Suit Seeks to Compel ATF to Answer FOIA Request in Hunter Biden Gun Case

Would you and I be similarly protected by ATF under the same circumstances? (Cropped from photo by acaben: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- Attorney Stephen Stamboulieh filed a complaint Wednesday on my behalf “for injunctive and other appropriate relief and seeking the disclosure and release of agency records” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) related to its investigation into Hunter Biden and a handgun reportedly belonging to him.

The complaint became necessary after ATF refused to provide records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request citing Biden’s “substantial privacy interests.” The Department of Justice subsequently turned down my appeal of that decision.

To recap the story so far, Biden’s handgun was reportedly taken from his vehicle by his brother’s widow with whom he was having an affair and she threw it away in the trash outside a Delaware supermarket. This column then asked if the president’s son had broken the law by denying abuse of controlled substances on the Firearm Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473, noting that lying on the form is a federal felony. That report was followed up with two separate FOIA requests being filed a few weeks later, to both ATF and the Secret Service, which had also been reported to be investigating the Biden gun incident.

The Secret Service request has been resolved, for now, after receiving an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury that the agency could find no responsive records. Still to be determined: If they weren’t officially involved, who were the personnel identified as Secret Service agents in numerous reports, including in a text message retrieved from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer claiming “[T]he police the FBI [and] the secret service came on the scene”?

ATF chose to respond in a different way, initially challenging my qualifications to be considered a journalist, then claiming no records could be found and then withdrawing its “no records” response.  In its final response it asserted:

“[T]he request should have been denied categorically without a search due to the substantial privacy interests retained by the subject of Mr. Codrea’s request.”

By backing ATF’s denial, DOJ is essentially saying that the official Biden Administration law enforcement position is that the Hunter Biden gun story is none of our business.

“Producing these documents would serve to shed light on the performance of ATF’s statutory duties in prosecuting illegal firearm crime, including  … the reasons why some persons are not prosecuted; and among other things, the unequal application of firearms laws to certain well-connected individuals,” the complaint argues back. Of course that’s in the public’s interest, particularly as Biden, in his writings, has further degraded his “privacy interest” by his own admissions.

There was reportedly a multi-agency state/federal investigation. The Senate Judiciary queried ATF Director nominee David Chipman about this in his confirmation hearing  — how much more public interest/peoples’ business could this get?

The complaint, embedded below, asks the court to “Order [ATF] to conduct a search for any and all responsive records … and demonstrate that it employed search methods reasonably likely to lead to the discovery of records.”


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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