President Joe Biden appeared to confirm to a CNN anchor Tuesday that his son was guilty of a crime for which the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
The president didn’t confirm anything about another crime that Hunter Biden may soon be facing charges for — but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Jake Tapper, who according to Deadline began a month-long gig anchoring “CNN Tonight” this week until the midterms, obviously wanted to launch his tour of duty with a bang, and he did so by airing an interview with the sitting U.S. president.
The interview was, for the most part, pretty much what you’d expect it to be — Putin is as bad as he seems, the economy isn’t, and the Democrats’ chances in November are just rosy — but Tapper also asked a more personal question about the troubled life of the president’s son, Hunter Biden.
And the president’s response was surprisingly forthright.
“Our reporting, CNN’s reporting, and The Washington Post reporting suggests that prosecutors think they could — they have enough, to charge your son, Hunter, for tax crimes, and a false statement about a gun purchase.
“Personally and politically, how do you react to that?” Tapper asked.
“Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son. This is a kid, who got — not a kid, he’s a grown man. And he got hooked on, like many families have had happened, hooked on drugs.
“He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life. He is, I’m confident that he is — what he says, and does, are consistent with what happens. And, for example, he wrote a book about his problems, and was straightforward about it. I’m proud of him.
“He came along and said — by the way, this thing about a gun? I didn’t know anything about it. But turns out that when he made application, to purchase a gun, what happened was he said — I guess, you get asked — I don’t guess. You get asked the question, ‘Are you on drugs? You use drugs?’ He said, ‘No.’ And he wrote about saying ‘No,’ in his book.”
Tapper agreed that Hunter Biden had, in fact, written about that in his book. (I haven’t read it, so I’ll take his word for it.)
“So, I have great confidence in my son. I love him. And he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been, for a couple years now,” Biden concluded. “And I’m just so proud of him.”
That’s as close to a second-person confession as you’re going to get. The leader of the free world not only said that his son lied on a federal firearms form; he even said that Hunter Biden had confessed to doing so in writing.
Hunter Biden would have completed this form, or one very much like it, when he purchased a firearm in October of 2018. (This version of the form was not required until Nov. 1, 2020.)
Note the language at the top of the form: “WARNING: The information you provide will be used to determine whether you are prohibited by Federal or State law from receiving a firearm. Certain violations of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. 921 et. seq., are punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine.” (emphasis original)
The form also asks this question: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”
According to recent reports, prosecutors believe they have sufficient evidence against Hunter Biden to charge him in connection with his responses to this form, which brings us to the possible penalties for lying on it.
Federal law makes it unlawful for anyone connected with a firearms or ammunition purchase to “knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter.”
But wait; there’s more. That’s just the gun charge.
Hunter Biden is also reportedly facing possible charges of tax evasion related to failure to report income from overseas ventures.
Federal law also looks unkindly at that:
“Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution,” according to I.R.C. § 7201. (That fine for individuals, by the way, was raised to $250,000 in 1984.)
The law is clear; federal prosecutors appear to believe that Hunter Biden’s actions in contradiction of those laws are also clear — though, of course, he is innocent unless and until proven guilty.
But one question remains: Is there a Justice Department prosecutor independent enough of Joe Biden and the deep state to bring charges against the sitting president’s son?
I guess we’re going to find out.