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SAUNDERS: Hunter Biden is guilty. But you knew that.


Over the years, I’ve written a lot about drug offenders sentenced to decades in federal prison, even life without parole, for first-time nonviolent offenses.

Many were Black men with few resources and limited prospects.

None of them had the clout or sophistication of Hunter Biden, a Yale Law School graduate who was found guilty Tuesday on three felony counts involving his purchase of a gun in 2018 while he was addicted to and using crack.

If the president’s son goes to prison, there will be only one person Hunter should blame for the outcome: himself. (For the record, I hope the president’s son does not have to do time, as he appears to have turned his life around.)

But the evidence against Hunter Biden in this case was overwhelming. If you read his memoir, “Beautiful Things,” you know that Hunter Biden was guilty, and he knew he was guilty. Which makes me wonder why he pleaded not guilty.

The younger Biden apparently thought he would snow a courtroom — and charm jurors into not believing the mountain of evidence gathered against him.

Cable TV talking heads talk about this story as a cautionary tale about the scourge of drug addiction, when really, it’s also about the younger Biden’s sense of entitlement and failure to accept responsibility.

There’s a pattern here with Hunter Biden. In 2014, the then vice president’s son was discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve — after he tested positive for cocaine. No criminal charges were filed.

This was different.

“No one in this country is above the law,” Special Counsel David Weiss proclaimed after the verdict. The outcome recognized the “illegal choices the defendant made.”

Weiss also noted that it was “the combination of guns and drugs that made (Biden’s) conduct dangerous.”

It was President Joe Biden’s misfortune that he was scheduled to speak at an “Everytown For Gun Safety” event Tuesday afternoon. Later in the day, the Bidens flew home to Wilmington where they could be with their son.

After the guilty verdict, President Biden reacted appropriately.

“As I said last week, I am the president, but I am also a dad,” he said in a statement. “Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

That’s an improvement over what the president has been saying for years: “My son did nothing wrong.”

You see, there’s another issue that follows the first relative of a president to be convicted of a felony — greed. The president’s son raked in more than $2 million in 2013 and 2014 as he served on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma while his father was in charge of the White House policy toward Ukraine.

That doesn’t pass the smell test.

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

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