The White House reiterated President Biden’s pledge that he would not pardon his son, Hunter Biden, if he is convicted amid his ongoing legal battles.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president had not changed his mind on the statement in the wake of new tax crime charges brought against the younger Biden in California, when reporters asked.
“Nothing has changed,” Jean-Pierre said Friday during a gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Las Vegas. “That is still the case.”
Hunter Biden was indicted Thursday on three felony tax charges in relation to tax evasion and filing a false return, and six misdemeanor charges for failure to pay taxes between 2016 and 2019. The charges mark his second indictment from special counsel David Weiss.
During the gaggle, Jean-Pierre deflected questions on how the president reacted to his son’s additional charges and if the two had spoken since.
“I mean, the president has said this before, and he will continue to say, which is that he loves his son and supports him as he continues to rebuild his life,” Jean-Pierre said in a gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One.
“I’m going to be really careful and not comment on this and refer you to Department of Justice or my colleagues at the White House Counsel,” she added.
The press secretary also refused to comment on any “private conversation” between Biden and his family members.
Her comments echo what the White House said in September when asked if Biden would commute his son.
Combined, Hunter Biden faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted.
“I’m not going to go beyond telling you all what the President has said over and over again,” Jean-Pierre concluded Friday. “He’s proud of his son, and he is … proud of him building his life back up.”
Hunter Biden was already facing three felony gun charges and is under investigation for alleged tax misconduct after a plea deal crumbled earlier this year. House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) has also opened a probe into his prior business deals.
Biden’s attorneys and Republican lawmakers have since argued over whether his testimony in the case should be public or private. Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell sent the Kentucky Republican a letter claiming a public hearing would ensure transparency, and accusing the committee of using closed-door sessions “to manipulate, even distort, the facts and misinform the American public.”
In response, Comer and House Judicial Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) threatened to hold the president’s son in contempt if he does not appear for a closed-door deposition next week.