White House Says Joe Biden Won’t Pardon His Son – For Now:
As previously reported, there is the possibility that President Joe Biden could use his presidential powers to pardon his deeply troubled son Hunter.
Such a scenario would likely bring down the administration, make it all but impossible for the president to even consider seeking a second term, and possibly even require that he subsequently resign.
Biden could take a similar course of action that President Gerald Ford took with former President Richard Nixon via Proclamation 4311, which granted a full and unconditional pardon to Nixon for any crimes that the former president might have committed against the United States. However, that generated a national controversy and it likely was a factor that resulted in Ford being defeated when he sought reelection in 1976.
Will Not Pardon Hunter – The Story For Now from Joe Biden
The White House confirmed on Thursday that President Biden would not consider pardoning his son.
“Is there any possibility that the president would end up pardoning his son?” Fox News reporter Mark Meredith asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during the regular briefing.
The press secretary flatly and firmly responded, “No.”
Moreover, when Meredith attempted to ask a follow-up question, Jean-Pierre added, “I just said no — I just answered” and proceeded to move on to another journalist.
That has essentially put to rest the idea that the president would even consider pardoning his son, at least for now.
Will Hunter’s Case Go to Trial?
It was last Wednesday that a plea deal struck between the United States Department of Justice and Hunter Biden was put on hold after a federal judge said she required more information about whether the deal extends to any prosecution related to his business dealings – which are now under investigation by House lawmakers.
As a result, last week, the younger Biden entered a “not guilty” plea to two misdemeanor tax charges.
He had originally agreed to plead guilty and to enter a diversion program in lieu of pleading guilty to a felony gun possession count. However, Judge Maryellen Noreika deferred the decision on the plea deal, stating “You are telling me to rubber stamp the agreement.” Both parties were told they would have 14 days to brief her while her ruling on the matter could now be delayed for weeks.
As The New York Post newspaper reported, the only president known to have pardoned an immediate family member convicted of a crime was former President Bill Clinton, who in his final hours before leaving office in January 2001 expunged his younger half-brother Roger’s mid-1980s conviction on a charge of conspiring to distribute cocaine.
More recently, in December 2020, former President Donald Trump pardoned New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner 15 years after his conviction on charges including illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. Charles Kushner is the father of Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka.
Change of Heart?
While the White House said last week may be different from what it actually ends up doing.
As it stands, Hunter Biden’s legal team may attempt to get him another “favorable” deal that allows him to avoid jail time on the tax and firearms charges.
If such a deal isn’t reached and Hunter Biden could face spending years and perhaps up to a decade in prison, all bets could be off. The White House – and more specifically Joe Biden – may have a change of heart and see a pardon as necessary to save his son.
Either way, as also previously reported, the president faces a potentially embarrassing no-win scenario.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.