Biden reiterates he won’t pardon son Hunter after gun conviction

Biden reiterates he won’t pardon son Hunter after gun conviction

President Joe Biden has reiterated his decision not to pardon his son Hunter after he was convicted of three felony gun charges earlier this week.

“I am not going to do anything,” Biden, 81, said while standing next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit on Thursday. “I will abide by the jury’s decision.”

At the summit in Italy, Biden said he was “extremely proud” of his son, whom he said has “overcome an addiction”.

According to Politico, reporters shouted questions at Biden asking whether he would consider commuting his son’s sentence and he appeared to say “no”.

The younger Biden, 54, could face up to 25 years in prison for his conviction on three counts of illegally purchasing and possessing a gun while abusing or being addicted to drugs, a violation of federal law. Biden is a first-time offender and it’s unlikely that he will be given the maximum sentence.

President Joe Biden talks with his son Hunter Biden as he arrives at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Deleware Tuesday 11 June 2024 (AP)
President Joe Biden talks with his son Hunter Biden as he arrives at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Deleware Tuesday 11 June 2024 (AP)

A pardon, which a president can grant in federal cases, relieves an individual of all guilt for the crime they committed. A commutation reduces the sentence without acquitting the person.

The prosecution’s argument primarily rested on the fact that Biden lied on a federal form that asked whether he was legally allowed to buy the gun when buying a firearm. One of the questions on the form asked if he was “unlawful user of, or addicted to” illegal drugs.

Prosecutors said Biden checked the box that said no. Two of the charges were tied to the purchase. Biden was convicted on all three counts, becoming the first child of a sitting president to be convicted of a crime.

In a memoir published in 2021, Biden described his battles with addiction, time spent in rehab, his relapses, and how he brought drugs near the White House.

Prosecutors had offered the younger Biden a plea deal but it broke down in July as it was about to be set in stone, Politico reported. A judge has not set his sentencing date yet but it’s likely to come in the autumn.

The president is in Italy this week for the G7 summit where he plans to sign a security plan with Ukraine. He is expected to check on his son every day in the meantime. Before leaving the country, he spent a night with his family in Delaware following the verdict.

At the summit, Biden said he was “extremely proud” of his son, whom he said has “overcome an addiction”.

According to Politico, reporters appeared to shout questions at Biden asking whether he would consider commuting his son’s sentence and he appeared to say “no”.