House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries defends Biden's comment that Hunter did 'nothing wrong': 'Loving father'


House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., on Sunday defended President Biden’s past comment that his son, Hunter Biden, “did nothing wrong.” 

Jeffries’ remarks came a day before the scheduled beginning of jury selection in the federal gun case against Hunter – and just days after former President Trump, President Biden’s main election opponent, was convicted on 34 counts following the hush-money trial brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. 

“President Biden commented as a loving father, as I would hope any loving father would do. Hunter Biden, of course, is entitled, as was Donald Trump, to the presumption of innocence and to a trial by a jury of his peers,” Jeffries said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And this Justice Department is going to proceed in that fashion, present the facts and the law and then we’ll all have to wait for a determination that is made by a jury as to Hunter Biden’s guilt or innocence.” 

In an interview with MSNBC in May 2023, President Biden insisted, “First of all, my son has done nothing wrong,” adding that “I trust him. I have faith in him.

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President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden during the 2024 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, April 1, 2024.  (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

That was before what Republicans dubbed a “sweetheart deal” with prosecutors for Hunter to plead guilty on misdemeanor tax charges fell apart in Delaware during a dramatic hearing last summer before a Trump-appointed judge. In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss, who had already been leading the investigation into Hunter’s gun case, as special counsel. 

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Jeffries at Capitol presser

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., conducts his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, May 23, 2024.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Hunter Biden, who spent the weekend with his father, has been charged with three felonies stemming from a 2018 firearm purchase when he was, according to his memoir, in the throes of a crack addiction. He has been accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application used to screen firearms applicants when he said he was not a drug user, and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

He has pleaded not guilty and has argued he’s being unfairly targeted by the Justice Department. 

Hunter Biden during Kenyan president's dinner in DC

Hunter Biden during a state dinner in honor of Kenya’s president William Ruto at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 23, 2024.  (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Hunter Biden is also facing a separate trial in California in September on charges of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes. He has also pleaded not guilty in that case. 

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Jeffries, meanwhile, also addressed Trump’s conviction. The Democratic leader said the guilty verdict against the former president was a “validation of the American judicial system,” when asked if the eight-year-old case would have been brought against anyone but the former president. 

“Donald Trump was entitled to the presumption of innocence, he received it,” he said. “This is America. This is not a system that is occupied by a monarch or a king or a dictator. We are a democracy. And in a democracy, no one is above the law.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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