Biden Firm on Hunter Pardon Denial Amid Lingering Questions

Biden Firm on Hunter Pardon Denial Amid Lingering Questions

Despite firm denials from the White House, speculation about President Joe Biden potentially pardoning his son Hunter continues to persist among Democratic allies in Congress.

The White House unequivocally rejected the idea, asserting that President Biden will not intervene in his son’s legal troubles. The lingering query, however, prompts considerations about familial love and the potential exercise of presidential pardon powers, reported NBC News.

Supporters argue that a loving father might contemplate sparing his son from the specter of jail, especially given Hunter Biden’s history of life-threatening addiction.

The decision, though, remains deferred. The optimal moment for President Biden to utilize his sweeping pardon powers may arise post the November 2024 election, allowing him to sidestep potential voter backlash, win or lose.

The deep bond between the president and his 53-year-old son, whom he refers to as his “heart,” fuels speculation among Democratic lawmakers and fundraisers that a pardon may be inevitable despite the official stance from the White House.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., proposed a constitutional amendment earlier this year to restrict presidents from pardoning family members, a proposal that has not gained traction. Cohen acknowledges the potential for a Biden pardon, stating, “It is within his power, and he loves his son, so, what are you going to do? I suspect he could.”

The dynamics shifted recently as Hunter Biden faced a federal indictment, replacing a proposed plea deal. His attorney, Abbe Lowell, attributed the change to “Republican political pressure.” If convicted, Hunter Biden could face up to 17 years in prison.

Amid mounting legal jeopardy, questions about a potential pardon persist. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated this week, “I’ve been very clear; the president is not going to pardon his son.”

President Biden, while having the authority to pardon, maintains a stance on his son’s innocence. He has publicly asserted, “My son has done nothing wrong,” and described Hunter as a “better man than I am.”

Historically, presidents have issued pardons to family members in their final days in office. Notably, Bill Clinton pardoned his brother on his last day in 2001. The potential stress and guilt presidents feel when family members face legal troubles are factors that cannot be discounted.

While some Democrats suggest a pardon might be tempting, others advise against it. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,  emphasized that pardons should not be used for “personal purposes” but for the public interest. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., echoed this sentiment, stating that the pardon power was not intended for family relief.

“I believe the pardon power in the Constitution was provided for extraordinary circumstances, with assuming unstated mitigating circumstances,” Connolly said. “It was not provided to provide relief for family members. So, no, I don’t think it should be used for that purpose.”

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, also urged Biden to avoid pardoning his son, expressing faith in the justice system.

A wildcard in the discussion is First Lady Jill Biden, known for her unwavering loyalty to her son.

“From the moment I first started working with Dr. B., she was instinctively protective of Hunter in the natural way any mom would be of their son, but her loyalty and love for Hunter was also so unflinching,” said Michael LaRosa, former press secretary to Jill Biden.

Jim Thomas |

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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