Hunter Biden next faces sentencing in gun case

Following Tuesday’s guilty verdict, Hunter Biden now faces the next phase in the criminal justice system: sentencing.

While the three felonies Biden was convicted of carry a maximum sentence of more than two dozen years behind bars, the sentencing guideline, former federal prosecutor Tim Jansen told CNN, is between 15 and 21 months in prison.

The actual sentence, however, will up to the judge.

“They can go above or below the guidelines,” said Jansen, who now works as a criminal defense attorney. “And they usually have to put on the record why they’re doing that.”

“The judge knows that this is the president’s son,” Jansen said, adding that given the security concerns and involvement of Secret Service protection, the judge could sentence Hunter Biden to a period of house arrest and probation.

Federal District Judge Maryellen Noreika said the exact date for determining Biden’s sentence would be decided later but noted that in Delaware, pre-sentence reports usually take four months, which would place the sentencing in October, just before the November general election.

During this time, pretrial services will, along with other things, investigate whether Biden has a previous criminal record or anything else that the judge would need to know before issuing a sentence.

“He has no enhancements that I can see,” Jansen said, noting Biden’s lack of a previous criminal record.

Jansen also said there was no mandatory minimum for the crimes Biden has been convicted of and that defense attorneys will likely ask the judge for a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines while prosecutors could ask for an increase

President Joe Biden before the verdict said he would rule out a pardon for his son. But he was not asked about commuting a sentence, which he has the power to do in federal cases. The White House press secretary on Wednesday said she has not discussed the matter with the president.

“I have not spoken to the president about this. And what I’m saying is he was asked about a pardon, he was asked about, he was asked about the trial specifically, and he answered it very clearly, very forthright,” Karine Jean-Pierre said.

This conviction in Delaware could spur the two sides to come to a plea agreement in Biden’s tax case, which was also brought by special counsel David Weiss.

That trial is scheduled for September in Los Angeles.

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