White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated this statement during a Sept. 15 press conference. A day before, the younger Biden was indicted in a Delaware federal court on two counts of making false statements on federal forms. He was also indicted on one count of unlawful possession of a firearm while addicted to a controlled substance for a total of three charges.
"I've answered this question before," said Jean-Pierre. "It was asked of me not too long ago, a couple of weeks ago, and I was very clear. I said 'No.'" (Related: White House press secretary: No presidential pardon for Hunter Biden.)
When asked if the elder Biden had spoken with his son about the indictment, she replied that she wouldn't comment on the president's private conversations with family members. "The elder Biden has rarely addressed his son's legal woes, speaking out only on occasion to offer brief expressions of love and support," the Epoch Times pointed out.
The presidential son's Sept. 14 indictment followed the collapse of a plea deal between his lawyers and federal prosecutors. Had the so-called "sweetheart" deal pushed through, Hunter would likely have avoided jail time for the three charges he was later indicted.
The plea deal fell apart after U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, scrutinized the scope and enforceability of the agreement. Negotiations between the government and defense lawyers unraveled, and the case was subsequently dismissed. The latter allows Special Counsel David Weiss to bring in charges in another venue, according to the Epoch Times.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reiterated that the president remains "focused on the things the American people want [him] focused on" amid his son's indictment. Sullivan's response followed questions about whether the indictment had taken a toll on the elder Biden's mental focus, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.
"You don't have to take it from me; you heard directly from the president that he's focused on delivering for the American people," said Sullivan. "That's true in terms of what he's trying to get done here at home, and it's definitely true in terms of what he's trying to deliver in the way of security at the UN General Assembly in supporting Ukraine and moving forward."
While Jean-Pierre reiterated that the White House won't be pardoning Hunter, many still wonder if the so-called "big guy" will pardon his son should the latter be convicted. According to Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), the president doing so would be a "mistake."
"I don't think there's any chance that [Joe] Biden is going to do that," he told ABC anchor Jon Karl back in July. "[The elder] Biden has restored the integrity of the Department of Justice, and I think you see that in this case."
But not everyone agrees that a pardon is off the table. Garrett Ziegler, a former aide to Trump-era White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro, is among these skeptics. According to him, there's no chance that the elder Biden won't pardon his son.
"Even if it's the last night he's there, Joe will pardon the family at the federal level because he's terrified of what Trump will do after the fact," Ziegler said.
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