Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was baffled when asked whether he would pardon Hunter Biden as president during an interview with NBC News Thursday.
DeSantis was pressed by NBC’s Dasha Burns about his past comments saying he was open to potentially pardoning former President Trump, who awaits trial later this year for two federal indictments over his handling of classified documents and his involvement leading up to the events of Jan. 6, in addition to two other rounds of state-level charges.
The GOP hopeful explained that pardoning Trump could help “move the country forward” and cited former President Ford’s pardoning of his ousted predecessor Richard Nixon as a way to “heal the country.”
Burns then asked, “in the spirit” of preventing further national division, if he would ask GOP lawmakers not to continue their investigation into President Biden, something DeSantis rejected since Biden “has not been held accountable for anything.”
“There’ve been different standards of justice that have been applied on these investigations because the amount of money that’s come into their family — how does that happen where you have millions of dollars that’s coming into the family… we weren’t even scratching the surface on that,” DeSantis said.
“So heal the country when it comes to Trump, but not when it comes to Biden,” Burns responded. “What about Hunter Biden, would you pardon him?”
“Why?” a puzzled DeSantis reacted before exclaiming, “No!”
“Same question — I mean, in the spirit of healing the country and moving forward,” Burns said.
“Those are not the same things,” DeSantis said. “You have a current administration that is prosecuting the former president. That is not the same thing as a Hunter Biden prosecution. Hunter Biden was not one of the leaders of the opposition political party. So when you have that, that is not healthy for this country to be doing that.”
He later continued, “If [Hunter Biden] had been not connected to the D.C. ruling class, he would have been prosecuted a long time ago. But those are not equivalent things in terms of, like, a Ford and Nixon and then, versus some of the things that we’re seeing with Donald Trump.”
Burns posed the same questions to fellow GOP rivals Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy in separate interviews. Both said they would pardon Trump.
Regarding the pardoning of Hunter Biden, Burns referred to him as “the president’s kid,” when questioning Haley. The former U.N. ambassador responded, “Let’s wait and see what the charges are,” alluding to the courtroom chaos that previously unfolded.
Ramaswamy was a firm “no” on any convictions tied to the foreign money the president’s son received and potential bribery schemes involving his father.