President Joe Biden will not pardon Hunter Biden if he’s convicted on federal charges, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday.
Asked during the daily briefing if the president would pardon or commute his son’s sentence if he gets convicted on the gun charges against him, Jean-Pierre told reporters he would not. It’s the first time the White House has explicitly said a potential pardon is not on the table following Hunter Biden’s indictment this week.
In her response, Jean-Pierre noted that she answered a similar question after the president’s son was first hit with a felony gun charge.
“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,” she said, referring to previous comments from the podium.
Hunter Biden was indicted Thursday by special counsel David Weiss on three counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics. The circumstances of the charges are very different from the previous ones.
The president’s son was initially hit with a felony charge of buying a gun while using drugs, as well as a pair of misdemeanor tax charges, as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The deal, which later fell apart, would have resulted in prosecutors recommending probation in return for a guilty plea on the tax charges, and the gun charge being dismissed in two years if Hunter Biden abided by the terms of a separate agreement with prosecutors.
The new charges come with the potential for much higher penalties if convicted. Two of the charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and the third carries a maximum of five years.
Weiss indicated in court filings that he will refile or bring new tax charges against Hunter Biden before the end of the month.
Jean-Pierre’s definitive comments are a contrast to remarks former President Donald Trump made about whether he’d pardon himself in an interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker for “Meet the Press” that’s set to air Sunday.
Trump, who’s been charged and pleaded not guilty in two separate cases brought by special counsel Jack Smith, was asked if he’d give himself a pardon if he were re-elected.
“I think it’s very unlikely,” he said.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com