White House rules out pardon for Hunter Biden

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has flatly rejected that US President Joe Biden may pardon his son, Hunter Biden, who is facing tax evasion and illegal weapons ownership charges.

“Is there any chance, from a presidential standpoint, that the president will end up pardoning his son?” A journalist asked Jean-Pierre at her daily briefing on Thursday.

“No,” she said. The reporter then attempted to get a more comprehensive response, to which Jean-Pierre replied, “I just said no.” “I just responded.”

The White House official would not say whether President Biden has spoken to his son since his potential plea agreement was scuttled by a court on Wednesday.

Hunter Biden would have pled guilty to two tax offenses and faced probation instead of a prison sentence under the terms of a previous agreement made between him and federal prosecutors. Instead of facing accusations of illegally possessing a gun while under the influence of illegal narcotics, he would have separately entered a pretrial diversion program.

During a hearing in Wilmington, Delaware, US District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected the settlement as “atypical” and “not straightforward,” citing the fact that it linked the tax plea bargain to the gun charge deal. Noreika expressed fear that one of the settlement agreements would grant Hunter Biden blanket immunity, insulating him from further prosecution.

Among other legal difficulties, the president’s son might face federal prosecution for failing to register as a foreign agent before establishing lucrative deals in Ukraine, China, and other countries.

Hunter Biden faces tax evasion accusations after failing to pay taxes on more than $1.5 million in income in 2017 and 2018. He has so far pled not guilty on both counts.