Biden rules out commuting son Hunter’s sentence

President Biden on Thursday ruled out the possibility of commuting the sentence of his son Hunter Biden after a jury delivered a guilty verdict this week on three charges related to the purchase of a gun in 2018.

Biden was asked by a reporter whether he would commute his son’s sentence while leaving the stage at the end of a press conference at the Group of Seven summit alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to which Biden responded: “No.”

It came a day after administration officials were asked a similar question aboard Air Force One on the way to the summit in Italy, appearing not to entirely rule out the possibility.

“I haven’t spoken to the president about this since the verdict came out, and as we all know, the sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday about a commutation.

During the press conference Thursday, Biden was asked if he believed his son received a fair trial and whether the Justice Department operated independent of politics.

“I am satisfied that — I’m not gonna do anything. I said I abide by the jury decision. I will do that, and I will not pardon him,” Biden responded.

Hunter Biden’s sentencing date has not yet been set, but it is expected to take place about a month before November’s Election Day. The charges against Hunter Biden involve him lying on a form about being addicted to drugs while obtaining a firearm in 2018, and he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine, though first-time offenders rarely get that much.

Biden has commuted dozens of sentences throughout his presidency for nonviolent drug offenses, including in April when he granted clemency to 16 people who were convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

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