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President says he would not pardon Hunter Biden in federal gun trial

Friday

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President Joe Biden comments on his son’s federal gun trial during a wide-ranging interview. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned a visit to D.C. to address Congress. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Friday, June 7, 2024.

President says he would not pardon Hunter Biden in federal gun trial

As the prosecution is set to rest its case Friday, June 7, in the federal gun trial of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden said he would not grant his son a pardon should he be found guilty. The president spoke with ABC News during his trip to Normandy, France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday, June 6. 

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“Your son, Hunter, is on trial and I know that you cannot speak on an ongoing federal prosecution but let me ask you: will you accept the jury’s outcome no matter what it is,” ABC News anchor David Muir asked.

The president simply said, “Yes.”

When Muir asked about a possible pardon, President Biden said he’s ruled that out. 

The president is set to deliver a speech on democracy Friday from Point Du Hoc, the site where Army rangers scaled cliffs during the daring World War II operation. 

He will also be meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the U.S. is planning to send about $225 million worth of military aid to the country in its war with Russia. 

During his wide-ranging interview with ABC News, President Biden also defended his new executive order that has closed the border to migrants illegally crossing into America. 

Biden also spoke on the recent verdict in former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial that found him guilty of falsifying business records. Biden said his predecessor got a fair trial and “the jury spoke.” 

Hunter Biden will be back in court Friday, as he is accused of illegally purchasing a gun while addicted to drugs. He’s pleaded not guilty to charges in the case. 

On Thursday, the jury heard testimony from the widow of Hunter Biden’s brother, Beau. Hallie Biden testified she threw the gun in the trash when she discovered it in his truck. She said she did not know if he was using drugs at the time. 

Prosecutors said they are planning on calling two more witnesses Friday before resting their case. The defense team said it has not yet decided if it will call Hunter Biden to the stand. 

Trump calls on appeals court to overturn conviction

In his first campaign rally since being convicted on 34 criminal charges last week, former President Donald Trump called on an appellate court to toss out his conviction. Speaking in Arizona on Thursday, June 6, the former president continued calling the trial “rigged” and “politically motivated.” 

“We have to change the system,” he told his supporters. “We have to straighten out what’s going on in these courts. We got a rigged deal going this whole country, and we’ve got to do it. And those appellate courts have to step up and straighten things out or we’re not going to have a country any longer.” 

In Phoenix, where the rally was held, a heatwave has lingered for several days. The upwards of 110-degree temperatures led to 11 Trump supporters being treated for heat exhaustion while waiting outside the venue before it opened. 

Trump is set to hold another rally on Sunday, June 9, in Nevada. 

Judge orders Steve Bannon to report to prison by July 1

A judge has ordered Steve Bannon, a one-time adviser to former President Trump, to report to prison by July 1. At a hearing Thursday, June 6, the federal judge said Bannon must begin his four-month sentence for defying subpoenas from the Jan. 6 Congressional Committee. 

Bannon was found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress in July 2022, but his sentence had been put on hold while he appealed the case. The judge ruled Thursday that since an appeals court upheld Bannon’s conviction, it was time for him to serve his sentence. 

Bannon could still appeal this latest ruling that he must report to prison. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in July

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint meeting of Congress during a visit to Washington, D.C. in July. In a statement, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, D-Ky., said Netanyahu will “present the truth” about Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. 

The visit comes as tension grows between Netanyahu and the Biden administration. While the White House continues to support Israel’s right to defend itself, it has been critical of the Israeli army’s operations and the number of reported civilian causalities. 

“I am very moved to have the privilege of representing Israel before both houses of Congress and to present the truth about our just war against those who seek to destroy us to the representatives of the American people and the entire world,” Netanyahu said in a statement. 

The speech is scheduled for July 24. 

Boeing Starliner’s first astronaut crew welcomed aboard space station

The two NASA astronauts on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft were welcomed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday, June 6. Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will spend two weeks on the space station. 

The Starliner docked after successfully completing a key test flight for Boeing — despite issues with the spacecraft’s thrusters. 

The hatch between the capsule and the space station was opened roughly two hours after docking, letting the two NASA astronauts join the other crew members on the ISS. 

