The Hunter Biden Gun Story: This One Should Be Hard to Make Go Away - Part 1

The Hunter Biden Gun Story: This One Should Be Hard to Make Go Away - Part 1
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Several hours prior to Joe Biden’s first scheduled press conference today, Politico ran a story about Hunter Biden that contains within it the potential to be a seriously troubling episode for Hunter Biden and the Biden administration.  But the reality of the political news cycle is such that the story will likely get lost in the coverage aftermath of the press conference and possibly fade from the public view with little follow-up or further digging.  I think that is what the Biden administration is hoping for — and was planning for when they leaked this story.

Much attention to the story is focusing on the involvement of two Secret Service Agents at a time when Joe Biden was no longer under Secret Service protection.  That is a curious part of the story, but I can imagine several explanations for their interest.  I address that aspect in Part Two of this story.  I’m more interested in the facts surrounding what Hunter Biden did.

I hope I’m wrong about my prediction that this story will fade quickly.  Hunter Biden committed a felony and the evidence comes in the form of his own statements which establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  It’s not just any felony, it is a felony that is regularly prosecuted in every federal judicial district in this country, and in significant numbers on an annual basis — especially when Democrats are running the DOJ.

Rather than re-type all the events, I’m going to just extract from the Politico story the facts which are relevant to Hunter Biden’s crime.

On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone.

Just to clarify — which Politico opted to not do in this story — Hallie is Joe Biden’s daughter-in-law because she was married to Joe’s deceased son, Beau, not because she is/was married to Hunter.  By October 2018, Hunter was divorced from his wife, Kathleen, and was involved in a romantic relationship with Hallie, his sister-in-law and the widow of Beau.  That relationship ended in 2019.

The incident began when Hallie searched Hunter’s pickup, which was parked at her home in Wilmington, because of unspecified “suspicions she had,” according to the Delaware State Police report. Inside the truck, she found a .38 revolver.

Hallie took the gun to Janssen’s Market, a nearby high-end grocery store where the Bidens are longtime regular customers. There, she tossed the gun, wrapped in a black shopping bag, into a trash bin outside of the store.

I’m 99.99% sure her “suspicions” for searching the pickup are set forth in the Delaware State Police report that Politico is quoting — but they do not attach the report to the article.  I’m 99.99% sure that the “suspicions” will include concern about whether illegal drugs were in the pickup, and that the report reflects why she had those suspicions.  Hunter had done something that caused her to be suspicious enough to want to search the pickup. But Politico denies the reader that information as well.

Later that day, Hallie informed Hunter of what she had done, and he instructed her to retrieve the gun, according to the police report. When Hallie returned to the grocery store, she found that the gun was missing from the garbage bin and reported the issue to the store. Police received calls from the store’s general manager Paula Jannsen…

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.

There is the first red flag in the story.

“Police” were called — I would have been willing to wager that it was the Wilmington Police Department that was called.

But then I took a close look at Google Maps and realized that Janssen’s Market is about 1/2 mile outside the city boundary of Wilmington, Delaware.

But Wilmington is in New Castle County, Delaware, and there exists the New Castle County Sheriff’s Department — the second largest police organization in the State of Delaware — which has a county-wide police force with authorization to enforce state laws throughout the county.

Why is it the Delaware State Police are involved, and that seems to be the only police report that Politico has found?

I have looked at the website for the Delaware State Police, and there is no division or service of that agency that would be called to the scene of a “lost firearm” call, and I find it dubious to think that a store manager would first think to call the State Police rather than a local law enforcement agency in this situation.

I would be curious to know if the State Trooper who wrote the report was on patrol at the time he responded to a call from the dispatcher, or if he responded from the Troop Barracks approximately 4 miles from the market — in other words, was a decision made within the agency to send someone out to the market to deal with the matter?

But let’s go back to the story.

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.

When a police officer asked Hunter whether the gun had been used in a crime, the officer reported that Hunter “became very agitated with me and asked me if I was intentionally trying to make him mad,” according to the report.

When the officer asked Hunter whether he had been doing drugs or drinking heavily, he responded, “Listen, it isn’t like that. I think she believes I was gonna kill myself,” according to the report.

The question about using drugs or drinking heavily does not come from out of the blue.  That must have been suggested to the police by Hallie, reflecting the “suspicions” she had which led her to search the pickup where she found the gun.

After being questioned, Hunter retrieved the case for the gun — which included the gun’s serial number — from Hallie’s house and returned to the grocery store to hand it over to police, according to the report.

