Last week, The Washington Post reported that federal investigators in Delaware looking into Hunter Biden were referring his case for prosecution on a number of crimes, one of which was that he allegedly lied on a federal gun buying form about his addictive use of narcotics. Lying on the form is a felony. But according to NewsNation’s new primetime poster child, Chris Cuomo on his eponymous show on Tuesday, it wasn’t a big deal because everybody supposedly does it. Does he have a personal reason for doing so?
Denouncing reporting about a leaked 2018 voicemail from an emotional Joe Biden to Hunter, from after when Hunter bought the .38 caliber handgun, Cuomo suggested viewers shouldn’t fret about lying on federal Form 4473 because it was no big deal:
It's not really about Hunter Biden's gun application, is it? Lying and buying. When it comes to gun applications, especially when it's about whether someone is going to tell the truth about using illegal drugs, lying and buying is not uncommon.
“If anything, this voicemail is proof that our system, or even our gun buy system, is inherently flawed,” Cuomo added.
One of the greatest drivers of gun violence and gun crime in America is the non-enforcement of gun laws that are on the books. This is essentially what Cuomo is arguing for by suggesting lying on the form is “not uncommon.”
According to a June 9 piece by Washington Post “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler, “the odds of being charged for lying on this form are virtually nonexistent.” And he broke down the number of referrals vs the number of cases filed from the year Hunter purchased his handgun:
In the 2019 fiscal year, when Hunter Biden purchased his gun, federal prosecutors received 478 referrals for lying on Form 4473 — and filed just 298 cases, according to data extracted from the U.S. attorneys’ case management system. That’s out of approximately 27 million background checks undertaken in a 12-month period.
But Kessler’s “fact-check” appeared designed to deflate Republican hopes that Hunter would be held accountable and charged. “Unlike the rich paper trail that exists for [known] felons [who lie about their status on the form], no such record exists for drug abusers,” he wrote.
But in Hunter’s case, there is such a rich paper trail in the form of his infamous laptop from Hell, which documents his battle with addiction with pictures and messages. He also wrote about it in his memoir, which Kessler admitted (click “expand”):
Biden had been discharged five years earlier from the Navy Reserve for drug use. According to a memoir published in 2021, he was actively using crack cocaine in the year he bought the gun.
In the spring of 2018, “I drove my rental to the Chateau Marmont, in West Hollywood, where I checked into a bungalow and by 4 a.m. had smoked every crumb of crack I’d brought,” Biden wrote in “Beautiful Things.” In the fall of that year, he returned east in an effort to clean up but failed so badly, he writes, that his parents staged an intervention and insisted he go to a rehab center.
Biden said he only walked into the lobby of the center and immediately called an Uber to take him to a hotel for two days. While everyone “thought I was safe and sound at the center, I sat in my room and smoked the crack I’d tucked away in my traveling bag,” he said.
Back to the seriousness of the allegations against Hunter. If he is found to have lied on the form, the form itself warns that “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.” And Kessler added that “For being a user of unlawful drugs in possession of a firearm, the punishment is up to five years [in prison].”
Perhaps Cuomo had a personal reason for downplaying the seriousness of lying about drug use on the form. Later in his Tuesday show, he disclosed again that he’s a “gun owner” himself. But during an interview with Whoopi Goldberg on his Chris Cuomo Project podcast (the 1:05:25 mark), he felt that something Goldberg said was so crazy that “it makes me feel like the last time I got the dosage wrong on my THC.”
THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets a person high.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
October 11, 2022
8:04:37 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS CUOMO: That voicemail is not political fodder. It should not be weaponized. We cannot let politics be this dark. Do any of you think that that voicemail is legitimate gotcha?
It's not really about Hunter Biden's gun application is it? Lying and buying. When it comes to gun applications, especially when it's about whether someone is going to tell the truth about using illegal drugs, lying and buying is not uncommon. If anything, this voicemail is proof that our system, or even our gun buy system, is inherently flawed.
Here's the point. We cannot allow politics to exploit pain like this. Can we? You really want this kind of call to be a basis of political opinion?
It can't be used by the right or left. This is about reality, not right or left. Weaponizing a call from a father who was already lost 2 kids and trying to connect with the sick son. Seriously?