Pat Sajak’s final ‘Wheel of Fortune’ episode airs Friday

After 41 years and more than 8,000 episodes, Pat Sajak is saying goodbye to hosting the television game show Wheel of Fortune. Sajak’s final episode will air Friday, June 7, across the country.  

On the June 6 show, Sajak’s longtime co-host Vanna White gave him an emotional sendoff, looking back at their many years working together. 

“As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you’ll still be close by,” White said. “You’re like a brother to me and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore. Love you, Pat.” 

White will remain on the game show for another two seasons with Ryan Seacrest taking over at the wheel.  

As for Sajak’s next role, that puzzle has been solved. Variety reports he will be starring in a community theater production in Hawaii. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

AS THE PROSECUTION IS SET TO REST ITS CASE FRIDAY IN THE FEDERAL GUN TRIAL OF HUNTER BIDEN, PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SAYS HE WOULD NOT GRANT HUNTER A PARDON SHOULD HIS SON BE FOUND GUILTY. 

THE PRESIDENT SPOKE WITH ABC NEWS DURING HIS TRIP TO NORMANDY, FRANCE TO COMMEMORATE THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY ON THURSDAY. 

DAVID MUIR | ABC NEWS ANCHOR 

Muir: Your son, Hunter, is on trial and I know that you cannot speak on an ongoing federal prosecution, but let me ask you, will you accept the jury’s outcome no matter what it is. 

Biden: Yes 

Muir: Have you ruled out a pardon for your son? 

Biden: Yes. 

Muir: You have. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN IS SET TO DELIVER A SPEECH ON DEMOCRACY FRIDAY FROM POINT DU HOC – THE SITE WHERE ARMY RANGERS SCALED CLIFFS DURING THE DARING WORLD WAR TWO OPERATION. 

HE WILL ALSO BE MEETING WITH UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY AS THE U.S. IS PLANNING TO SEND ABOUT 225 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF MILITARY AID TO THE COUNTRY IN ITS WAR WITH RUSSIA. 

DURING HIS WIDE-RANGING INTERVIEW WITH ABC NEWS – PRESIDENT BIDEN ALSO DEFENDED HIS NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT HAS CLOSED THE BORDER TO MIGRANTS ILLEGALLY CROSSING INTO AMERICA. 

AND HE SPOKE THE RECENT VERDICT IN FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S CRIMINAL TRIAL THAT FOUND HIM GUILTY OF FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS. PRESIDENT BIDEN SAID TRUMP GOT A FAIR TRIAL AND THE JURY SPOKE. 

MEANWHILE, HUNTER BIDEN WILL BE BACK IN COURT FRIDAY – AS HE IS ACCUSED OF ILLEGALLY PURCHASING A GUN WHILE ADDICTED TO DRUGS. HUNTER BIDEN HAS PLEADED NOT GULITY. 

ON THURSDAY – THE JURY HEARD TESTIMONY FROM THE WIDOW OF HUNTER’S BROTHER, BEAU. HALLIE BIDEN TESTIFIED SHE THREW THE GUN IN THE TRASH WHEN SHE DISCOVERED IT IN HUNTER’S TRUCK. SHE SAID SHE DID NOT KNOW IF HE WAS USING DRUGS AT THE TIME. 

PROSECUTORS SAY THEY ARE PLANNING ON CALLING TWO MORE WITNESSES FRIDAY BEFORE RESTING THEIR CASE. THE DEFENSE TEAM SAY IT HAS NOT YET DECIDED IF IT WILL CALL HUNTER BIDEN TO STAND. 

IN HIS FIRST CAMPAIGN RALLY SINCE BEING CONVICTED ON 34 CRIMINAL CHARGES… FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP CALLED ON AN APPELLATE COURT TO TOSS OUT HIS CONVICTION. SPEAKING IN ARIZONA THURSDAY, THE FORMER PRESIDENT CONTINUED CALLING THE TRIAL “RIGGED” AND “POLITICALLY MOTIVATED.” 

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP 

“We have to change the system. We have to straighten out what’s going on in these courts. We got a rigged deal going this whole country, and we’ve got to do it. And those appellate courts have to step up and straighten things out, or we’re not going to have a country any longer.” 

IN PHOENIX WHERE TRUMP’S RALLY WAS HELD — A HEATWAVE HAS LINGERED FOR SEVERAL DAYS. 

