OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Following the indictment of Hunter Biden by a Delaware Federal Court, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre was obligated to address the potential that President Joe Biden could pardon his son.
During a White House press briefing Friday, a reporter asked Jean Pierre, “Will the president pardon or commute his son if he is convicted?”
The Press Secretary responded, “So I’ve answered this question before. It was asked of me not too long ago — a couple of weeks ago — and I was very clear, and I said no.”
BREAKING: Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, has stated that President Biden "will not" pardon his son Hunter if he is convicted. pic.twitter.com/4NCFRYAGHa
— Policy Scoop (@policyscoop) September 15, 2023
The answer was little different from her initial reply in July, when the prospect of possible charges became real with Hunter’s first court appearance that month where he was forced to plead not guilty after a ‘sweetheart’ plea deal fell apart. Asked at that time, Jean-Pierre simply said, “No,” Biden wouldn’t pardon his son.
Hunter was indicted by Special Counsel David Weiss Thursday on three federal charges involving illegally owning a firearm, particularly “making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance,” according to Fox News. He could face up to 25 years in Federal prison and fines of up to $750,000.
In a May interview reported by Conservative Brief, New York Post columnist Miranda Divine explained, “That mythology of Joe Biden that’s been around for more than four decades, which is that he’s a lovely family man… moderate Democrat, lunch pail Joe, working-class Joe, the poorest man in Congress, and a wonderful family man full of empathy because of the tragedies in his own life. That’s what he’s playing on,” Devine said.
“I think the end game is that he’s setting up… framing this sympathy card so that when it comes time, perhaps in his lame duck period, that he will pardon Hunter and Americans will forgive him because they will say, well, Hunter was a drug addict, and Joe just loves his family, and he’s been through enough tragedy in his life,” she continued. “Leave him alone.”
She theorized that Biden’s response to an interview question from MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle in which he said, “My son has done nothing wrong. I trust him. I have faith in him, and it impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him,” was premeditated and an attempt to set up the prosecution of Hunter as a “political witch hunt.”
“It’s obviously rehearsed, and the plan for Joe Biden is to just remove himself entirely from the influence-peddling operation that he was involved in with his son Hunter and his brother Jim, pretend that it has nothing to do with him and that Hunter is just being persecuted in a political witch hunt,” she told Fox News.
“That’s probably the only way he can go, considering he’s lied about his involvement since before the 2020 election,” she said. “And it will work for him with those Americans, and there are still many of them who believe that Joe Biden, that his only sin is that he loves his son too much.”
MSNBC’s Jen Psaki, Biden’s former Press Secretary seemed to be working hard to create that sympathetic view Friday when she said on Morning Joe “I mean, first and foremost, the politics of this are a little hard to predict, but right now you have the president’s son, somebody he loves deeply, somebody who has very publicly struggled with drug addiction, now facing these charges,” according to The Hill.
“My bet is right now, this is a heartbroken president in the White House, who is worried about his son, and we’re all watching to see kind of what happens with this,” Psaki said.
Despite Devine’s theory and Psaki’s efforts, Biden’s refusal to address the issue of Hunter’s indictment, as shown in recent press interactions, would seem to undercut this notion.
"Should Hunter get a pardon, Mr. President!?"
BIDEN: *walks away and shuts door* pic.twitter.com/gm1pmxKvGX
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 15, 2023