President Joe Biden will not pardon his son Hunter if he is convicted of the charges against him, the White House said on Thursday.
Hunter Biden has been charged with two misdemeanor tax offenses and a felony gun charge. When asked during her briefing whether there was any possibility that the president would eventually pardon his son, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday replied, “No,” and declined to comment further.
The White House statement comes the day after a new challenge for Hunter Biden in his ongoing legal troubles. He has been the subject of a yearslong investigation into failure to pay taxes in his business dealings. He was also charged last month with possession of a firearm by a person who is a known drug user over a gun he owned for 11 days in 2018, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The president’s son had planned to strike a plea agreement with the Department of Justice that would avert a trial and likely allow him to escape punishment on felony charges. Prosecutors in the plea deal planned to recommend that Biden receive two years of probation on the charges.
On Wednesday, however, that deal crumbled when U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika expressed concern about the details of the plea deal, which includes stipulations about not prosecuting Biden on tax crimes in the future.
“These agreements are not straightforward, and they contain some atypical provisions,” Noreika said Wednesday, suggesting that Biden’s legal team reconvene to discuss the details of the deal.
The roadblock will postpone proceedings, likely for at least a month. The White House has largely avoided commenting on Hunter Biden’s legal troubles, with the president repeatedly expressing his unequivocal love for his son.