Everything Biden has said about his son Hunter’s gun trial

The president has mostly kept his son’s legal matters at an arm’s length – but has also stressed that he is ‘proud’ of Hunter

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 11 June 2024 18:32
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President says he would not pardon Hunter Biden in federal gun trial: The Morning Rundown, June 7, 2024

President Joe Biden has kept an arm’s length between himself and his son’s legal woes, but the Leader of the Free World has not been silent on his son’s prospects.

On Tuesday, a jury of 12 chose to convict Hunter Biden on three counts of gun-related charges after a week of proceedings in Wilmington, Delaware.

Early in Hunter’s legal process, the White House refrained from commenting on Hunter’s case, referring any questions to the Justice Department or his son’s legal team. But as the trial began, Biden voiced his support for his son while promising not to hold him to a different standard than the average citizen.

After the verdict, he maintained that same statement.

Here is everything Joe Biden has said about Hunter’s gun trial:

President Joe Biden, center, and his son Hunter Biden, right, leave St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Saturday, June 1, 2024
President Joe Biden, center, and his son Hunter Biden, right, leave St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Saturday, June 1, 2024 (AP)

When prosecutors were mulling charges in May 2023, the President told MSNBC: “First of all, my son has done nothing wrong,” He added, “I trust him. I have faith in him.”

He was asked whether any charges against his son could impact his presidency, Biden replied, “It impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him.”

When the gun charges were initially unveiled in June 2023, the White House released a statement on behalf of Joe and Jill Biden: “The president and first lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment.”

By October, Hunter pleaded not guilty to the three gun charges. The White House declined to comment on the case, but White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The president loves his son. He’s going to continue to support him as he rebuilds his life.”

She then put distance between the president and his son: “This is an independent Department of Justice investigation, which has been led by one of the prosecutors from the last administration.”

Just before the trial’s start, Biden stated on Monday: “I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today.”

President Joe Biden talks to his Marine escort as he walks with grandson Beau and first lady Jill Biden as son Hunter Biden (R) walks with his wife Melissa, upon arrival at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, on March 31
President Joe Biden talks to his Marine escort as he walks with grandson Beau and first lady Jill Biden as son Hunter Biden (R) walks with his wife Melissa, upon arrival at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, on March 31 (AFP via Getty Images)

“Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us. A lot of families have loved ones who have overcome addiction and know what we mean,” the statement continued. “As the President, I don’t and won’t comment on pending federal cases, but as a Dad, I have boundless love for my son, confidence in him, and respect for his strength.”

Days later, on Thursday, Biden answered for himself whether he would rule out pardoning his son if he’s convicted of the federal charges. “Yes,” the president said in an interview with ABC News.

President Biden also pledged to accept the trial verdict.

After the conviction came down, the president released a statement saying, “As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery.”

He added: “As I also said last week, I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

Ariana Baio contributed to this report.

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