Return with me now to the scene of the crime — Hunter Biden’s crime as detailed by me earlier in Part One of this story.
A subject I reserved for Part Two concerns the involvement of three different federal agencies — according to the Politico story. First up, the FBI.
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.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also responded to the scene …. “[A]ccording to people familiar with the situation.”
There is attribution for that factual detail. This doesn’t mean the source was present, but it doesn’t make sense that someone close to the Biden administration would add this fact to the story if the Politico authors didn’t already have it, My supposition is that someone at the scene who knew the FBI was there fed that bit of information to Politico. Maybe the Store Manager, a bystander, someone with the Delaware State Police — or maybe someone in federal law enforcement who knew.
The curiosity is the fact that the FBI coming to the scene makes no sense at all. The FBI does not do gun crimes, and at the time they were called, there was no obvious “gun crime” to investigate even if it did.
Also, the FBI’s presence is from a leak — it is unlikely that it was reflected in the State Police report, or it would have been reported that way by Politico. Someone wanted it known that the FBI was there — but did not offer a reason why.
“At the time, the FBI was monitoring Hunter Biden as part of an investigation that remains ongoing and that currently focuses on his taxes.”
Notice the lack of attribution for this claim, only a link to another Politico story. That other story covered the announcement by Hunter that he was under investigation with regard to his taxes. That announcement was made in connection with the discovery of financial documents on his laptop detailing large sums of money paid to him from Chinese sources.
That Politico story says nothing about the claim that the “FBI was monitoring Hunter Biden” in October 2018, so it is not the source of that claim nor does it confirm that claim.
It does seem more consistent with a response from someone who was asked a question about the fact that the original source said the FBI came to the scene, with that person being asked to confirm or deny that claim. It seems consistent with that person responding with some fashion of “Well, Hunter has admitted that his taxes for that time period are under investigation, maybe that was why they came to the scene. They were probably monitoring him.”
But nothing changes the fact that the FBI was there, and that means that someone knew to call the FBI about an incident involving Hunter Biden.
This was not related to the issues involving his laptop — he didn’t take that in for repair until April 2019, six months after this episode.
But let’s consider the “sourcing” for the story as a whole as revealed by Politico in connection with the revelation that two Secret Service Agents also became involved in the episode.
Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.
Two people — one with first-hand knowledge and another who was briefed by a Secret Service Agent after the fact provided information about the Secret Service visit to the seller of the handgun.
The story seems to rule out the store owner, who is identified by name. The story says he declined to comment. “First-hand knowledge” is an accepted description of someone who was there — in this case someone who was there when the Secret Service agents arrived. That could be one of the two agents, with the description simply meant to deflect suspicion.
The second source is described as someone briefed by “a Secret Service agent after the fact.” That could be another member of the Secret Service or a member of another law enforcement agency.
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.
It is quite plausible that both the Secret Service and ATF agents went to the gun store for the sole purpose of confirming that Hunter Biden had, in fact, purchased the gun in a documented transaction with a federal firearms dealer. Once that was established they left.
But why the Secret Service? I don’t suspect their involvement is as sinister as is being suggested — including in the Politico story. But I think the Biden administration is happy for that to be the focus because it keeps the focus off other aspects of the story which are more problematic — such as Hunter owning a gun while being a user of cocaine, or why the FBI would have been summoned.
The operational reality, which I’m sure some of my federal law enforcement friends will confirm, is that whenever POTUS or VPOTUS is away from the White House at a second residential location, security for the second location is a function of shared manpower. The Protection Detail of the Secret Service is in charge and has the “inner ring”. Directly assisting them are the agents of the local Secret Service Office. They are not part of the Protection Detail but they do “advance work” and provide additional manpower while POTUS/VPOTUS are there. They return to their normal work when POTUS/VPOTUS depart.
The Secret Service is supplemented by state and local law enforcement. They block streets, establish more remote checkpoints and man the more extended perimeter, and handle crowd and traffic control when necessary.
During the eight years of the Obama administration, the local Wilmington Secret Service would have had many occasions to work with the Delaware State Police in providing security for Joe Biden when he was VP. The individual Agents and Troopers involved would have all become quite friendly over the two full terms of the Obama administration. The Secret Service likes to use the same state and local personnel because that requires less vetting and less briefing time — everyone has done it before and knows the routine.
More importantly, everyone connected with the Secret Service protecting Biden would have had “chapter and verse” on Hunter Biden and his problems. Hunter Biden was a security risk and would have been treated as such.
He was a drug user, his personal life was a disaster, he had professional problems and he had financial problems. Just because he was BIDEN’s son did not mean the OBAMA administration was going to simply ignore the risk he posed for generating bad headlines. So when a State Trooper is informing his superiors that Joe Biden’s son Hunter and his sister-in-law squeeze have lost a handgun, someone in the State Police thinks “I should call Agent XYZ from Secret Service and give them a heads-up on what numb-nuts Hunter has done.” It’s likely no more sinister than that.
Was it appropriate for two Secret Service agents to respond? Absolutely not. As noted in the Politico story, they had no role to play and their involvement is subject to more than one interpretation — and now it has to be explained.
One thing is certain, the story’s origins did not come from the Biden camp, and the story’s origins were designed — not accidental. Politico is a DNC/Biden-friendly outlet, but the operative facts could not be denied. There was a gun, Hallie threw it in the dumpster, she went back to look for it and it was gone, she told the store manager, and the police were called. That was all reported back in October by The Blaze.
What was not told to The Blaze was the involvement of the Secret Service, FBI, and ATF.
But someone wanted that story out this week — when gun control is suddenly again back atop of the legislative wish-list after Atlanta and Boulder — and they gave it to a Biden-friendly press outfit to prevent it from being waived off by the Biden administration as disinformation from right-wing media.
A political game is afoot — and I have a strong suspicion there is more still to be learned.
I think we’re going to need a Part 3 — maybe I should make that one VIP?