White House Doesn’t Say If Biden Would Commute Son’s Sentence

(Bloomberg) -- The White House declined to say if President Joe Biden would consider commuting the sentence of his son, Hunter Biden, after his conviction on three felony gun counts.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The president has previously ruled out a pardon for his son, the first child of a president to be found guilty of a crime during their father’s time in office. But a commutation could keep Hunter Biden from serving jail time, even as the conviction stands.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she had not spoken to the president about the possibility of a commutation. A spokesman for the White House counsel’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled,” Jean-Pierre told reporters who asked about the possibility of a commutation aboard Air Force One as Biden flew to Italy for a meeting of the Group of Seven. “I don’t have anything beyond what the president said.”

The president’s son could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $750,000 after his conviction for lying about his drug use on a federal background check form and possessing a weapon while using or being addicted to illegal drugs — though he is expected to receive less time as a first-time offender.

Hunter Biden is still facing additional federal charges related to tax laws. Prosecutors allege that he failed to pay income taxes from January 2017 through October 2020, and filed false reports to the Internal Revenue Service.

The president flew to Wilmington, Delaware to console his son in the aftermath of the verdict Tuesday, and issued a statement saying that he respected the legal process and accepted the outcome of the case.

“As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today,” Biden said.

Biden has used his clemency power to sweeping effect during his time in office, including pardoning thousands of people convicted on simple marijuana possession cases. His clemency efforts have primarily focused on nonviolent drug cases.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.