Hunter Biden speaks out about his sobriety – and why it’s key to stopping Trump

Hunter Biden speaks out about his sobriety – and why it’s key to stopping Trump
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Hunter Biden has spoken out about his sobriety and why it's key to stopping Donald Trump from returning to the White House.

President Joe Biden has said in private that Republicans’ attacks on his son, as well as the criminal charges against Hunter, are putting a strain on his family and could prompt his son to relapse, noting his family struggles with addiction, Axios reported.

Hunter Biden told the outlet that he views his sobriety as important in his private life and in keeping Mr Trump from winning the 2024 election.

“Most importantly, you have to believe that you’re worth the work, or you’ll never be able to get sober. But I often do think of the profound consequences of failure here,” the younger Mr Biden told the outlet.

“Maybe it’s the ultimate test for a recovering addict, I don’t know,” he said. “I have always been in awe of people who have stayed clean and sober through tragedies and obstacles few people ever face. They are my heroes, my inspiration.”

“I have something much bigger than even myself at stake. We are in the middle of a fight for the future of democracy.”

Rightwing tabloids and Republican lawmakers have used the president’s son as a cudgel to damage the commander-in-chief, and Mr Trump brought up Hunter during the 2020 general election debates against Mr Biden.

Hunter Biden will appear for a closed-door interview with the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, which are headed by Republicans, on Wednesday. His actions between 2013 and 2018, during which he struggled with addiction and conducted foreign business deals, will be scrutinised by Republicans.

The Republicans want to impeach the president for, they allege, using his political power as vice president, and after leaving office as well, to help enrich himself and his family – but Republicans have so far found no evidence that the president acted corruptly, with even some within the party expressing dismay at the fumbling Republican probe.

The Republicans leading the investigation have called several witnesses who ended up testifying that they knew of no wrongdoing by the president.

In July 2023, Hunter Biden swore in federal court that he had been sober, not using alcohol or drugs, since 1 June 2019.

US Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke said at a hearing in September that Hunter Biden has tested negative for drugs and alcohol on several occasions since August last year.

Hunter Biden’s legal team told Axios that he has continued to test negative since that hearing.

He told the outlet: “I don’t care whether you’re 10 years sober, two years sober, two months sober or 200 years sober — your brain at some level is always telling you there’s still one answer.”

He was still struggling with addiction even as his father started to run for president in 2019, still abusing crack cocaine and alcohol following a failed family intervention in Wilmington, Delaware, he wrote in his memoir Beautiful Things.

Writing that he left for California after the intervention, he added that he “quit responding to the constant calls from Dad and my girls, picking up just often enough to let them know I was alive and seeking help — which in turn gave me cover to burrow back into oblivion”.

“The confidence my father has in me is evidenced by the fact that he still ran,” Hunter Biden subsequently wrote.

Shortly after then-candidate Biden entered the race, his son met his now-wife, documentary filmmaker Melissa Cohen.

The 17th of May 2019, the day before Mr Biden’s Philadelphia campaign kickoff, was Hunter Biden’s initial sobriety date – it was the day they got married.

In court in July last year, he said he had had a “drink or two” after that but that he was stopped fully on 1 June 2019.