Grassley/gun barrel/Johnson
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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) • Gun Barrel • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin)
Two top Republicans continued to push the Secret Service for answers on any involvement it may have had related to an incident in which Hunter Biden's gun briefly went missing after being thrown in the trash in Delaware after the federal agency said it had no record of its agents being involved.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who released a report last year detailing Biden's shady business dealings, have been pressing for answers from the Secret Service following reports that agents may have attempted to intervene on Biden's behalf in 2018 when they no longer protected now-President Joe Biden or his family. Grassley and Johnson said in their new letter:
"We received the U.S. Secret Service's March 31, 2021, response to our March 25, 2021, letter regarding reports that Secret Service agents were involved in an October 2018 incident regarding Hunter Biden's discarded firearm when he was no longer a protectee. Although Secret Service could not locate any records about the alleged October 2018 incident, questions still remain regarding whether any individuals connected to the Secret Service were aware of or took any action relating to this matter. It would seem particularly unusual and inappropriate if any individuals connected with the Secret Service were involved in light of your office's acknowledgement that" it hadn't found any relevant records.
Secret Service special agent in charge Benjamin Kramer had said in the late March letter made public by Grassley and Johnson:
"The Secret Service did not provide protection to any member of the Biden family in 2018. Further, records searches concerning the reported involvement of Secret Service personnel in the alleged incident have yielded no results. Accordingly, the Secret Service has not located any records responsive to your request."
Members of the Secret Service attempted to retrieve gun paperwork from a Wilmington, Delaware, gun store in October 2018 after a firearm owned by Hunter Biden went missing, according to Politico last month. According to a police document, Biden's sister-in-law Hallie, who started a romantic relationship with him after her husband and his brother, Beau, died in 2015, took the .38 caliber revolver and placed it in a public trash can near Janssen's Market in Wilmington. After his sister-in-law told him, Biden instructed her to go retrieve it, but it was no longer in the trash. Local police were notified, and the gun was soon recovered.

Secret Service agents allegedly asked the owner of the gun store to hand over the paperwork related to the sale. Politico reported Ron Palmieri, the owner of Starquest Shooters and Survival Supply, refused because he was concerned they might hide Biden's ownership of the gun. The Secret Service told the Washington Examiner that it had "no involvement in this incident."

The Republican senators noted, though, that "Hunter Biden's own alleged account of the October 2018 incident, described in recently released text messages, explicitly references the Secret Service's involvement." Thus, Grassley and Johnson believed that
"your office's assertion that it cannot locate records related to this incident demands further explanation" and "the Secret Service must explain, in detail, the steps that it took to respond to the committees, including whether your office communicated with any current or former personnel that may have been connected to the incident."
Hunter Biden discussed this incident during a Monday interview on CBS This Morning as part of a media tour promoting his memoir about drug addiction, Beautiful Things.
"Nothing. No. No. No idea," Biden said when asked if he knew anything about the Secret Service looking for the record of sale for the gun, adding:
"No, I had no idea. I don't know whether the Secret Service were or why they would be — I don't think that that's true, to my knowledge."
That contradicts reported texts by the president's son from January 2019, which the New York Post says it obtained. Hunter Biden's purported text says:
"She stole the gun out of my trunk lock box and threw it in a garbage can full to the top at Jansens [sic]. Then told me it was my problem to deal with. Then when the police the FBI the secret service [sic] came on the scene she said she took it from me because she was scared I would harm myself due to my drug and alcohol problem and our volatile relationship and that she was afraid for the kids."
Grassley and Johnson noted that the Secret Service
"also failed to provide responsive material to our October 20, 2020, information request regarding emails that reference travel plans for Hunter Biden involving Secret Service agents in the summer of 2015, approximately one year after his protection terminated."
Kramer had written to the senators that "the Secret Service is continuing to work on its response to your October 20, 2020 letter."

The Republicans asked the Secret Service to answer whether and when it had spoken with "any current or former Secret Service personnel, including but not limited to, personnel in Delaware or Pennsylvania" about the gun incident, and if not, why not. The senators also asked Secret Service to describe "the steps you took to search for responsive records relating to the firearm incident," including searching any "call records, location data, texts, and emails."

Grassley and Johnson specifically asked for the agency to describe what steps it had taken related to Hunter Biden's alleged travel plans in the summer of 2015. And the senators pressed the Secret Service on whether it was "aware of incidents, separate from those mentioned above, where current or former Secret Service agents performed actions on behalf of the Biden family when they were not in a protectee status."

Joe Biden said through a White House spokesperson that he has no knowledge of the service's involvement in the incident. A White House spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Biden was not under Secret Service protection in 2018.

In addition to the police report, Politico obtained copies of the Firearms Transaction Record dated Oct. 12, 2018. Hunter Biden responded "no" to a question asking if he was an illegal drug user, with his response coming five years after he was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine. Biden has publicly discussed his drug use, and his memoir discusses his drug addiction, including his extensive use of crack cocaine. Lying on the form is a potential felony.