The White House does not rule out a potential commutation of Hunter Biden’s sentence after his conviction

ON BOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The White House does not rule out a potential switch for Hunter Bidenthe president’s son who was convicted of three federal gun crimes and is expected to be sentenced by a judge in the coming months.

“As we all know, sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday, as President Joe Biden went to the Group of Seven summit in Italy.

She said she had not spoken to the president about the issue since the verdict was handed down on Tuesday.

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

“He was very clear, very direct, obviously very definitive,” Jean-Pierre said of the president’s remarks on a possible pardon. But when switching, “I just don’t have anything other than that.”

A pardon is an expression of forgiveness for a criminal offense that restores certain rights, such as voting, that a person loses upon conviction. Meanwhile, a commutation reduces the sentence but leaves the conviction intact.

The White House’s position is a change from what it said in September, when Jean-Pierre was asked whether the president would “pardon or commute his son if found guilty.” The press secretary responded at the time: “I have already answered that question.” I was asked this not too long ago, a few weeks ago. And I was very clear and said no.

Hunter Biden was found guilty of lying on a mandatory firearm purchase form by claiming he was not illegally using drugs or addicted to drugs, and that he illegally possessed the weapon for 11 days.

All three counts are punishable by up to 25 years in prison. But it’s up to him to decide whether the president’s son will actually spend time behind bars. U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika. The judge, who was appointed to the bench by former Republican President Donald Trump, did not immediately set a date for sentencing.

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Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim in Washington contributed to this report.

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