The Blaze first reported on this story back in October 2019, but many of the key details weren’t known at that time.  All that was known was that a handgun belonging to Hunter Biden had been lost after Hallie removed it from the truck and threw it in the garbage bin at Janssen’s Market.  The story said the gun had never been found, and no one was cited in connection with the incident.

The Politico story throws in one little nugget of information that SUGGESTS to me this story may have been purposely leaked. The nugget is meant to suggest a “crime” might be involved, but then makes clear that it’s a crime that is almost never prosecuted.

POLITICO obtained copies of the Firearms Transaction Record and a receipt for the gun dated Oct. 12, 2018.

Hunter responded “no” to a question on the transaction record that asks, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” Five years earlier, he had been discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine, and he and family members have spoken about his history of drug use.

Lying on the form is a felony, though prosecutions for it are exceedingly rare.

This is the DNC-media complex giving the public the “These are not the droids you are looking for” treatment.

The link in the Politico story takes you to this GAO publication — Few Individuals Denied Firearms Purchases Are Prosecuted and ATF Should Assess Use of Warning Notices in Lieu of Prosecutions.  I submit, as a speculative guess, that the Politico reporters did not dig out that GAO “Report” on their own.  My guess is they were pointed to that by whoever fed them parts of the story, and that person was interested in getting the story out but with the proviso that it be reported in a way suggesting that no crime by Hunter was involved.

There’s only one problem with that — they are looking at the wrong crime.

What am I talking about?   I’ll let DOJ explain:

Isca Johnson, 24 of Covington, Tennessee has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. This case was developed as part of the first “Operation Crime Driver” in Tipton County. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.

Johnson’s arrest was part of “Operation Crime Driver”, a joint federal, state and local law enforcement anti-violence initiative… where law enforcement targeted offenders wanted on arrest warrants for violent criminal offenses in Tipton County, Tennessee.

According to information presented in court, on May 3, 2019, Tipton County Sheriff’s deputies encountered Johnson as they smelled marijuana emanating from his apartment. He gave consent to search, and deputies found marijuana, alprazolam, a loaded handgun, and ammunition. He admitted to owning the items and to being a regular user of illicit drugs. Johnson was charged in federal court in Memphis with possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

On December 9, 2019, Johnson pled guilty to being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).

That’s a DOJ press release from December 4, 2020 — less than 4 months ago.  The conviction is a garden-variety and very ordinary “User in Possession” case.

Congressional efforts to regulate lawful possession of firearms run up against the Second Amendment.

As a result, Congress created a statutory scheme to regulate the possession of firearms related to unlawful activities in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922.  As noted in the press release, Mr. Johnson violated the following provision in Sec. 922:

(g)  It shall be unlawful for any person—

(3)  who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Hunter Biden took his laptop in for repairs in April 2019 — six months after this lost gun episode.

There are videos on the laptop showing Hunter Biden using drugs, and the metadata in the computer related to those video files is going to reveal when they were made.

But Hunter Biden’s history of drug use is not a secret.   Hunter Biden did a long interview with New Yorker in May 2019 — after Joe Biden decided to run for President — where he described his struggles with cocaine use.  Hunter Biden has positive drug tests at least from his time in the Naval Reserve.

There is only one fact missing from those necessary to prove the crime Hunter committed.  For the federal government to prosecute a gun crime, it must prove that the firearm in question was transported in interstate or foreign commerce.  There is no information in the story about the make or model of the .38 revolver involved.   This is a fairly basic fact that is established through simple testimony by someone from ATF who has access to all information about where particular makes and models of firearms are manufactured.   My limited research suggests that there are no gun manufacturers with facilities in Delaware, so the .38 revolver in question could have only arrived in Delaware through transportation in interstate commerce.

Now there are no missing facts necessary to establish the crime committed by Hunter Biden.

These are cases that are regularly prosecuted — I did plenty of them myself in my last decade as a fed.  They are treated as “stat” cases.  They are easily handled by new prosecutors and agents needing to gain experience, 99% end up in guilty pleas, they generate positive statistics for the agencies involved, and for the most part, they take people engaged in other criminal activity off the street.  It is often a charge that defendants plead guilty to in exchange for other charges being dropped as part of a “plea bargain.”  Congress likes to hear about how many guns were taken out of the hands of criminals.

Part Two, coming shortly, will look at the involvement of various federal agents — and how the timeline relates to other things happening in Hunter Biden’s life in and around October 2018.

I’ll tease it here just by saying that’s all a diversion meant to keep the focus off the issue discussed above because that is the real story.


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