Pres. Biden will not pardon Hunter or commute sentence, he says

President Joe Biden said he would not use his presidential powers to commute the eventual sentence that his son Hunter will receive following his federal felony gun conviction. 

During a joint news conference on Thursday held at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy, Biden told reporters that he would "abide by the jury decision." The president also reiterated that he would not pardon his son. 

"I’m extremely proud of my son Hunter. He has overcome an addiction. He is one of the brightest most decent men I know," Biden said earlier during the news conference Thursday. "I abide by the jury decision. I will do that and I will not pardon him."


FILE - Side by side image of Hunter Biden (L) and his father, President Joe Biden (R). (Getty Images)

President won’t pardon Hunter either

Biden definitively ruled out pardoning his son during an ABC News interview last week. 

"He was very clear, very upfront, obviously very definitive," Jean-Pierre said of the president’s remarks about a potential pardon. But on a commutation, "I just don’t have anything beyond that."

What is a pardon?

A pardon is an expression of forgiveness of a criminal offense that restores some rights, such as voting, that a person loses upon conviction. 

RELATED: Hunter Biden found guilty in gun trial 

Back in April, Biden granted clemency to 16 people who were convicted of non-violent drug crimes, issuing pardons to 11 men and women and commuting the sentences of five other people in the latest use of his clemency power to address racial disparities in the justice system. 

Biden said those receiving pardons had shown a commitment to bettering their lives and doing good in their communities. 

The president issued his most recent pardons in December 2023 to thousands of people who were convicted of the use and simple possession of marijuana on federal lands and in the District of Columbia.

What is a commutation? 

A commutation only reduces a sentence but does not affect a conviction. 

Regarding the clemency Biden granted in April, he said those who had their sentences commuted, or shortened, had shown they were worthy of forgiveness and the chance to build a future outside of prison. 

RELATED: From Adams to Biden: Presidential families and their scandals 

Hunter Biden convicted in federal gun trial

Jurors found Hunter, 54, guilty of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he was not a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days. 

The verdict was reached after about three hours of deliberation and was read Tuesday inside a federal courthouse, where cameras are not allowed. 

The three counts carry up to 25 years in prison. But whether the president’s son actually serves any time behind bars will be up to U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika. The judge, who was nominated to the bench by former Republican President Donald Trump, didn’t immediately set a date for sentencing. 

The Associated Press, Chris Williams and Stephanie Weaver contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.