U.S.A. — “Hunter Biden has been charged with two misdemeanor tax offenses and a felony firearm offense and has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to the tax offenses and enter into a pre-trial diversion agreement with regard to the firearm charge at a proceeding to be scheduled by the assigned United States District Court judge,” the Justice Department announced Tuesday. “According to the firearm Information, from on or about October 12, 2018 through October 23, 2018, Hunter Biden possessed a firearm despite knowing he was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance.”
With the agreement, any “privacy” interests of Hunter Biden cited as a reason for the government not to provide information no longer are a valid excuse. Regular AmmoLand readers know that was the reason the Department of Justice and a federal judge sided with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a complaint this correspondent filed after the agency refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act Request. And long-term readers know that, while news of his former sister-in-law and lover Hallie Biden throwing away Biden’s gun in a market trash container had been reported, AmmoLand made the connection to lying on the federal Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473).
Because the DOJ has now made charges public, and because Biden’s attorney has acknowledged those charges, attorney Stephen Stamboulieh filed a new FOIA request Tuesday afternoon.
The requested information includes:
“[C]opies of law enforcement and administrative reports, communications, correspondence, and work papers, including with internal State of Delaware DOJ, the Delaware State Police, any local law enforcement, and all relevant federal agencies. This includes any case handling instructions from overseeing administrative authorities and/or agencies.”
The FOIA request was filed because “[T]hese materials are greatly in the public interest and because the requested records will be distributed free of charge on the internet and will increase the public’s awareness on compliance by a politically connected public figure with state and federal firearms laws.”
That’s borne out by the media interest this story has generated and from vows from the Republican leadership to continue its own investigation of the president’s son. It’s further borne out by reports of other citizens charged with the same “crime” receiving more than a diversion program sentence. Case in point, Black mother Deja Taylor, who falsified her Form 4473 about marijuana use, reportedly “settled with prosecutors on an agreement that calls for an 18- to 24-month sentence.”
The Department of Justice’s own press release from earlier this year asserts, “Federal Prosecutors Aggressively Pursuing Those Who Lie in Connection With Firearm Transactions.”
In its refusal to comply with the first FOIA Request, ATF initially challenged my qualifications to be considered a journalist, then claimed no records could be found, and then withdrew its “no records” response. In its final response, it asserted “[T]he request should have been denied categorically without a search due to the substantial privacy interests retained by the subject of Mr. Codrea’s request.”
Time will tell what the Bureau’s response this time will be. Because of the statutory requirement, the Disclosure Division has been notified their response is expected within 20 business days.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.