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White House ducks question on possible commutation for Hunter Biden

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(The Center Square) – The White House on Wednesday dodged a question about the possibility of President Joe Biden commuting the sentence of his son Hunter Biden, who was convicted this week on gun charges.

On Tuesday, a jury in Delaware convicted Hunter Biden, 54, of illegal buying and owning a gun while using crack cocaine. Biden has previously said he would not pardon his son, but on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn’t rule out commutation of Hunter Biden’s sentence.

“I haven’t spoken to the president about this since the verdict came out and as we all know, the sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet,” she said.

Jean-Pierre returned to the issue of a pardon, but didn’t address a possible commutation.

“He was asked about a pardon, he was asked about the trial specifically and he answered it very clearly, very forthright. As we know, the sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet. I don’t have anything beyond what the president said. He’s been very clear about this,” she added.

Special counsel David Weiss indicted Hunter Biden in September 2023 in federal court in Delaware on three counts tied to the possession of a gun while using drugs. Two of the counts alleged he lied on a form attesting that he was not using illegal drugs when he bought a .38 Special Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018. A third count alleged that he possessed a firearm while using illicit drugs.

The jury convicted Hunter Biden on all charges after about three hours of deliberations. The president’s son did not take the stand in his own defense.

Hunter Biden faces up to 10 years in prison on the first two counts and five years on the third count.

President Biden told ABC News last week that he would accept the verdict in his son’s trial and would not seek to pardon Hunter Biden. The White House has repeatedly said Biden would not pardon his son if convicted of a crime.

The President was not asked about a possible commutation of his son’s sentence, but has repeatedly said no one is above the law during political rival Donald Trump’s New York trial.

Hunter Biden’s previous plea deal on gun and tax fraud charges fell apart in July 2023 after last-minute disagreements over the degree to which Hunter Biden could face future charges for other alleged crimes still possibly under investigation. That plea deal revolved around alleged tax crimes and a single gun charge.

In California, Hunter Biden faces separate tax charges that allege he failed to pay $1.4 million in taxes and filed false tax returns. That could go to trial in September.

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