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Hunter Biden says GOP is weaponizing his addiction in op-ed

His pushback against Republicans comes as polls show Americans think President Biden behaved unethically but not illegally

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President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden arrives for a court appearance in Wilmington, Del., on Oct. 3, 2023.

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden arrives for a court appearance in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Hunter Biden claimed the GOP is weaponizing his addiction in an opinion piece published in USA Today on Thursday.

“Over four years ago, I chose life over the slow strangle-death grip of addiction,” Biden said. “What is distinct about my situation is that I’m the son of the president of the United States.”

Hunter Biden and the GOP

In the article, Hunter Biden referenced the investigation launched by the Department of Justice, which has led to three firearm-related felony charges, with tax crime charges expected to come.

“My struggles and my mistakes have been fodder for a vile and sustained disinformation campaign against (President Joe Biden),” he said.

“And 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 — charges that appear to be the first-ever of their kind brought in the history of Delaware.”

Amid the DOJ investigation, the House Oversight Committee uncovered evidence of then-Vice President Biden’s involvement in his son’s foreign business dealings with his son’s clients in China, Russia and Ukraine, which led to millions in financial gain for Hunter Biden and other family members, raising ethical questions about whether the president acted within legal bounds.

An October poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 33% of American voters say they think the president behaved unethically, but not illegally, while 3 in 10 say he did nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, voters in Utah landed on a broad consensus related to the father and son, as a Deseret News poll from October found: Roughly 77% said they think Hunter Biden profited off his father’s political office, and 55% said President Biden also benefitted from his son’s business dealings.

As House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., said in late September: “Whether it was lunches, phone calls, White House meetings, or official foreign trips, Hunter Biden cashed in by arranging access to Joe Biden, the family brand.”

Hunter Biden takes responsibility for his mistakes

In his op-ed, Hunter Biden wrote that he is not a victim and that he fully accepts his choices and mistakes. “That is what recovery is about,” he added.

But, he said, the coverage of him and his addiction is excessive, especially on Fox News, which gave more airtime to Hunter Biden than to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a GOP presidential candidate.

CNN reported the president’s aides did not have any knowledge of Hunter Biden’s opinion piece.

But Biden aides say the president also thinks that the Republican Party is unfairly targeting his son.

“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,” the younger Biden said.

He mentioned his recent haircut, which turned into a conspiracy about him evading drug tests, and the naked pictures of him that were published by new organizations and shared by members of Congress.

“It is already a near-impossible decision for addicts to get sober, and the avalanche of negativity and assault of my personal privacy may only make it harder for those considering it,” he wrote, concluding, “The effort is worth it. You are worth it. I am living proof of that.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or chatting online at 988lifeline.org.