Joe Biden Says He Wouldn't Commute A Prison Sentence For Hunter Biden

President Joe Biden said Thursday that he would not use his executive authority to commute the prison sentence of his son Hunter Biden, who this week was found guilty of illegally owning a gun in 2018.

“No,” the president simply said when asked by a reporter, according to a White House press pool report. 

Biden is in Bari, Italy, for the Group of 7 Summit. He made his comment about Hunter as he was leaving the stage after an event with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The two had just signed a bilateral security agreement.

In response to another reporter’s question, the president praised his son for having “overcome an addiction.”

“He’s one of the brightest, most decent men I know,” he said of Hunter, adding that he will “abide by the jury’s decision” in his son’s case.

Hunter Biden’s daughters and son-in-law were reportedly in attendance at the event.

President Biden has previously said he wouldn’t use his authority to pardon Hunter, but he stopped short of saying whether he’d commute a prison sentence. (Pardons are essentially official forgiveness for a crime that can restore civil rights, such as the right to vote or own guns, while commutations reduce criminal sentences without undoing the underlying conviction.)

HuffPost had asked the White House to clarify this but had not received a response. The president has now answered the question himself.

President Joe Biden talks with his son Hunter upon arrival at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on Tuesday. A jury found Hunter Biden guilty earlier that day on federal gun charges.
President Joe Biden talks with his son Hunter upon arrival at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on Tuesday. A jury found Hunter Biden guilty earlier that day on federal gun charges. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Republicans have been falsely accusing President Biden of using the Justice Department to protect his family from criminal investigations and interfere with his son’s federal prosecution, which included the felony gun charges as well as tax charges for which Hunter Biden will stand trial in the fall.

Donald Trump, a convicted felon, has vowed to make full use of his pardon powers for his supporters if he’s elected president again in November. He’s dangled “full pardons” for years for the criminals convicted for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In April, he said he’d “absolutely” consider pardons for hundreds of them.

Trump went on a pardoning spree at the end of his presidency in 2020. His eleventh-hour beneficiaries included military contractors who killed children, crooked politicians, law enforcement officers who violated civil rights and members of his family.

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