the incident. The agents showed their badges and identification cards to Palmieri, the store’s owner, and asked to take possession of the Firearms Transaction Record that Hunter had filled out to buy the gun earlier that month, according to the people familiar with the incident.
Palmieri refused to hand over the transaction record to the Secret Service agents because such records fall under the purview of the ATF. The Secret Service agents left without the records, according to the people familiar with the case. Later that day, the ATF arrived at the store to inspect the records.
Biden can complain all he wants about the supposedly unprecedented nature of his criminal charges, but I’d say the initial investigation was far outside the norm as well, and largely to his benefit.. at least until a federal judge decided the first plea bargain offered to him was a little too good of a deal to say that justice was being done.