Hunter Biden is calling out what he describes as the political “weaponization” of his addiction in an op-ed in USA Today as the president’s son continues to push an aggressive public relations and legal strategy intended to fight back against his detractors on the right.
“My struggles and my mistakes have been fodder for a vile and sustained disinformation campaign” against President Joe Biden, his son writes in the op-ed published Thursday. Hunter Biden also decried what he called “an all-out annihilation of my reputation through high-pitched but fruitless congressional investigations and, more recently, criminal charges for possessing an unloaded gun for 11 days five years ago.”
That Hunter Biden was planning to publish the op-ed was mostly a surprise to the president’s aides, according to sources familiar with the matter, underscoring how the president’s son and his team have not always been in close coordination with the White House as he faces a criminal case related to a gun he purchased in 2018 while struggling with crack cocaine.
But Biden aides say the president also feels like his son is being unfairly maligned by the right and that the White House is doing its part to push back.
In the op-ed, Hunter Biden name-checks several right-wing figures he says are fueling a troublesome stigma around addiction in the United States.
“The weaponization of my addiction by partisan and craven factions represents a real threat to those desperate to get sober but are afraid of what may await them if they do,” Biden wrote.
Hunter Biden specifically calls out some his loudest critics, writing that his “addiction shouldn’t permit the likes of Rudy Giuliani or a former Peter Navarro aide to debase and dehumanize me for their own gains.”
Hunter Biden’s legal strategy has included a series of lawsuits against Giuliani and the former Navarro aide, Garrett Ziegler. He also contends that the targeting of him by conservative outlets and others could make getting sober more difficult for addicts.
“What troubles me is the demonization of addiction, of human frailty, using me as its avatar and the devastating consequences it has for the millions struggling with addiction, desperate for a way out and being bombarded by the denigrating and near-constant coverage of me and my addiction on Fox News (more airtime than GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis) and in The New York Post (an average of two stories a dayover the past year),” he wrote.
Hunter Biden has been open about his addiction struggles in the past and said during a federal court hearing earlier this year that he hasn’t used drugs or alcohol since June 2019.
The three gun-related charges brought against him in September by special counsel David Weiss include making false statements on a federal firearms form and possession of a firearm he was prohibited to have. Prosecutors said that when purchasing the firearm, he certified that he was not an unlawful user of drugs, even though he was addicted to crack cocaine at the time.
Hunter Biden also faces potential tax charges from Weiss’ office.