White House Refuses to Rule Out Biden Commuting Hunter’s Sentence

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty

The White House is not ruling out the possibility of President Joe Biden considering commuting his son’s federal gun conviction.

“I have not spoken to the President about this. And what I’m saying is he was asked about a pardon,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday while en route with Biden to the Group of Seven summit in Italy, according to a pool report obtained by The Daily Beast.

“He was asked about the trial specifically. And he answered it very clearly, very forthright. As we know, the sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet. I don’t have anything beyond what the president said. He’s been very clear about this,” she added.

Hunter Biden, 54, was found guilty of three federal charges after lying on a federal firearms application in October 2018 about using drugs.

While the president told ABC last week that he will not grant his son a pardon—which would exonerate him of all guilt of a crime—he has not spoken publicly about the possibility of commuting Hunter Biden’s sentence, which would keep the conviction but reduce the sentence.

“Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” Biden wrote in a Tuesday statement after the verdict. “So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

Jean-Pierre stressed to reporters on Wednesday that though the president was “very clear” on his stance on the presidential pardon, she does not have “anything beyond that” on the commutation question. She also declined to speak about Biden’s private time with his family on Tuesday after the verdict. Photos of Biden arriving in Delaware, however, showed the president giving his son, his daughter-in-law, and his grandson a hug before leaving for the family’s home.

“The President and the First Lady support their son. They love their son. I’m not going to get into—into time that he spent with his family. That’s something that we never do, and I’m not going to do that today,” Jean-Pierre said, according to the pool report.

Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for the three convicted charges. Legal experts, however, told The Daily Beast that he will likely receive a shorter sentence given he is a nonviolent, first-time offender.

“If the special prosecutor asks for jail, his politics is showing,” Duncan Levin, a criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “This case does not merit any jail time.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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