THE TEMPS CROSSING 110 DEGREES… LEADING TO 11 TRUMP SUPPORTERS BEING TREATED FOR HEAT EXHAUSTION WHILE WAITING OUTSIDE THE VENUE BEFORE IT OPENED. 

TRUMP IS SET TO HOLD ANOTHER RALLY ON SUNDAY IN NEVADA. 

A JUDGE HAS ORDERED STEVE BANNON — A ONE-TIME ADVISER TO FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP — TO REPORT TO PRISON BY JULY 1ST.  

AT A HEARING THURSDAY — THE FEDERAL JUDGE SAID BANNON MUST BEGIN HIS FOUR-MONTH SENTENCE FOR DEFYING SUBPOENAS FROM THE JANUARY 6TH CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE. 

BANNON WAS FOUND GUILTY ON TWO COUNTS OF CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS IN JULY 20-22… BUT HIS SENTENCE HAD BEEN PUT ON HOLD WHILE HE APPEALED THE CASE.  

THE JUDGE RULED THAT SINCE AN APPEALS COURT UPHELD BANNON’S CONVICTION… IT WAS TIME FOR HIM TO SERVE HIS SENTENCE. 

BANNON COULD STILL APPEAL THIS LATEST RULING THAT HE MUST REPORT TO PRISON. 

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WILL ADDRESS A JOINT MEETING OF CONGRESS DURING A VISIT TO WASHINGTON, D.C. NEXT MONTH. 

IN A STATEMENT — HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON AND SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL SAYING NETANYAHU WILL “PRESENT THE TRUTH” ABOUT ISRAEL’S WAR AGAINST HAMAS IN GAZA. 

THE VISIT COMES AS TENSION GROWS BETWEEN NETANYAHU AND THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION. 

WHILE THE WHITE HOUSE CONTINUES TO SUPPORT ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF – IT HAS BEEN CRITICAL OF THEIR ARMY’S OPERATIONS AND THE NUMBER OF REPORTED CIVILIAN CAUSALITIES. 

IN A STATEMENT OF HIS OWN – NETANYAHU SAID, “I AM VERY MOVED TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF REPRESENTING ISRAEL BEFORE BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS AND TO PRESENT THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR JUST WAR AGAINST THOSE WHO SEEK TO DESTROY US TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE ENTIRE WORLD.” 

THE SPEECH IS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 24TH. 

THE TWO NASA ASTRONAUTS ON BOEING’S STARLINER SPACECRAFT WERE WELCOMED ABOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION THURSDAY.  

BUTCH WILMORE AND SUNI WILLIAMS WILL SPEND THE NEXT TWO WEEKS ON THE SPACE STATION. 

THE STARLINER DOCKED AFTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING A KEY TEST FLIGHT FOR BOEING — DESPITE ISSUES WITH THE SPACE CRAFT’S THRUSTERS. 

THE HATCH BETWEEN THE CAPSULE AND THE SPACE STATION WAS OPENED ROUGHLY 2 HOURS AFTER DOCKING — LETTING THE TWO NASA ASTRONAUTS JOIN THE OTHER CREW MEMBERS ON THE ISS. 

AFTER 41 YEARS AND OVER 8,000 EPISODES, PAT SAJAK IS SAYING GOODBYE TO HOSTING THE TELEVISION GAME SHOW WHEEL OF FORTUNE.  

SAJAK’S FINAL EPISODE WILL AIR FRIDAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  

ON THURSDAY’S SHOW, SAJAK’S LONGTIME CO-HOST VANNA WHITE GAVE HIM AN EMOTIONAL SENDOFF – LOOKING BACK AT THEIR MANY YEARS WORKING TOGETHER.  

VANNA WHITE | WHEEL OF FORTUNE HOST 

“As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you’ll still be close by. You’re like a brother to me and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore. I love you, Pat.” 

WHITE WILL REMAIN ON THE GAME SHOW FOR ANOTHER TWO SEASONS WITH RYAN SEACREST TAKING OVER AT THE WHEEL.  

AS FOR SAJAK’S NEXT ROLE, THAT PUZZLE HAS BEEN SOLVED. VARIETY REPORTS HE WILL BE STARRING IN A COMMUNITY THEATER PRODUCTION IN HAWAII.