The Fox News host Sean Hannity tried to sell Donald Trump on a novel way to heal the wounds of his presidency and the deadly Capitol attack: a pardon for Hunter Biden.
The bizarre idea was referred to in texts released by the House January 6 committee, which held its first primetime televised hearing on Thursday.
In one message, Hannity told Kayleigh McEnany, then White House press secretary, Trump was intrigued by the pardon idea! Hunter The Daily Beast said a source familiar with the conversations between Hannity and Trump confirmed that Hannity was talking about Hunter Biden.
Joe Biden's surviving son has become a magnet for Republican attacks over his business and personal life, including a collapsed marriage and struggles with addiction.
A laptop he once owned was touted by Trump allies including Hannity as an October surprise to blow up the 2020 election. It did not explode but news outlets have run stories based on information from the computer.
Hunter Biden said in December 2020 that his tax history is under investigation, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will show that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately. His business dealings in China are part of the investigation.
Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine were the heart of Trump's first impeachment in 2019 for soliciting dirt on political rivals in exchange for military aid.
Trump was impeached a second time in 2021 for inciting the Capitol riot, a failed attempt to block the certification of Joe Biden's electoral college win.
After Trump defeated, a Hunter Biden pardon was floated in conservative circles.
On 10 December 2020, the editor of the National Interest, a conservative magazine, wrote that Trump himself might consider pardoning Hunter as well as his own family and officials who worked for him.
The difficulty for Trump is that any of these pardons would not only look self-serving, but also raise questions about trying to foreclose criminal liability since no charges have been leveled against Hunter or Ivanka or Don Jr.
Hunter Biden's predicament might allow Trump to inveigh against the federal justice system more broadly, because of these issues that might not be enough to deter him. He could show magnanimity and evenhandedness by pardoning Biden's scapegrace son. According to the source who spoke to the Beast, Hannity pitched the idea on 7 January, the day after the attack on Congress, as a way to smooth things over, but the source said that it went nowhere, including an end to Trump's lie about a stolen election and Trump attending Joe Biden's inauguration.
The source said that even though Trump was briefly interested, the pardon was never seriously considered Another source told the Beast Hannity genuinely wanted some healing Fox News, McEnany and Trump did not comment.
Trump issued pardons to aides and allies, including Steve Bannon, his former campaign chair and White House strategist who was charged with fraud.
Hannity has attacked Hunter Biden on his show.