Over 20 House Republicans want Hunter Biden investigated for a crime he’s more or less admitted to: falsifying information to the federal government to obtain a firearm.
According to The Daily Caller, the Monday letter was addressed to President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, David Chipman.
“I write to ask that you publicly commit to investigate allegations that Hunter Biden falsified information during a background check to illegally obtain a firearm should you be confirmed [as the ATF director],” the letter began.
At issue was a 2018 permit obtained by Hunter Biden to purchase the gun, which became the subject of a strange incident involving Hunter and Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter’s brother Beau. Hallie was also Hunter’s romantic partner after Beau passed away.
Hallie Biden had reportedly thrown the gun in a dumpster behind a tony supermarket in Wilmington, Delaware, which later prompted a search for the weapon. There were then reports the Secret Service went to the store where the gun was purchased and asked for the background check paperwork. The owner reportedly refused to give it to them, given the forms are supposed to be handed over to the ATF.
Politico obtained a copy of the paperwork, where Hunter allegedly answered “no” to this question: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
This became an issue when Hunter published his memoir “Beautiful Things,” which dealt candidly with (read: wallowed in) his past drug use, earlier this year.
Here’s how USA Today described one portion of the book in March: “In the spring of 2018, he used his ‘superpower — finding crack anytime, anywhere’ — in Los Angeles. At one point, a dealer pointed a gun at his head before he realized Biden was looking for drugs.”
“He later learned how to cook drugs and spent a lot of time with thieves, addicts and con artists. ‘I never slept. There was no clock. Day bled into night and night into day,’ he writes.
“The situation grew out of control. ‘I was smoking crack every 15 minutes,’ he writes.”
The problem is this is the selfsame year in which Hunter Biden applied for the gun license, specifically in October of 2018. The book stated he didn’t get clean until he met his current wife, Melissa Cohen — which happened in 2019, according to The Wilmington, Delaware News Journal.
Thus, 24 Republicans — led by Rep. Bob Good of Virginia — want the ATF to investigate.
“Many Americans are rightfully alarmed by these reports considering Mr. Biden’s history of drug use,” the Monday letter read.
“In the past, the Biden family has been open about Mr. Biden’s struggle with substance abuse, and Navy records indicate his discharge from service following a positive drug test. Since lying on a background check form is a felony, this allegation merits investigation.”
The letter noted that dissembling on these background check forms, known as “lying and trying,” is “rarely prosecuted.”
“The Government Accountability Office reported in 2017 that of the 112,000 lie-and-try crimes that year, only 12 were prosecuted,” it continued.
“Dating back to a report you commissioned during your time at ATF, it is estimated that 10-20 percent of people denied gun purchases ended up committing a crime involving a firearm later.”
However, the letter managed to lean into one of Chipman’s weak spots: He’d inarguably be the biggest gun-grabber to ever take the reins at the ATF. He’s a senior policy adviser at gun control non-profit Giffords, where his profile says his expertise is in current liberal bugaboos like “ghost guns” and “assault weapons.”
As the letter put it rather subtly, I thought: “Your career makes clear your zeal for expanding and enforcing regulations on firearms.”
“The American public deserves to know that this same commitment will not be curbed depending on whether the offender is well-connected,” Good wrote.
“Your public commitment to hold all Americans to the same standard would demonstrate a good faith effort to maintain the rule of law and keep all Americans safe. I look forward to your public statement to investigate accordingly.”
I don’t want to say that’s a rhetorical checkmate, but it’s very much a check. Chipman is about to go after gun rights with aplomb — and, if a member of the Trump family had answered a background check question with even a soupçon of dubiousness, the full force of Chipman’s ATF would be brought to bear upon them as if this were an episode of “The Untouchables.”
Hunter Biden, like it or not, is a member of the first family, meaning he’s being held to a higher standard. That invites additional scrutiny — and Hunter, seemingly by his own admission, lied on a federal firearms form. This isn’t even to mention the touchy issue of alleged Secret Service interference in the matter, although that’s yet to be proved. It doesn’t need to be.
If Chipman wants to prove his independence from the president and zeal for the enforcement of gun laws that are on the books, we know where can start. See how he runs.
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