White House Refuses to Say Whether or Not Cocaine Belonged to Joe or Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden, Joe Biden
AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates could not say whether or not the cocaine found at the White House on Sunday belong to Hunter or President Joe Biden, citing the Hatch Act.

“Are you willing to say that that’s not the case? That it [cocaine] doesn’t belong to them?” a reporter asked Bates on Thursday aboard Air Force One.

US President Joe Biden, with son Hunter Biden, arrives at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, on February 4, 2023. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden, with son Hunter Biden, arrives at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, on February 4, 2023. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

“I don’t have a response to that because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act,” he claimed.

The reporter did not follow up with Bates on how the Hatch Act applied to the situation.

The Hatch Act’s main provision blocks executive branch employees “from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, in a federal facility or using federal property,” according to the Justice Department.

“What I will say is I have noticed there does seem to be some increasing frustration coming from that corner in general. And I think it is probably included in the contrast between their substances policy records,” Bates tried to change the subject.

A second reporter asked if the White House would commit to transparency if the Secret Service discovered who smuggled the cocaine into the White House.

“If the Secret Service is able to determine the individual responsible, will the White House commit to transparency in this and making that information public?” a reporter asked.

“I’m going to defer to the Secret Service professionals who are carrying this [investigation] out,” Bates said. “I’m just not going to engage on hypotheticals.”

Bates’s evasive answers mirror White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s responses on Wednesday to the growing scandal. Jean-Pierre would not say if the White House supports prosecuting the unknown cocaine White House smuggler.

“I’m just not gonna get into hypotheticals from here. Let the Secret Service do their job. It’s under their purview. We are confident that they will get to the bottom of it. I’m just not going to get ahead of this at this time,” she told reporters.

“Will any White House staffers be undergoing drug testing as part of this investigation?” a second reporter asked.

Police are seen outside the White House grounds, Sunday night, July 2, 2023 in Washington. The White House was briefly evacuated Sunday evening while President Joe Biden was at Camp David after the Secret Service discovered suspicious powder in a common area of the West Wing, and a preliminary test showed the substance was cocaine, two law enforcement officials said Tuesday. (Anthony Peltier via AP)

“Just not going to get into hypotheticals from here,” Jean-Pierre replied. “The White House is subject to rigorous guidelines that include drug testing. So, we will take any action that is appropriate and warranted.”

Uniformed Secret Service officers at the White House discovered the cocaine Sunday evening, prompting an evacuation and a D.C. Fire Department hazmat team to arrive at the scene.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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