President Joe Biden attended church services solo on Saturday amid son Hunter’s fresh legal woes.
The president walked into St. Joseph on the Brandywine near his Wilmington, Delaware home shortly after 5 p.m., putting on his navy blue jacket as he strolled toward the door.
Biden has yet to comment publicly on Hunter Biden facing three federal charges, with up to 25 years in prison, related to his purchase of a gun.
He didn’t take questions when he left the White House Friday for a weekend at home.
When Biden attends church, the pool of reporters who follow him each day is kept outside the building and across the graveyard from the president.
The president didn’t even look toward the journalists when a reporter shouted, ‘Mr. President, will you pardon your son?’ as he left church after services.
President Joe Biden chats with churchgoers Saturday as he departs services at St. Joseph on the Brandywine
The president ignored a shouted question as he walked back to his waiting SUV after attending mass Saturday
At Friday afternoon’s briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted the president would not pardon Hunter, after Biden ignored a question on the matter, walking out of the room and shutting the door behind him.
‘I’ve answered this question before and I was very clear. I said no,’ she said in her daily press briefing, echoing a reply she gave in July on the matter.
The president, after making remarks at the White House on the United Auto Workers strike, kept walking out of the Roosevelt Room and out the door as reporters asked him if he would use his presidential powers to help his son.
‘That’s all I’m going to say,’ the president said as he finished his remarks on the strike.
He ignored a shouted question on ‘will Hunter get a pardon,’ walking straight out of the room.
Jean-Pierre on Friday wouldn’t answer a question on if the president has talked to his son since the charges were announced.
‘I’m not going to get into the conversation that the president has with his family,’ she said.
President Joe Biden puts on his jacket as he arrives at church Satuday in Wilmington, Delaware
President Joe Biden ignored a question on whether he would pardon his son Hunter Friday at the White House
Hunter Biden, meanwhile, is preparing to go to trial.
Attorney Abbe Lowell told ABC’s Good Morning America that the Justice Department bended to ‘political pressure’ from Republicans in Congress when it charged Hunter Biden on three felony charges for lying about his crack cocaine addiction when buying a gun in 2018.
The president’s son is now facing a maximum of 25 years in prison, but his attorney has insisted the case will be ‘dismissed’ before Hunter has to stand trial.
‘The U.S. Attorneys office has known about this for years. No charges,’ Lowell said. ‘What changed? Not the facts, not the law, but all the politics that have now come into play.’
‘The only thing that’s changed has been the political pressure put on by the Republicans in Congress and the media that supports them,’ he argued.
In the charges, two counts accuse Hunter Biden of having completed a form indicating he was not using illegal drugs when he bought a Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018. The third count alleges he possessed a firearm while using a narcotic.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden will not pardon his son Hunter
Lowell said Hunter was not on drugs at the time he purchased the revolver.
‘If you’re going to be specific, then be specific. If the form asks if you are a drug user on the day you buy a gun that is an issue. If it says have you ever used drugs that’s an issue. That will be played out in court,’ he said.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked him if the defense is going to argue Hunter ‘was not a drug user on the day he signed the form?’
‘No, our defense has multiple parts to it,’ Lowell responded. He also argued ‘I think the case will be dismissed before trial.’
Hunter Biden, in his memoir, detailed his drug use, including smoking crack cocaine. The first son talked about how he relapsed into his addiction after his brother Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.
Video discovered on Hunter’s laptop computer shows him naked and brandishing a handgun in a hotel room in 2018, allegedly five days after buying the gun.
But when asked if Hunter Biden was on drugs the day he purchased the gun, Lowell said: ‘I think that’s something that, if it ever gets that far, you and everybody else will see the evidence.’
He declined to be more specific.
But he went on to rage against the Justice Department for the backing out an earlier plea bargin agreement, accusing the feds of caving to political pressure from Republicans in Congress, who have been investigating Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals and the Biden family finances.
