Biden Rules Out Pardon for Son Hunter and Will Respect Verdict

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said he had ruled out a pardon for his son, Hunter, if he is convicted on federal criminal charges and would respect the verdict, addressing a legal case that threatens to hang over his reelection bid against Donald Trump.

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Biden answered “yes,” in an interview with ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir when asked if he would respect the verdict and if he had ruled out pardoning Hunter Biden, according to a transcript.

The younger Biden is facing firearms charges over allegations that he illegally purchased a gun in 2018 while suffering from a drug addiction by lying when he answered “no” to a question as to whether he was an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance.

Republicans in Congress and conservative media have long tried to tie Hunter Biden’s legal woes to his father. A Republican-controlled House committee seized on Hunter Biden’s business dealings to open an impeachment inquiry into the president — an effort that is all but dead. No evidence has turned up showing the president benefited from his son’s misdeeds.

The president has said before that he will not pardon his son, and expressed pride in his recovery from drug addiction.

Prosecutors for Special Counsel David Weiss spent much of Wednesday, the third day of the trial, presenting evidence of the younger Biden’s drug use, including testimony from his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle and former girlfriend Zoe Kestan.

Earlier: Hunter Biden Defense on Gun Charges Focuses on Lying, Not Drugs

The criminal trial is the first of two for Hunter Biden, who also faces tax charges alleging he willfully failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes. That trial is set to start in California on Sept. 5.

Hunter Biden’s trial is taking place days after Trump, his father’s general election rival, became the first former US president to be convicted of a crime. Trump was convicted in New York of all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal hush-money payments to an adult film actress.

Trump has accused President Biden without evidence of orchestrating his criminal prosecutions, including three others still pending.

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