Election 2020

FACT CHECK: Did Hunter Biden Get Kicked Out of the Military for Drugs? (Spoiler: Yes) [Updated]

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

During the first presidential debate, Joe Biden denied President Trump’s charge that his son, Hunter Biden, was dishonorably discharged from the military for drug use. Hunter’s discharge was listed as “administrative,” according to USA Today. But whether the actual dismissal was listed as honorable or not, what Hunter Biden did in the military is not what anyone would categorize as exemplary service.

USA Today reported in 2014 on the Biden boy’s embarrassing dismissal from a very sought-after Navy Reserve commission that only six other Americans received.

The younger son of Vice President Joe Biden failed a drug test for cocaine, a month after his commissioning last year into the Navy Reserve and was discharged.

Hunter Biden, an ensign, had been selected for commission as a reserve officer through the Direct Commission Officer program in 2012, according to Cmdr. Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman. He was commissioned into the Navy Reserve unit for Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, Va. Biden, who had no prior military experience, was one of six officers commissioned nationally into the Navy Reserve public affairs division.

“It was the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge,” Biden said in statement issued through his lawyer. “I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”

The incident was first reported late Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. Citing “people familiar with the matter,” it reported that Biden was given a drug test in June 2013 that tested positive for cocaine.

Biden, 44, was discharged from the Navy Reserve in February. He has worked as a lawyer, lobbyist and managing partner at the investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners in Washington. He was hired in May to join the board of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private oil and gas producer, and be in charge of its legal department.

There should be major questions as to how Hunter got that commission in the first place. How was he chosen one of the six people to get such a highly sought-after position? And why, once he had it, he cared so little about the commission that he screwed it up in one month. Talk about privilege! I can’t be the only one who would be very disappointed in our military if they didn’t penalize someone who squandered such an amazing opportunity the way Hunter did.

Hunter then moved on with his son-of-the-vice-president privilege to allegedly taking $50,000 a month from the Ukrainian oil company Burisma—for sitting on the board doing God knows what (and no one in our media cares to find out). We know he spent a lot of time in strip clubs impregnating someone who wasn’t his wife (or his brother’s wife). And according to a Senate report, he received a huge payment of $3.5 million from the Moscow mayor’s wife, yet another shady event that Biden the candidate denies and calls “discredited.” But a search of news stories didn’t find any that discredited the charge. CNN didn’t write about it at all. The Epoch Times reported:

A joint Senate report published this month said Hunter Biden and his associate, Devon Archer, had a financial relationship with Elena Baturina, a Russian businesswoman who was married to the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, before he died.

Baturina wired $3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton bank account on Feb. 14, 2014, according to the report. Rosemont Seneca is an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden.

Biden should be made to answer for Hunter’s involvement in these shady affairs.

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Note (Bryan): Administrative discharges can range from honorable discharge, to general discharge, to discharge under other than honorable conditions. There is little chance Hunter Biden was given an honorable discharge. He failed a cocaine test and was a commissioned Navy officer in a very selective slot. Strings were likely pulled to obtain that slot. He had been granted an age waiver allowing him to serve, so he was doubly fortunate. The Navy sees illegal drug use as misconduct worthy of mandatory separation from the service, which tends to fall out as at least a general discharge. An honorable discharge is the gold standard for separating from the military; all other forms of administrative or punitive discharge reflect some issue with the service member, such as poor job performance, poor behavior, or criminal activity.

Drug use for an officer can lead to punitive action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and a Dishonorable Discharge. For some reason, Hunter Biden did not face this action.

Trump on FIRE at Black Economic Empowerment Event in Atlanta

An earlier version of this article suggested that Biden’s discharge from the military may have been listed as “dishonorable.”