Hunter Biden ‘s lawyer Abe Lowell (left) on Friday argued that the case against President Joe Biden ‘s son will be dismissed before it goes to trial – but refused to say whether or not Hunter was on drugs when he purchased the gun that led to federal charges.
Abbe Lowell refused to say if Hunter was on drugs the day he purchased a gun
President Biden’s son Hunter was indicted by Special Counsel David Weiss on federal felony gun charges Thursday – above Hunter with President Joe Biden in June 2023
Hunter allegedly lied on a firearm report (above) required for his gun transaction. A photo of the form shows he answered ‘no’ when asked if he was an ‘unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance’
U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who was appointed by Donald Trump, is overseeing the prosecution and has been given special counsel status.
Weiss and Hunter’s lawyers reached a plea deal in July that called for the president’s son to plead guilty in Delaware federal court to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his taxes in return for prosecutors’ recommending probation.
A separate felony gun charge of illegally owning the Colt Cobra .38 special handgun would have been dropped in two years if Biden honored the terms of what is known as a diversion agreement.
Lowell on Friday argued ‘there’s a deal in place that should have prevented’ the federal charges. He also argued that courts are now finding the statute used in the charges as unconstitutional.
‘The law changed,’ Lowell said. ‘But the law didn’t change in favor of the prosecution. The law changed against it because a couple of federal courts have found this gun charge to be unconstitutional.’
The plea deal, which Republicans blasted as a ‘sweetheart deal’ fell apart in a Delaware courtroom when the presiding judge started to question some of its details, including one that including would theoretically protect Hunter Biden from other tax-related crimes in the same period.
Prosecutors said it would not. Hunter’s lawyers said it would. The agreement fell apart. The three federal charges were announced on Thursday.
Two of the counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years, while the third has a maximum of five years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
Republicans are insisting that Biden’s son is guilty of even more felonies and that Weiss’ indictment on gun charges should just be the tip of the spear.
On July 27, after the plea deal fell apart, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre ruled out President Biden issuing a pardon for Hunter. But it remains to be seen if the White House’s posture has changed now that Hunter faces the three new felony charges.
Shortly before leaving office, President Bill Clinton pardoned his brother Roger for a 1985 cocaine and drug trafficking conviction for which he had already served time.
In the last weeks of his own administration, Trump pardoned a skein of friends and associates, including daughter Ivanka’s father-in-law Charles Kushner. Both Ivanka and Jared Kushner were White House advisors at the time.
A picture from Hunter Biden’s laptop showed the now 53-year-old first son posing nude with a firearm
The White House is not commenting on the new felony charges for the president’s son, and Biden joked he would get in ‘trouble’ if he answered press questions at the end of an economics speech later Thursday.
Still it’s a crushing blow to the president, who is running for re-election next year. Hunter’s legal issues were thought to be resolved with the plea deal and it was shocking when the agreement fell apart.
The charges came the same week that Republicans in the House opened a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden for his alleged connections to Hunter’s business dealings and is likely to have a long-term impact on his political career.
The First Son purchased a 0.38 Colt Cobra caliber pistol in Delaware, a state that makes any buyer answer a series of questions before they can lay their hands on a weapon.
One from the 2018 application asks if the applicant uses or is addicted to drugs. The box is clearly checked ‘no.’
Hunter has admitted that he was addicted to crack cocaine at the time of the gun purchase.
About two weeks later his lover and brother’s widow Hallie Biden found it ‘unlocked’ in his truck and threw it in a grocery store trash can. Its discovery sparked a police investigation.
In addition, now-President Biden sounded close to tears in the voicemail left on Hunter’s abandoned laptop on October 15 – three days after Hunter bought the gun and lied about being a drug addict – begging him to get help.
‘It’s Dad. I called to tell you I love you. I love you more than the whole world pal,’ Joe said in the October 15 message. ‘You gotta get some help. I know you don’t know what to do, I don’t either.’