Joe Biden’s younger son has been discharged from the Navy Reserves over a failed drug test. Hunter Biden tested positive for cocaine according to the Wall Street Journal which broke the story. Details about the incident are protected under Privacy Act restrictions, but this did not prevent an anonymous source from telling the media what had occurred. In a statement released by Hunter Biden, he said it had been an honor to serve in the Navy and did not address the reason for his discharge. The vice-president’s office has declined to comment on the news.
Hunter Biden has had a good career in a variety of businesses. He is managing partner for an investment company, chairman of a charity, and somewhat controversially on the board of the largest Ukrainian private gas firm. In 2012 he applied to join the Navy Reserve’s direct commission process. Because of his age and a drug-related incident in his younger years, two waivers were necessary to complete the process. In 2013 he was commissioned as an ensign and assigned to a public affairs unit located in Norfolk.
It has been revealed that when he reported for duty in June 2013 he failed a urinalysis drug test. Reportedly, he tested positive for cocaine use which led to his discharge. According to protocol, he received either a general or an “other than honorable” discharge. It cannot be determined which without the Navy’s confirmation and a spokesperson for the Navy said that the Navy was prevented from releasing information due to the Privacy Act. All details about the story have come from an anonymous source who had no permission to discuss the matter with the press.
In a statement released by Hunter Biden, the details were also not discussed. He did express regret at the turn of events and that serving however briefly had been the “honor of my life.” He stated no qualms with the decision, but looked to move forward with the support of his family. Besides his famous father Joe Biden, he has a wife and three children to see him through the tough times.
Vice-president Joe Biden’s office have not released any statements or comments. When the news was announced that Hunter would be joining the Ukrainian gas board, his office was prompt in assuring everyone that Hunter was a private citizen and that there was no political motivation behind the appointment. Crucially, the vice-president was participating in diplomatic talks with Russia over the annexation of Crimea. This time some have noted that Joe Biden may be eyeing a run at the presidency and that this news may damage those intentions.
Should a presidential run be in the cards, the vice-president can rely on the support of all his family, including wife Jill ad sons Hunter and Beau. Beau, the elder brother, served in the Army and had a year tour in Iraq. He is now Delaware’s attorney general. Beau may also be eyeing his own election campaign with a rumored run at the governorship of his state. It is too early to speculate over how Hunter’s discharge from the Navy over a failed drug test may affect either Beau or Joe Biden’s campaign plans.
By Lydia Bradbury