Amid last week's indictment of his son Hunter on a trio of gun charges, President Joe Biden is reportedly concerned that he could be dead before his progeny's legal difficulties reach a final resolution, as the Daily Caller reports.
Sources close to the president, 80, and to first lady Jill Biden spoke to NBC News about the situation, noting that the emotional burden of Hunter Biden's travails is beginning to take a toll on his father.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who was reportedly with the president shortly after the gun charges were announced, confirmed the strain under which Joe Biden is currently operating.
“There's no doubt in my mind that it's a huge, huge concern for the president -- as it would be for any parent. Especially a parent who lost a child too early in life,” Hoyer said, referencing the loss of Biden's daughter decades ago or perhaps the death of his other son, Beau Biden, more recently.
Michael LaRosa, who formerly served as a press secretary to Jill Biden, seemed to agree, saying, “Every day, this president wakes up and thinks about his deceased son and probably cries every day. And the weight of [Hunter's legal troubles] is equally emotionally taxing.”
Though Joe and Jill Biden have long evinced concern about Hunter's past struggles with addiction and allegations of his involvement in a range of wrongdoing, a source familiar with their current state of mind suggested to NBC News that their outlook has undergone a serious, downcast shift of late.
The gun charges leveled against the first son have the potential to bring a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison should he be convicted, and though many experts believe that as a first offender, he could ultimately receive no time at all behind bars even if found guilty, the senior Bidens are reportedly worried about what else might be on the horizon.
With the possibility of tax charges still to come and amid ongoing congressional probes of the Biden family's business dealings as well as a recently initiated impeachment probe into the president, Joe and Jill Biden are said to have already resigned themselves to the likelihood that Hunter's legal worries are only just beginning.
If Joe Biden is currently in a bad mental place due to his son's worsening predicaments, there have been somewhat conflicting reports on Hunter's own state of mind in the wake of last week's indictment.
As the Daily Mail noted, CNN's Paula Reid indicated her belief -- after speaking with sources close to the family -- that Hunter himself was feeling “dark, gloomy, and defeated, and was currently in “despair” over his rapidly ballooning legal expenses.
Reid added that while Hunter remains in constant contact with the president, the two avoid speaking about the latest legal developments, saying that the first son “doesn't want to burden his father with it.”
According to a source who spoke to NBC News, however, Hunter is now in the process of “steeling his spine” for the battles he has yet to face, in court and elsewhere, and his girding himself for what is to come.
“Hunter is ready to fight,” the insider opined. “He's taken accountability for his actions, his addiction, and the horrors that come along with it.”
With many now speculating that the dark clouds gathering over the Bidens are becoming an impediment to Joe Biden's ability to fulfill the duties of his job, it remains to be seen whether the president will stay stubbornly in place as the situation unfolds, or if he will use his son's challenges as a convenient excuse to depart the 2024 race, as growing numbers -- even in his own party -- sincerely wish he would.