President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he has “great confidence” in his son, downplaying reports that federal investigators have enough evidence to charge the first son with tax crimes and a false statement on a gun purchase.
Biden made the remark during an interview with CNN, when the president was asked to comment about an Oct. 6 article by The Washington Post, which cited anonymous sources who said that federal agents had “determined months ago” that they had put together a viable criminal case against Hunter Biden.
“Personally and politically, how do you react to that?” CNN host Jake Tapper asked Biden.
“Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son,” Biden said in response. “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. He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life.”
BIDEN: "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.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 12, 2022
Biden added that he is “confident” that what his son “says and does are consistent with what happens.” To provide an example, he pointed to his son’s memoir “Beautiful Things” and said Hunter Biden was “straightforward” in his book.
The president defended his son over allegations that Hunter Biden lied on a background check before buying a handgun in October 2018.
“This thing about a gun—I didn’t know anything about it,” Biden said. “But turns out that when he made application to purchase a gun, what happened was … you get asked a question, are you on drugs, or do use drugs? He said no. And he wrote about saying no in his book.”
According to the Post, Biden answered “no” to the question of whether he was “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” The question appears on the Firearms Transaction Record (Form 4473), a six-page form prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that needs to be filled out when people buy a firearm.
Lying on Form 4473 is a federal violation punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Hunter Biden wrote in his memoir that he was battling with addiction in 2018.
“So, I have great confidence in my son,” Biden continued. “I love him and he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been for a couple years now. And I’m just so proud of him.”
In response to the Post’s report, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Chris Clark, did not say whether he believes his client will be charged. In a statement, Clark said, “That is the job of the prosecutors. They should not be pressured, rushed, or criticized for doing their job.”
The decision of whether to charge Hunter Biden rests with U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a holdover from the Trump administration who is overseeing the investigation of the president’s son.
‘Tip of the Iceberg’
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee took to Twitter on Oct. 6 to say that Hunter Biden’s alleged tax and gun-purchase crimes as reported by the Post are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
“Hunter & the Biden family have peddled access to enrich themselves, racking up 150 SARs for shady deals,” the GOP lawmakers wrote. “Even worse, we know Joe was involved in selling U.S. natural gas to China. We’ll keep pushing for transparency & accountability.”
U.S. banks are required by law to flag cash transactions exceeding $10,000 per day and automatically file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in an effort to prevent criminal activities, such as money laundering and tax evasion.
“Text messages show that Hunter Biden was aware of these SARs and took steps to avoid detection in his financial dealings,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), wrote in a letter to Hunter Biden’s financial adviser in July, pointing to 150 SARS flagged by 13 banks including Bank of America, Citi Bank, and Bank of China.
Comer, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, revealed in September that the Biden family was selling U.S. natural gas to China in 2017. At the time, Biden was aware of how his son was making the sale possible.
On Oct. 8, GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took to Twitter to list off what he said are facts about the Biden family.
“Joe Biden’s family members profited in foreign regions where he had influence as vice president. Hunter Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian company in an industry in which he had no experience,” McCarthy wrote. “The Biden family targeted foreign ventures—including deals with the Chinese Communist Party.”
“Contrary to Joe Biden’s statement that he never spoke to Hunter about his foreign business dealings, there is evidence of a direct sum of money set aside for ‘the Big Guy’—who witnesses have identified as Joe Biden—from foreign nationals,” McCarthy added.
House Republicans have said that they’ll launch an investigation into Hunter Biden if they regain a majority in the chamber in November.
“Hunter Biden has gotten away with too much for too long,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Twitter on Oct. 6. “It’s time for him to be CHARGED! No more delays!!”