Experts baffled by White House invoking Hatch Act to dodge Hunter cocaine question: ‘ridiculous’
Experts were baffled by the Biden administration invoking the Hatch Act when asked whether President Biden or his son owned the cocaine found at the White House.
The culprit behind the White House’s July snowstorm has yet to be found, and the Biden administration isn’t answering whether the president or Hunter Biden owned the Independence Day cocaine dominating the headlines this week.
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates was asked during a Thursday press gaggle whether the president can deny that he or his son owned the cocaine found at the White House – a charge leveled by former President Donald Trump.
Bates invoked the Hatch Act — legislation that prohibits federal employees from talking about or using federal resources for campaign purposes — to dodge the white question on former President Trump’s claim that the Colombian bam-bam belonged to the president or his son.
‘I don’t have a response to that, because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act,’ Bates responded. ‘What I will say is that I have noticed there does seem to be some increasing frustration coming from that corner in general, and I think it is probably rooted in the contrast between their substantive policy records.’
Bates then compared Biden’s policy record to his predecessor’s record.
Attorney Bradley P. Moss told Fox News Digital he is ‘candidly at a loss as to why Mr. Bates believes the Hatch Act is relevant with respect to addressing that question.’
‘I could envision other legitimate bases for declining to respond, such as respecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation, but references to the Hatch Act seem misplaced,’ Moss continued.
Former Bush administration ethics chief Richard Painter, who ran for Congress as a Democrat last cycle, told Fox News Digital that he has ‘given lectures at the White House’ and published articles on the Hatch Act, but the bill ‘does not cover snorting cocaine.’
‘What the —— does the Hatch Act have to do with cocaine?’ Painter told Fox News Digital in an email. ‘This is the most ridiculous invocation of the Hatch act I’ve ever heard.’
Painter added that even if someone on Biden’s campaign were ‘high as a kite,’ the Hatch Act would not cover the cocaine in question.
Users online also blasted the White House over invoking the Hatch Act to dodge the question.
‘Odd that Bates pivots to the Hatch Act and doesn’t deny the question…’ conservative communicator Steve Guest tweeted.
Conservative journalist Jerry Dunleavy quipped that Bates was referring to that ‘famous Hatch Act provision which doesn’t allow you to say White House cocaine doesn’t belong to the president or his son.’
‘The Hatch Act?’ conservative columnist Byron York wrote.
‘The same White House who said ‘mega MAGA’ from the briefing room podium (therefore violating the Hatch Act),’ Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) communications director Mike Joyce wrote.
‘Can’t make this stuff up folks,’ he added.
Other users bore down on the White House over the dodge.
When asked for comment by Fox News Digital, Bates pointed to his gaggle answer that Trump’s comments were a direct ‘comment from a declared candidate.’
Bookies in Las Vegas — where the younger Biden sped to in his Porche in 2018 — have already started to get in on the action and have pointed to Hunter as the likely culprit behind the hard drugs found at the White House.
Overseas sportsbook BetOnline.ag gives Hunter Biden +170 odds as the owner, placing him as the most likely wrongdoer among their listed suspects, which also appears to contain joke offenders peppered throughout the list.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce follows with +800 odds, while ‘One of the Jonas Brothers’ carries +1000 odds, and Angelina Jolie garners +1400 odds. President Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, sit at the bottom of the pack with +15000 and +10000 odds, respectively.
Another gambling site, Sportsbetting.ag, carries the same suspects and lines as BetOnline.ag, with Hunter Biden as the overwhelming favorite. Hunter took in Washington, D.C.’s Fourth of July fireworks from the White House.
Bovada, a Costa Rica-based sportsbook, is slightly more generous to Hunter. Their favorite at -400 odds is a ‘Tour Group Guest,’ followed by Hunter at +200 odds. ‘Janitorial Staff’ is behind Hunter at +1000, followed by ‘Secret Service Special Agent’ at +2000.
Like the other sites, Bovada contains outlandish culprits, such as the fictional character Tony Montana from the 1983 movie ‘Scarface’ at +50000 odds. President Trump is also included at +5000 odds.
On Sunday, a member of the Secret Service found the cocaine in the West Wing of the White House in an area used by guests and staff, leading to an evacuation of the building and an emergency response. President Biden was away at the time.
Fox News Digital’s Joe Schoffstall contributed reporting.