Cocaine was recently found in the White House, leading many to speculate on who brought the narcotic into the White House and then was forgetful enough to leave it there. Was it Hunter Biden, who was formerly a crack addict so forgetful that he left computers full of incriminating evidence at a repair shop? Or was it just some ne’er-do-well intern that dropped a dime bag and caused a major incident?
Well, the White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates was asked about the situation while on Air Force One, with the reporter asking, “Are you willing to say that that’s not the case? That it [cocaine] doesn’t belong to them?” Bates refused to give anything close to a helpful or informative response, saying, “I don’t have a response to that because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act.”
Listen to Bates refuse to answer the important question here:
On claims "the cocaine found in the White House had belonged to either the president or his son. Are you willing to say that that's not the case?"
Mid-level Biden staffer Andrew Bates: "I don't have a response to that because we have to be careful about the Hatch Act" pic.twitter.com/zuM30v5Fli
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 6, 2023
The reporter didn’t follow up on the issue and ask how the Hatch Act applies to the situation, much less why it prevents a press secretary from providing an answer to whether someone in the president’s family was bringing an illegal narcotic into the White House.
That’s unfortunate, as it’s not at all clear how the Hatch Act applies. It, as the Department of Justice notes on a page about what its employees can’t do, “generally prohibits Department employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, in a federal facility or using federal property. Political activity is activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group. The statute carries serious penalties including REMOVAL from federal employment.”
Answering a question about activity going on inside the White House hardly seems like “partisan political activity,” particularly given that Bates is the deputy press secretary and so is supposed to answer those questions so that the American people are informed about what the executive is up to.
In any case, Bates then tried to shift the subject after refusing to answer the important question about what was going inside the White House, saying, “What I will say is I have noticed there does seem to be some increasing frustration coming from that corner in general. And I think it is probably included in the contrast between their substances policy records.”
But that wasn’t the end of it. Another reporter asked, “If the Secret Service is able to determine the individual responsible, will the White House commit to transparency in this and making that information public?”
Bates again didn’t give an answer, instead saying, “I’m going to defer to the Secret Service professionals who are carrying this [investigation] out. I’m just not going to engage on hypotheticals.” He didn’t elaborate on why that wouldn’t have Hatch Act implications but the earlier refusal to provide a response did.
"If the Secret Service is able to determine the individual responsible [for bringing cocaine into the White House], will the White House commit to transparency?"
Mid-level Biden staffer Andrew Bates: "I'm just not going to engage on hypotheticals" pic.twitter.com/2ADZRKlzYW
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 6, 2023
The refusal of the Biden White House to answer questions about the cocaine comes amidst much speculation that Hunter was involved. Former President Donald Trump, for example, said, “Does anybody really believe that the COCAINE found in the West Wing of the White House, very close to the Oval Office, is for the use of anyone other than Hunter & Joe Biden. But watch, the Fake News Media will soon start saying that the amount found was “very small,” & it wasn’t really COCAINE, but rather common ground up Aspirin, & the story will vanish. Has Deranged Jack Smith, the crazy, Trump hating Special Prosecutor, been seen in the area of the COCAINE? He looks like a crackhead to me!“
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