Sunday, September 17, 2023

Hunter




President Joe Biden's son Hunter has been indicted and the right-wing now is satisfied that justice is being upheld.

Just kidding. Of course, they're not.


Below is Norm Eisen speaking truth to CNN viewers, noting

And if you look at the statistics, for example in 2019, there were only three referrals of these kinds of charges in Delaware. Do you know how many were actually referred to the U.S. Attorney? Do you know how many were actually prosecuted, Roger? Zero.

This is disproportionate treatment precisely because he bears the name "Biden." In a normal universe, this would never be charged. I represented people, including on weapons charges, for thirty years. This case would never be charged if his name were not "Biden."


According to The New York Times, Biden was indicted on three charges. One of them accuses him of possessing a firearm while addicted to a controlled substance, for which the maximum sentence is ten years in prison. The other two pertains to an alleged lie on ATF Form 4473, in which he accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, and the other making the false claim on the application, for which the defendant can receive a maximum sentence of five years.

Question 11e on the federal firearms application (emphasis theirs) reads

Are you an abuser 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.

If you're wondering why an individual who wants a firearm would admit to using illegal drugs- thus jeopardizing the opportunity to own the weapon while simultaneously admitting to committing a criminal offense- you've been paying attention. 

Nonetheless, the ATF has a strategic reason for including that question, and it's not a commitment to keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of felons. It is used for an "add-on." Though the defendant may be found not guilty of all other charges, lying on ATF Form 4473 is easily proven, thus saving the prosecution from the embarrassment, let alone expenditure of considerable resources, of having secured an indictment while failing to convict the defendant on anything. If the accused pleads guilty, the prosecutor may convince the judge to increase the penalty imposed upon the defendant.

Thus, rarely is an individual prosecuted for any or all of the three charges which Hunter Biden faces. The motivation for charging Biden is almost entirely political, where "almost entirely" may be superfluous. Nonetheless, the defendant deserves little sympathy because, notwithstanding the reason he is being charged, he could have avoided legal trouble without his memoir "Beautiful Things,: in which he outlined his problems with alcohol and illegal drugs. No one twisted Hunter's arm to compel him to write any book.

Still, this saga presents an opportunity for Democrats serious about keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Assuming adequate resources, the Justice Department should prosecute individuals who knowingly answer one or more pertinent questions falsely on their firearms application.

Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland has remarked "I think our Republican colleagues would probably be demanding that the charges be dropped if it were for almost any other American. They don't believe in gun charges. They would be trying to turn him into some kind of Second Amendment martyr."  

If Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has wanted Hunter Biden prosecuted, now complains on Twitter/X because "they chose the gun charges," Democrats should counter by advocating prosecution of individuals who choose to lie to obtain a firearm, even exploring legislation to reinforce their belief that possession should be limited to qualified, honest individuals. This would have the potential of putting Democrats simultaneously on the side of law enforcement and gun safety.

 


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